SHORT courseS

1-Week Courses

Introductory course

The intensive 1-week introductory course provides an opportunity for students to unleash their woodworking passion and get a feel for what life is like as a craftsman.

Guided by our highly experienced tutors, you’ll dive into a world of woodworking skills and techniques from Monday to Friday on our beautiful campus in rural East Lothian.

Ideal for both beginners and hobbyists, this course offers a welcoming introduction to Chippendale School’s expertise. The best part? No prior woodworking experience is needed; we cater to all levels.

Throughout the week, you’ll focus on mastering hand skills, without the use of heavy machinery. By the course’s end, you’ll proudly craft your own hardwood box and side table, with the chance to explore lathe work.

You can choose from standard or flexible payment options for added convenience. With the flexible plan, you can defer the course date once in case of unexpected events. Simply choose the option that will work best for you below.

Plus, if you catch the woodworking bug and go on to enrol in our 30-week course later (as many students do), we’ll deduct your 1-week woodworking course fees from the total cost.

This 5-day intensive practical course gives students an introduction to a whole range of woodworking skills and techniques. This short course is taught by Chippendale School’s highly experienced tutors and runs Monday to Friday to small groups of up to ten students.

The course is perfect for those with little to no experience and especially those seeking to dip their toes in the Chippendale School experience, before committing to longer courses such as the 30-week professional course.

Expect to learn predominantly hand skills, with no use of heavy machinery and only use of a band saw. From day one you’ll be sharpening your tools and on completing the course will leave having made your very own hardwood box and side table. You will also have the chance to turn a bowl on the lathe. All tools and materials required for the course are provided, as well as tea and coffee!

Expect to work with:

  • Hand tools
  • Measuring tools 
  • Planes
  • Chisels
  • Marking gauges
  • Hinges 
  • Tool set-up and sharpening 
  • Joints 
  • Glue-ups 
  • Assembly and finishing techniques. 

We offer two fee options:

Standard Fee: £1,000 paid in full upon booking with no refund or deferral possible for any reason.

Flexible Fee: £1,250 paid in full on booking with the option to defer once onto another date within 48 months of the original course date or, in exceptional cases, receive a refund if cancelling altogether.

Please note that, for students who go on to sign up for the 30-week Professional Course, the cost of the 1 week course will be deducted from the Professional Course fees.

If your desired course is full, you can join our introductory course waiting list. Simply get in touch.

Our upcoming 1-week courses will run:

  • 25 – 29 Mar 2024
  • 24 – 28 Jun 2024
  • 29 Jul – 2 Aug 2024
  • 26 – 30 Aug 2024
  • 16 – 20 Sep 2024.


Wood bending techniques

Taught by renowned wood bending expert Michael Fortune, this action-packed course will introduce you to a range of techniques and open an incredible range of exciting possibilities for woodworkers.

From chair parts, table aprons, and cabinet doors, to sports equipment, musical instruments, and sculptures, with wood bending they can be made with precisely curved components.

This course will take the guesswork out of bending wood and will make a great addition to your woodworking skills.

Michael Fortune designs and makes furniture with very few straight lines. He has written extensively on wood bending techniques and has demonstrated these to a packed house at almost every Furniture Society Conference. Michael also conducts seminars on wood bending for woodworking shows in cities across the United States.

The below techniques will be covered:

  • Steam bending
  • Laminating
  • Vacuum forming
  • Hot pipe bending
  • Bandsawing curves
  • Choosing the right wood species
  • How to cure and stabilise bent parts
  • Methods for hand working & safely machining curves
  • Method of double bending wood to further plasticise it!

Each workstation will remain set up throughout the course so you can hone newfound skills and push the limits of the various techniques.

Our upholstery course dates for 2024 are:

  • 11 – 15 March 2024.

The fee for this course is £895. This covers your tuition and materials.


Restoration course

The restoration course is led by the School’s resident restoration specialist, Clare Charleston who has more than 25 years of experience in restoring antique furniture to its former glory.

Designed to introduce restoration skills, on this course students will be shown various methods of antique furniture restoration, from structural repairs to refinishing techniques. All tools and materials will be supplied.

Each student can bring one piece of furniture to be restored and pieces will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Those with more complex items will be given instructions on continuing the work from home after the course has finished.

Our restoration course dates for 2024 are:

  • 08 – 12 July 2024.

The fee for this course is £650. This covers your tuition and materials.


Upholstery course

Our one-week upholstery course is taught by Victoria Meacham, an experienced teacher and member of the Association of Master Upholsters and Soft Furnishers.

She runs VM Furnishing, an upholstery business which combines teaching upholstery and furniture upcycling, with domestic and contract upholstery and furniture design projects, working with interior designers and the public.

Victoria has taught upholstery to private individuals and in group workshops, including working for Edinburgh City Council’s adult education program.

The course covers the basics of traditional and modern upholstery from horsehair to foam, and all tools and sundries will be supplied.

Our upholstery course dates for 2024 are:

  • 15 – 19 July 2024

The fee for this course is £650. This covers your tuition and materials.


Why Chippendale?

Every year the Chippendale International Furniture School welcomes people from around the world from all walks of life to its magical corner of East Lothian. Here, you will learn from highly experienced tutors in a warm and welcoming environment. You will be supported from the moment you start the application process, through to completing your course having created your own pieces.


If you are looking to pursue a career in woodworking, get in touch to arrange a visit or a virtual call with the Principal.

Read about other courses


Our professional course is ideal for those looking to pursue a career in fine furniture design and making. With 30 students, starting each year in October, taught by an in-house team of tutors and a range of visiting experts.


This course is for those who wish to come and design and make a piece of furniture. With a maximum of 4 students, these courses are popular with hobbyists and fill up fast. The complexity of the design will be dictated by the individual student’s level of experience.


These courses provide the most accessible route into woodworking. Over 2 days, students can learn how to turn a stool on one of our woodturning weekends. Or, carve a set of wooden spoons on our spoon carving course.
Scroll to Top