Obby guides

Discover the world of woodworking

woodworking classes in London

Woodworking is one of the oldest and most traditional arts that we have on Obby. Find out all about its history and its development to a skill into the modern era.



Woodworking through the ages

The history of woodworking traces right back to the beginning of mankind, with wood being used for tools, weapons and instruments. Wood has been used by every civilization to create both practical and decorative objects. Ancient Egyptian drawing dating back to 2000 B.C show depictions of wooden furniture, decorative objects and weapons. Wood has been used to create so many other things, including ships, infrastructure, vehicles and smaller things such as jewellery and religious artefacts over the years. Woodworking as a skill has developed with the fashions but also with the other tools that have been invented to remain one of the most popular industries in the tertiary sector.

Woodworking in the modern era

Today woodworking we know as a large scale, skilled industry. We take for granted the wooden furniture, the amount of it we have in our houses and come into contact with on a daily basis. The developments in mass production tools and factories have made it easy to forget the skill and talent of the designers and the carpenters that produce a lot of the infrastructure, daily objects and landscaping we come across today. Woodworking is the skill behind the creation of bridges, buildings and the houses we live in. It is a huge part of western culture, and it's important not to forget the history it has come from.

Woodworking in the modern era

Today woodworking we know as a large scale, skilled industry. We take for granted the wooden furniture, the amount of it we have in our houses and come into contact with on a daily basis. The developments in mass production tools and factories have made it easy to forget the skill and talent of the designers and the carpenters that produce a lot of the infrastructure, daily objects and landscaping we come across today. Woodworking is the skill behind the creation of bridges, buildings and the houses we live in. It is a huge part of western culture, and it's important not to forget the history it has come from.

Tools of the trade

Woodburning pen

You can use a wood-burning pen to create pyrography. They range in price and can cost in excess of 100 dollars but this great value pen, the Walnut Hollow Versa Tool, has variable heat control, as well as a case for the various tips. It costs around £25 but is perfect for a beginner before you move onto the higher end stuff.

A Wood chisel set

These are common tools that you will see in a woodworking studio. Wood Chisels are important for any woodworking project and consist of a blade and a handle to accurately cut and shape wood with ease. There are hundreds of different sets to choose from, ranging from the more design heavy chisel sets to the practical heavy duty sets hat have handles with a metal striking cap prolongs it's life and is able to withstand hammer blows.

Files

Files are needed as wood is an unpredictable material to work with as every piece is different. Each cut into the wood might reveal imperfection or ridges in the make-up of it and files are needed to round those off to finished pieces. Files are also used for creating texture and famous 'bastard cuts' which are needed in more intricate woodwork.

Sandpaper

Sandpaper is used to smooth the surface of the wood so that it has an even finish and an attracting appearance. It also reduces the amount of splinters that are protruding from any recent cuts making the wood more serviceable.

Sawhorses

Sawhorses are available in singles or pairs and are an essential construction tool. The are designed to hold a piece of wood steady for sawing but can also be used to support a plank, forming temporary scaffolding. They are also known as a trestle or mule and a short sawhorse might be called a pony.

Mortising Machines

Ideal for the serious DIY woodworker, craftsman & woodworking enthusiast, this a mortiser creates deep square recesses accurately, consistently and simply. At a stroke, it removes the otherwise long process of marking up and producing correctly proportioned, straight sided hand cut mortice every time.

Class reviews

What learners are saying about our woodworking classes

review
Alina
Been on 4 Obby classes
The evening was lots of fun and very instructive. I took home some beautiful chopsticks and a stand which I'd made. I would also now feel confident in using the tools and methods learnt. Would love to do more classes!
review
Spencer
Been on 2 Obby classes
Really great course . Jo is a very good teacher - relaxed, but full of instruction. We all got to learn different techniques, and how to use tools and devices which are specific to green woodwork (and not available in any diy store). I would definitely recommend this course.
review
James
Been on 2 Obby classes
A really enjoyable day with gentle attentive tutors, tucked away in a quiet little park in London. It really is a lovely thing to take a log of fresh green wood and chop, carve and whitlle it away into something you can use every day. A very friendly supportive and safe atmosphere is cultivated and I think everyone left very happy with their day's work. I'd imagine sales of axes, woodcarving knives and various guide books are boosted every time the course is run. Recommended.

London's woodworking scene

The London woodworking scene is proud to be very local. Taking pride in England's abundance in the material, a lot of the woodworkers and studios try to source their wood locally. It makes sense that the London woodworking scene is a fan of the natural landscape and in fact one of the largest woodworking schools, London Greenwood, is situated literally in the elements. It's studio is open to the elements in a wood, on the outskirts of Abney Park in East London.

We source all our materials from within the United Kingdom, and as such, we feel it is essential to also collaborate with local artisans on our design projects. Each project inspired by acts of ritual and ceremony, such as cooking, drinking tea, or writing a letter. Deeply ingrained with tradition, these acts often take time to prepare and complete. In a fast-living, online world, our designs respect the rich history of these tactile traditions and celebrate the time taken to enjoy them.

My eyes were opened to this whole world of possibilities of what you can do with a log and some hand tools. I like the idea of being able to pass that on to other people.

Meet our teachers

The talented masters behind our woodworking classes

Barnaby Carder is an internationally respected leader of the “Wood Culture Renaissance” he specialises in the axe and knife carving of Spoons. Working with his passionate team, he has set up The Green Wood Guild, based at the Stepney City Farm.

Dovedale design studio is a London based luxury design company specialising in the small-scale limited edition production of handmade wooden items. The ethos of the company was a return to local, handmade products, designed and made in London using materials sourced from the UK in collaboration with other local craftsmen

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.

Is it your first time visiting Obby?

Join the club and get £10 off your first class

Hand Selected classes

Curated by Obby - London's leading learning provider

Endless opportunities
With over 1,000 classes, courses, workshops in London to choose from, there is no better place to find your perfect class.
Trusted teachers
We vet all our teachers personally, to ensure the highest quality teaching - so you don't have to worry
Obby guarantee
We ensure quality. If your class doesn't reach your expectations, we'll give your money back.

More categories

Choose from London's favourite courses & classes

art classes in London

Art

crafts classes in London

Crafts

drinks-and-tastings classes in London

Drinks & Tastings

performing-arts classes in London

Performing Arts

health-and-beauty classes in London

Health & Beauty

mindfulness-and-wellbeing classes in London

Mindfulness & Wellbeing

photography classes in London

Photography