Four weeks may not be long but, with the right teacher, it’s amazing how much you can learn.

Our first intermediate student, Eion Gibbs, used his month with us to learn the rudiments of woodworking and to design and make a hall table.

His stylish table is made from spalted beech and the legs and apron are attached with mortise and tenon joints.

The drawer fronts are cut from the same piece of wood as the front apron allowing for a continual grain and the drawers themselves are constructed using a mix of dovetail joints and Japanese pegs. The table was darkened with two coats of linseed oil.

Eion learned his new skills while recuperating from pneumonia working as a film cameraman in Tanzania.

He’s been filming with the charitable Kilimanjaro Project and Trees 4 Kilimanjaro, which are highlighting the enormous environmental damage that is being done to Africa’s largest mountain, and the surrounding farmers who depend on the mountain’s melt waters.

Eion says that “the greatest challenge was routing out the indentation for the military handles to be set flush into the drawer front.  Any mistake at that point would have ruined the drawer front.”

Of the course, Eion says that “I hugely enjoyed the experience and Alan my tutor directed me clearly and succinctly.

“Every day I jumped out of bed eager to get back into the workshop, excited to get on with it, discovering a much greater passion for woodwork and furniture design than I thought I had.”

Our newly-introduced intermediate course is designed to bridge the gap between our one-week introductory course and nine-month professional course.

It’s aimed at both novice woodworkers and hobbyists, giving intermediate students much greater skills and design insights – and able to take their hobby to the next level.

Our intermediate course is primarily taught by staff member Alan McGovern who has 33 years of woodworking experience, and the central course project is to make a table of your choice – giving students something tangible to take away with them.

Eion’s table clearly demonstrates how, with enthusiasm and teaching excellence, we can give our intermediate students a very special month.