From tree to table

Three day course

See course dates →

* Courses can also be arranged on dates to suit your needs, fill in the booking form with your preferred dates and Alasdair will be in touch to confirm availability.

All tools and materials are provided.

£280.00

“During this course I get the pleasure of watching people create a personal and unique piece of furniture, it is constantly both fascinating and rewarding and I never fail to learn something new myself “

This three day course gives you time to produce a more complex 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. With more than twice as many mortice and tenon joints the focus is on accuracy and design.

Make your own unique and individual piece of furniture from scratch. These courses allow you to get creative and under Alasdair’s close guidance make your own table or stool. Choose from a range of seasoned hard wood tops or seats all from the surrounding Native Woodland, shape carve and finish them using traditional green wood tools and techniques. Complement this with Green wood legs (and stretchers for those on the three day course) which will be cleft from a freshly cut log and shaped using side axe drawknife and pole lathe. The fundamental techniques of Green Wood working will all be covered in depth allowing you to produce the components for your furniture. The later section of the course will delve into the details and methods of using round mortice and tenon joints secured with ouk wedges to complete your table or stool. The detail of marking out, setting the angles and producing secure long lasting joints will all be covered setting you up to move on to more complex pieces and expand your knowledge.

You will be responsible for the basic design, size and layout of your piece. Examples of Alasdair’s previous work will be on hand for guidance and inspiration. It is then up to you to work with the green wood to achieve the feel and character you desire. The emphasis is on allowing the natural characteristics if the material to shine through and to control how the natural material influences the finished article, this is the very nature of Green Woodworking.

In detail

Starting from first principles no experience is necessary although be aware that the work can be quite physical.  It is advisable but by no means necessary that the two day course be completed before signing up to the three day course. I like to start the longer course by selecting and felling a tree from the nearby woodland, this gives us a chance to discuss some of the issues surrounding our native woodland and its care, note that all courses will include a guided woodland walk even if we have no need to fell a tree specifically for the course.

The three main elements of green woodworking will be used in depth, Chopping block, for cleaving and shaping with side axe, Shaving horse and Pole lathe. Unlike the dedicated pole lathing courses it will be important to understand that the components must ultimately come together into one complete piece and this will influence the entire process from timber selection to final jointing. You will after this course have a deep understanding of the methods and principles of the green wood craft and most importantly how they can be applied to produce a piece of furniture. In addition to this you will leave with your very own hand made item, I still have my first one in fact you will see it if you attend a course.

On the day

Unlimited tea, coffee and biscuits are provided and, I can bring your lunch order from the amazing Ginger Cat Deli in my home village of Exminster (just let me know your order), or feel free to bring a packed lunch.

If you have your own tools and would like to bring them please do so although I will need to check that they are suitable. Please wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes are essential absolutely no sandals or flip flops please.

The covered work shop offers a good degree of shelter but please wrap up if the weather warrants it. The course can be quite physical so be prepared to warm up whilst working and wrap up whilst chatting.

Hand washing and toilet facilities are available on site courtesy of Clifford Barton Holiday cottages.

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!

How to book

You can pay online or make an enquiry via our booking form or, alternatively, simply contact me directly.

Children under 16 accompanied by an adult are half price.
An exclusive family booking (2 adults and up to 3 children) is £240 per day.
10% Discount for bookings of four or more.

One-to-one courses are available at the full rate only.

Gift vouchers are available to purchase online.

Special offer

Buy a course as a gift and receive one of our Little Acorn Gift Boxes for free.

Little Acorn Gift boxes include a hand turned gift of your choice, an “about bodgers” card, left blank for your own message and an optional voucher for one of our green woodworking courses.

All presented in a beautiful gift box decorated with our tree logo.

 

Is this course available on other dates?

If these dates don’t suit you or you would like to book both courses consecutively why not contact Alasdair directly to arrange a time that suits you. However big or small your group we will be able to provide a course that suits your needs.

Please place your enquiry as soon as possible to ensure we can arrange dates that suit you.

Directions

By train

Exeter is the nearest mainline station. A taxi from the Station to Clifford Barton will cost approximately £20.

By car

From the North or East  (or South on A30): take the M5 past Exeter which then turns into the A30. Continue along the A30 for approximately 10 miles and exit at the Woodleigh Junction, signposted Cheriton Bishop. Having entered Cheriton Bishop turn left immediately before the Thatch Pub – signposted Clifford Bridge. Continue along this road for 1.8 miles before turning right at the crossroads – signposted Clifford Bridge. After 0.8 miles turn right into Clifford Barton.

Once at Clifford Barton, cross the cattle grid and follow the drive past the old Oak tree into the yard and park next to the old metal barn, you will see Little Acorn Furniture at the end of the old cattle shed.

 

If you are unsure about finding us please call prior to your course as mobile reception at the work shop is limited

From the South on the A38: Take the Bovey Tracey turnoff onto the A382. Head towards Bovey Tracey and then stay on the A382 until you reach Moretonhampstead. In the centre of Moretonhampstead go straight across at the crossroads (past the antiques shop on your left) and take the next right (Fore Street) and immediately left down Lime Street (opposite the library). Contine along this road, over Mardon Down and cross the River Teign at Clifford Cross. Shortly after the bridge there is a crossroads, go straight over signposted Cheriton Bishop. We are first on the left, signposted Clifford Barton.

Once at Clifford Barton, cross the cattle grid and follow the drive past the old Oak tree into the yard and park next to the old metal barn, you will see Little Acorn Furniture at the end of the old cattle shed.

If you are unsure about finding us please call prior to your course as mobile reception at the work shop is limited

 

Little Acorn Workshops
Clifford Barton
Drewsteignton
Devon
EX6 6QB

07010 048 684

We advise you not to use sat nav for the last 5 mins because it is likely to take you on a very scenic, but long and windy route.

 

Other courses

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chair making
    Over this full five 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
  • Creative kids “coat rack course”
    Especially for families with young children these courses will allow you and your children to work together to make something that you can keep forever.
  • 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.
  • 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.