Woodworking – General Update

DSC_0018 DSC_0011 With the bed ready for a delivery date, I started to concentrate on my next projects for January and also the upcoming classes here at Penrhyn Castle and of course online with woodworkingmasterclasses.com.

The stormy weather is a challenge throughout Britain  with the southern regions taking a lashing on many fronts but especially with floodings and the unrelenting deluge of rain. Its difficult to find seasonal normality, partly due to my having spent the past couple of years with the early months in the USA teaching and demonstrating with the winter tour of The Woodworking Shows. I confess missing everyone on the circuit, but I know that this has been a welcome return to a near normalized winter season for me and my family.

Today we launch yet another from our woodworkingmasterclass series

Making wooden planes. This was due to the fact that I used a quick-and-easy-to-make-plane for scalloping and finessing the shaped seat. It’s a neat tool to make and years ago we used to have a tool making course where we made ten tools in a week-long course. From frame saws to layout knives and mallets to planes, gauges and chisels. the course was indeed a winner. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this current plane-making series. It was great fun filming it.

Making Bookcases

Another larger project soon is making bookcases and I have the wood ready for this and all being well we will be filming the series starting this week. Bookcases are always popular. You will notice I am using pine. This is because I want it affordable for students to follow. The bookcase is simple enough but include design nuances that make the bookcase strong and dimensionally resistant to the stresses bookcases are often subjected to. DSC_0015


Upcoming Classes

Classes for learning woodworking skills have become increasingly more important in a millennia where people living in a Western culture will do less and less work involving skill with their hands. As this year progresses we hope to help all the more people to become self-reliant in woodworking by passing on the real skills that made craftsmen exemplary artisans.


We have classes coming up to open the new season with, and two are really designed as beginner courses to prepare people who want to more fully interact at an informed level. Sometimes we have people who want to come on a course but they feel their lack of knowledge is an issue for them. We hold a two-day Discovering Woodworking Course periodically for new and inexperienced students to learn about the tools, how they work and what they can expect them to do. We make joints, dismantle planes learn about the essentials of sharpness and much more. Most often it’s the terms that are used and relating them to the work that holds people back and this course takes the raw beginner to hand tools through the foundational training they need to gain a more confident start.


This first class of the year is to break down any barriers to a working knowledge about tools and terms, techniques joints and all of the related equipment surrounding our hands-on woodworking courses. If you feel ill-equipped to go for our full Foundational nine-day course, this introduction is for you and will gear you up by placing the exact building blocks you need to start your personal development.


Two days devoted to woodworking will dismantle the myths and mysteries. We will remove those spheres of doubt to give you a realistic insight as to what real woodworking offers today’s enthusiasts. No, you don’t need machines to make beautiful things and you don’t need to build workshops at all because what we teach can be done in a space the size of a small bedroom or corner of a garage. You can bring in tools to discuss around the bench and we can advise you on how and where to buy the exact tools you need.

Women Woodworking

We are often asked if there is a beginner course just for women to attend and of course our courses are generally non-gender specific. That said, this year we have designed a course for women who want to learn hand tool methods for working wood. This will provide the much-needed bridge from past eras when certain aspects of education were indeed discriminatory.

The class we have designed, planned and taught over many years helps you to transition smoothly into new realms as a woodworker. No, it’s not particularly a course designed only for women who want to work more with wood, but a course that bridges the gap of disparity between those who accessed woodworking easily and those that found it impossible.


The course is straightforwardly aimed at what to do when tools designed for working tradesmen in the 1800-1900‘s, and even to date, present a hardship for many different reasons to a large percentage of the population. We show you what you can expect from the various tools, what the tools will and will not do, so that you know exactly what adjustments to make to engage them fully to task. We show you how to adapt oversized hand tools and equipment to get them to perform for you. We have asked the questions of our course attendees for two decades now and this class is not new ground so much as the bridge from a past era to today. Knowing the tools, the tasks and the materials they are all interconnected to makes a huge difference to your success as a woodworker.

If you are interested in attending a course designed for women starting out in woodworking please contact Resi at the New Legacy School of Woodworking and she will put your interest on the list. We will hold as many classes as it takes and with a class size of 10, you are assured of maximum assurance. She can be contacted at: [email protected]


  1. The bed turned out beautifully! An heirloom piece for sure. I’m looking forward to an exciting year of Masterclasses.

  2. The bed looks great. Bookcases. I was just looking around my house thinking I need to build bookcases. We’re downsizing over the next few years and we really need to get this place organized. Perfect timing.

  3. Paul I agree with Greg and Kevin that Bed turned out really nice, great job and I am sure the owners will be thrilled to have and use it.

    I also enjoy the Woodworkingmasterclasses and looking forward to 2014 projects. My very first project when I took Industrial Arts in High School back in the mid 60’s was a book case for my Mother. I still have it in my shop to house some of my wood working books. It was nothing fancy but it has held together and my Parents proudly displayed it and used it in one of their spare rooms.

    So I am looking forward to making a nice book case for my home office.


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