Make your own Wooden Chair Course

    In this woodworking workshop you will learn how to make a chair. Take this course if you want to get your hands dirty and start making your own furniture

    Woodworking class hosted by Ben Willis Woodcraft

    Beginners welcome

    Ten session course

    Ben Willis Woodcraft, SE19

    What you'll learn

    Ladies and gentleman, come and witness history! Obby is bringing you the first greenwood chair-making course in London EVER. 10 weekly sessions may be a commitment but boy is it worth it at the end - make your own heirloom in the form of a simple Windsor-style chair, without requiring any woodworking experience at all!

    In this class

    Firstly, learn how to fashion fresh timber, straight from the log, into the legs, stretchers and spindles (chairs main components). You'll be using axe, drawknife and spokeshave to do this or, for the more adventurous amongst you or for those who've taken part in Ben's introductory course, you can try your hand at turning these parts on a traditional foot-powered lathe.

    You'll then make your seat, using traditional 'bottoming' tools; the adze and travisher. Then, time for some bending - using steam and a bit of magic to bend the comb (top bit) of your chair to a nice head-cradling curve. After a bit of jiggery-pokery to put it all together, you'll have the finished article, for all the world to see!

    Ben is wood-crazy and has plenty of teaching experience - he'll help you throughout the course to make sure you're happy with that Windsor-chair of yours!

    Now you can

    • not be embarassed when you sit on a chair and break it - now you know how to make your own!
    • fashion all kinds of wooden creations in the comfort of your own home (pending a few tools here and there)
    • go wild! Follow in the footsteps of Joseph himself, or build an awesome treehouse for the kids (assuming kids still play in treehouses?)

    Did you know?

    Greenwood has 100% moisture content relative to air-dried or seasoned wood, which is considered to be roughly 20%. Greater moisture allows it to be shaped and cut far easier, precisely the reason you'll be using it in this course!'


    Basic materials are covered, but there will be an additional charge for the seat material. This will be £20-30, depending on what I have in stock at the time.

    Class location

    Ben Willis Woodcraft, Crystal Palace

    3 Stoney Lane

    SE19 3BD


    Dates & times

    Thu 11 Jan, 7:00pm - 9:30pm (all sessions)

    Thu 18 Jan, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 25 Jan, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 1 Feb, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 8 Feb, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 15 Feb, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 22 Feb, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 1 Mar, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 8 Mar, 7:00pm - 9:30pm
    Thu 15 Mar, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

    None of the dates work for you? Let the host know and you will be notified when new dates are added.

    About your host, Ben Willis Woodcraft

    Ben Willis Woodcraft is an independent wood workshop based in Crystal Palace offering a chance to get back to nature by using green wood to make a bowl, stool or chair from scratch.

    Ben makes bespoke furniture and it all starts this way - as a log, as far as is possible freshly cut from the woodland. Aside from the practical advantages of using material in this form, as previously described, an added benefit is that it sustains the ancient practice of coppicing, a sustainable method for managing woodlands in which trees are cut, allowed to regrow again for a period of time, before being harvested once more - and so on.

    Ben was for a long time fascinated watching demonstrations at craft shows by skilled craftsmen and women of some of the old woodworking techniques. Eventually, Ben got around to signing up to a week-long chair-making course in Herefordshire with Mike Abbott, one of the leading recent exponents of the craft and a key figure in the revival of traditional woodworking techniques. Predictably, he was hooked, and jumped on the chance of returning to Mike's workshop in the woods the following year to work as his assistant for a season.

    This gave Ben chance to learn the craft in depth from someone with a huge amount of knowledge. Since then, Ben has been honing the skills he learnt from Mike learning more from others and developing his own ideas and approaches to the craft.

    Contact host

    Flexible cancellation policy

    Any class can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.