From £180 per person per day
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.
Learn and work at your own pace.
If you would like to exclusively book Alasdair’s time and work shop for a special one on one course please contact little Acorn Furniture. Please state the course and dates that you would prefer and Alasdair will be in touch to arrange and confirm your booking.
With no other distractions or participants you will be able to get unrestricted access to all of the tools, materials and expertise available. These courses run from 10 am until 4 pm with as many tea breaks as required. The course can be tailored to suit your needs and expectations with Alasdair will be on hand you guide you through the processes and techniques in detail.
For students with a little more experience, you will be able to focus closely on the more advanced process and techniques, and you will develop your own style of working quickly and confidently under Alasdair’s guidance.
On the dayUnlimited tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Please bring your own pack lunch as well, there is always plenty of time to stop to eat and chat! 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!
Exeter is the nearest mainline station. A taxi from the Station to Clifford Barton will cost approximately £20.
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 Old 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.
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, then take the next right (Fore Street) and immediately left down Lime Street (opposite the library). Continue along this road, up and over Mardon Down ignoring any side roads and eventually come down to 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, follow the drive with trees on your left. Once you reach the buildings go past the old Oak tree into the yard and park in the bays next to the timber clad barn, you will see Little Acorn Furniture at the end of the old cattle shed.
What three words
What three words location for the drive entrance ///slurping.counters.spicy
What three words location for the workshop ///darkest.surprises.boot
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
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.
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!
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.
What our customers say…
I would highly recommend the shaving course run by Little Acorn Furniture. The course, which is week run by Alasdair, teaches you how to make a shaving horse which you take away with you, and how to use a pole lathe. The facilities provided are good and the support and tuition given is excellent. Alasdair is ably supported by Simon who complements the course. Thank you Alasdair for an enjoyable course.
What a great weekend, I was there with a 17 year old boy that I care for and the experience was amazing. Jack did the two day stool making course and he loved it. Alastair and Simon where great at helping and explaining the process to Jack and made sure that Jack was involved in the whole weekend. It is a full on course and jack loved the hands on experience. He especially liked working on the lathes and produced a rolling pin and rounders bat. There were three other people on the course and Alastair and Simon where brilliant at including Jack throughout the two days. I cannot thank Alastair and Simon enough for such a great weekend and experience. And to see Jack's happy face when his stool was finished was a memory I shall never forget. Cheers guys, I shall be back to make my own stool.
Just completed the 2 day 'Simply Stools' course. Literally amazing!! The level of tuition was fantastic and delivered in a friendly, warm and relaxed environment. Alasdair's love for his craft and all things forestry is so apparent in the way he teaches it's infectious. Alasdair very reluctantly had to disappear for a couple hours on our first day due to a Woodland Trust event and left us whittling and side axing away under the close supervision of Sy, his quiet but incredibly talented 'assistant'. Absolute legend and a mean pole lather!! Definately got a repeat customer here! Left proper chuffed with a new stool and a new friend. Keep it up Little Acorn 👌🏻
We had 2 fantastic days with Alastair and Simon creating 3 shave horses. We had such fun and chat whilst learning green woodworking skills and appreciation for our environment. We certainly learnt great respect for the green wood furniture makers of the past. I would unreservedly recommend this course.