Little Acorn Furniture offers courses in Green Woodworking and rustic furniture making ranging from one to five days in duration. No experience is needed and families are welcome so come along and learn some new skills whilst having a great time.

Try something new suitable for all the family. You can experience traditional woodworking using methods and tools unchanged since the medieval period. Make your own furniture from local wood and experience life as a woodland craftsman with little acorn furniture near Clifford Bridge on the edge of Fingle wood.

If you wish to purchase a course as a gift we are able to provide printable gift vouchers up until the 22nd of December. Gift cards and vouchers can be ordered for postage up until the 19th of December. If you would like to visit our shop page and purchase a gift box to accompany your course these must be ordered before the 15th of December to arrive before Christmas. Please be sure to include the correct postal address for the gift with your order.

Merry Christmas from Little Acorn Furniture,

  • Family “greenwood” experience
    Alasdair will take you through the basic principles of Green Woodworking and provide the knowledge, tools and materials needed to get you using a pole lathe. Turn as many items as you like using a variety of local hard woods and unlock the full potential of this ancient craft.
  • Introduction to pole lathing
    During this one or two day course, you will get to practice the principles of green woodworking: cleaving and shaping the wood using side axe and draw knife before turning on a pole lathe to produce a range of items - as long as it is round!
  • Simply stools
    This two-day course offers you the chance to produce a simple three or four legged stool with hard wood top and turned or draw knifed legs.
  • From tree to table
    This three day course gives you time to produce a table or bench with stretchered legs using more advanced techniques. The addition of stretchers between the legs allows you to make larger items with more refinement.
  • Table making course
    This four-day course gives you time to explore the intricacies of green wood furniture design to produce a dramatic and unique piece of furniture of your own design.
  • Chair making course
    Over this full four day course you will make and assemble a complete chair from local Ash and Beech. Choosing from one of two traditional designs you will be responsible for shaping all components and joining therm using traditional wedged mortice and tenon joints
  • Make your own shaving horse
    In order to make a traditional shaving horse you will need a pole lathe, in order to use a pole lathe a shaving horse is essential. Get around this catch 22 situation by making your very own shaving horse over two days in Alasdair's fully equipped Greenwood workshop.
  • Handle making and tool restoration
    This is a one day course aimed at giving you the basic knowledge and skills required to make a tool handle of any sore from green Ash. Be it an axe, hammer, chisel or spade you can restore personalise and bring back to life any old tool. We will go back to the days when things were done 'proper' and a tool handle could last a lifetime of use.
  • Cleft hurdle gate making
    Discover the ancient art of gate making using authentic traditional tools and techniques. Using the true nature of the wood to ensure both beauty and strength, start with a freshly cut log and explore the entire process of cleaving , shaping and jointing.
  • One-to-one tuition
    Work and learn at your own pace - receive uninterrupted expert tuition in the art of green wood furniture making and have exclusive access to the range of hardwoods available in the workshop.

Course dates

2022 dates for spring and summer are shown below, please feel free to contact us directly to discuss courses next year. COVID has subtly changed the way we operate and it is now more than ever about your experience, enjoyment and safety.

Bookings can still be made by selecting to arrange your course at a later date.



For full details of each course including prices and to make your booking please go to the specific course page from the courses menu.

Courses are organized throughout the year and can be arranged to suit you if booking for a group of three or more.

Family “Greenwood” day and “One to one” tuition.

These days can be arranged exclusively to suit you and your family. Please contact us to arrange your course date!

Table Making Course, and Group bookings

Book exclusively on dates that suit you, contact us directly to arrange your course.

2022 DATES (Scroll down for NEW 2023 dates)

One Day Course Dates, Introduction to Pole Lathing

October 15th – full

November 19th – 3 spaces

December 3rd – 2 spaces

Two Day Course Dates, Simply Stools, Make your own Shaving Horse.

December 3rd-4th – 2 spaces remaining


One Day Course Dates, Introduction to Pole Lathing

January 28th

February 11th

March 9th

April 15th

May 20th

July 24th

Two Day Course Dates, Simply Stools, Make your own Shaving Horse.

January 28th – 29th

February 11th – 12th

March 9th – 10th

April 15th – 16th

May 20th – 21st

July 24th – 25th

Three Day Course Dates, Tree to Table.

January 27th – 29th

February 11th – 13th

March 23rd – 25th

April 15th – 17th

July 24th – 26th

Chair Making Course.

March 23rd – 26th

July 24th – 27th

About the workshop

Little Acorn Furnitures Green Wood work shop has been developed in the Old Sheep Barn at Clifford Barton, which is located on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. The Farm now hosts family holiday cottages and courses, as well as providing a home for rescued dwarf ponies.

Surrounded by beautiful Devon coutryside and the breathtaking Fingle Wood, the workshop provides a covered area where the courses can take place.  However, there is also a large outside area overlooking the Valley where we hope to enjoy the fantastic Devon sunshine!

What our customers say…

I took a one day pole lathing class and had a great time. Great group of lads running the class, very friendly and realy know their stuff. They keep the classes small (5 in mine) which allows you to work closely with the instructors and ask any questions as needed. The venue is a spacious, converted farm building in the beautiful Devonshire countryside. Comfortable. At the end of the day I'd learned a lot, had a great time and went home with a piece of work that I made myself and was very happy with. I highly recommend.

thumb Robin Jordan

We did a family woodworking day with Alisdair and Simon whilst staying at Clifford Barton. We have three boys aged 9, 13 and 16 and all were involved and engaged with brilliantly throughout the day. We made a small table, starting with splitting an ash trunk, then axing, then using the shaving horse, as well as preparing the top from a piece of rough sawn oak. We also all learned some pole lathing skills. It was a fantastic way to send time together, in good company. We hope to be back!

thumb Rebecca Bird

Thanks to Alastair and Simon for a brilliant three day course. Amazing location, excellent workshop and great teaching. Fantastic experience with traditional tools and my own unique table to take home. Highly recommended.

thumb Andrew Davey

Took 5 children along to learn carpentry. They all had an amazing time, each made a sword and a baseball bat (their choice). They did everyhthing from sawing the wood to shaping it. Alisdair was so good with them and made sure they each left with finished items. My son who has ADHD was engaged from the start and cannot wait to go again. The parents also had a go and really enjoyed the day too.

thumb Elaine Russell

We asked Alasdair to make a custom bench for Mums birthday and he was brilliant, great updates all the way through the build and the finished result is excellent! We would highly recommend. Thanks again Alasdair

thumb Tom Baker