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Event details

2021 Course Dates

  • 03 - 08 May
  • 10 - 15 May
  • 31 May - 05 Jun
  • 07 - 12 Jun
  • 05 - 10 Jul
  • 12 - 17 Jul
  • 02 - 07 Aug
  • 0 - 14 Aug
  • 30 Aug - 04 Sep
  • 06 - 11 Sep
  • 04 - 09 Oct
  • 11 - 16 Oct

In groups of up to ten, you’ll learn to select timber, to cleave it from the log, to shape it with side axes and with draw knives on a shaving horse and to turn it on a pole lathe. You’ll also try your hand at steam bending, using a variety of hand tools to carve a seat and to frame a well proportioned and strong Windsor chair.

Tutor Paul Hayden has been making chairs since 1989. His six day Chair Making Courses are held in Westonbirt Woodworks, surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the national arboretum. Pole lathes and benches are set up to create a traditional chairmaker's workshop where Paul and his team teach more than 100 people each year to turn freshly felled ash logs into chairs that will last for generations.

The course strikes a balance between teaching the intricate and skilled of use of sharp hand tools and a pole lathe to make a  Windsor Chair and offering participants a holiday in one of the loveliest woods in England. The kettle is always on and visitors are welcome (especially those who bring cake).