Short furniture courses

BOX HINGES Tom Foottit

Chippendale Furniture School

Gifford, East Lothian, EH41 4JA


From time to time we run one-week woodworking ‘taster’ courses called The Chippendale Experience Course. These short courses are run over a five-day period, Monday to Friday – and are very intensive – and a lot of fun!  The course introduces students to a whole range of woodworking skills and techniques including:

• A general introduction to woodworking
• A general introduction to cutting, sawing and sanding – and the machines involved, including band saws and circular saws
• How to use Japanese wooden nails
• How to use a domino jointing machine
• How to make a wooden hinge
• How to make a small wooden box
• How to make and upholster a small wooden stool
• An introduction to oil finishes
• Using Shellac and French polish
• Pyrography
• Wood art

short woodworking courses

As time allows, we also address students’ own queries about woodworking matters.

Our Short Courses provide an opportunity for students to try their hand at woodworking and help some to determine that signing up for a full-time furniture design course is the right choice for them.  Students who complete one of our short courses and then go on to sign up for the full-time course have the cost of the short course fully-deducted from the full-time course fees.

The first of our short courses in 2016 was held between 4th and 8th January and, following this, we received the following comments from three of the students:

“I just wanted to let you all know how much I enjoyed the short course last week; it’s a really great set up there, it has really inspired me to get into woodworking.”


“I would like to thank you for the experience of the short course; I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the week and also meeting all the team and Anselm himself.  I never would have thought at the end of the week I would have been able to even make the two items I did complete and I’m really pleased with them.”


“Wow, what a week that was.  I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the short course and am still amazed at what I was able to produce.  It was a really nice group and Anselm’s enthusiasm and positive attitude were inspiring.  Thanks to all for a wonderful week,  I can’t wait to come back in October.”


Short Furniture Courses

Nine students enjoyed our five-day Short Course in September 2015 – and four of them went on to sign up for our full-time, 30-week course.

During 2017, we will be holding Short Courses on the following dates:

Monday 20 to Friday 24 March 2017 (FULL)

Monday 3rd April to Friday 7th April 2017

Monday 26 to Friday 30 June 2017

Monday 18 to Friday 22 September 2017, and

Monday 18 to Friday 22 December 2017 – making this one an ideal early Christmas present!

Please note that, due to the way the dates fall, there will be no Short Course in January 2018.

We take a maximum of ten students onto these short, five-day ‘Experience Courses’ so, if you would like to join us on one of these, please simply enter the dates of the course you would like to attend into the booking form on the right-hand-side of this page.

Handmade wooden hinges

The Chippendale Experience Courses are run by Anselm Fraser, the School Principal, and one of our most experienced tutors.  It is, of course, possible to attend as many short courses as you like – and we have students who, once they have experienced a short course, come back again and again.  One of our short course students (who has now become a regular) commented as follows:

“In one week at Chippendale I learn more than I could in months on my own.  And I do things far beyond what I thought was possible for me.  This knowledge plus this experience is an empowering new reality.  The Chippendale Experience has helped me believe in the possibilities of me as a woodworker.

Additionally … my weeks at Chippendale provide an opportunity to spend five days immersed in a woodworking environment with talented people, every tool I could imagine and no pressure whatsoever.  It’s a great escape!”

There are good pubs, hotels and B&Bs in the nearby village of Gifford and the local market town of Haddington. Lunches are included in the price and provided at the furniture school – with one lunch including a traditional Scottish Haggis with neeps and tatties.

Travelling to Scotland
To make the most of the visit, it is suggested that you plan your stay for up to two weeks. This would give you an opportunity to spend some time in Edinburgh and possibly go on a tour of the stunning Scottish Highlands or enjoy a few relaxing days in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

The fee for each short course is £850 (with a £200 deposit payable to secure one of the 10 places on offer – and the balance of £650 payable at least 2 weeks before the start of the course).  As explained above, students who complete one of our short courses and then go on to sign up for the full-time course will have the cost of their short course fully discounted from the full-time course fees.

Use the “Book A Course” form on the right-hand side of this page to reserve your place on one of our ‘Chippendale Experience Courses’.

Change Your Lifeclick here for Full Course prospectus