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New DVD from David Charlesworth In stock now!

In this DVD, David Charlesworth shows the making and fitting of a first class, English Arts and Craft's drawer. This exhibition quality drawer has an effortless, silky action for two thirds of its opening. It then tightens slightly in the carcase, preventing it from being inadvertently pulled out. The flush drawer slip with scratch bead, gives an elegant result, suitable for the storage of photographs and documents.

See News page for more.

Spend five days with the expert, someone who knows what to do, how to do it and more important why to do it. These techniques will revolutionise your work, whether at amateur or professional level.



1. MY TOOLS DON'T NEED TUNING - most people start using a plane straight from the box and do not realise that even a fine and expensive plane or chisel can be radically improved by tool tuning. Sharpening, fettling and cambering a blade can result in much better results. An old plane would show an even greater improvement.

2. IT'S ONLY A SHARPENING COURSE - actually it is not just sharpening. Students also learn:

  • Proper hand plane holding

  • How to prepare stock by achieving flatness and squareness

  • The importance of reference faces

  • Accurate marking of stock using marking knife and gauges

  • Use of the shooting board

  • Basic controlled chisel technique

  • The opportunity to discuss woodworking problems
  • 3. IT'S NOT FOR BEGINNERS/IT'S NOT FOR EXPERTS - all skill levels are catered for on David's courses. Many people think that they are too inexperienced to come on the course... we have had absolute beginners alongside commercial makers and all have been very happy with the level of teaching. Small groups of 4 or 5 students mean that everyone gets careful attention and an excellent result.

    4. I CAN'T AFFORD IT - in the present economic situation this may be a real problem, but students get intensive tuition by a well-known teacher of high reputation in an established workshop, in a beautiful area of North Devon. Many past students have said that their woodworking has been revolutionised by the knowledge that they gained on the course and this knowledge is reflected in their making and lasts a lifetime.


      "As a retired Nuclear Engineer I have been used to fine tolerances in machined metal components produced by very skilled craftsmen. However I had my eyes opened on the Tool Tuning Course. Not only did I witness the production of 1 thousandths of a inch shaving of wood with a hand plane but it was me doing it, with my own plane and on END GRAIN. Of all of the training courses I have attended in my life this was the most enjoyable and informative of all. A must for anyone contemplating fine woodwork."

    Colin McColm


    "The first thing to say is that I got everything out of the course I hoped and expected to. I had already watched all the DVDs and enjoyed them so I was pretty sure what the course would involve. This certainly was what I experienced and so, in this limited sense, it was a fulfilment of my expectation. But there was a lot more besides.
    I was quite apprehensive beforehand since I had not attempted any work as exact as this before and to work under the close supervision of a legend in exactitude was a bit daunting. I was not sure whether I would be able to achieve the fabled 'one thou full width and length shaving'. While I am sure one could follow the DVD instructions and achieve good results, the gentle personal guidance on the spot was invaluable. This gave me confidence and I came away with my pot of shavings as predicted. One has to be rather selective in whom one tells that one has spent a week in the depths of North Devon in order to come away with some wood shavings. I am glad John was there too since I can counter the odd looks by saying that there was someone willing to come from the other side of the world to do so. The production of such shavings is indeed quietly rather blissful.
    There was more on general technique than I expected shooting and chisel work which was all to the good. I need to review and type up my notes supplemented by reference to your books - to consolidate what I have learned. The logic and especially the counter-intuitive stuff (using a curved blade for accurate work etc) was compelling.
    The whole package of the course, B&B with Merlyn next door and the feeling of being albeit temporarily part of the community was really good.
    Thank you again for a really memorable, productive and enjoyable week. I am coming back if I may."

    Steven Cruikshank

    Consultant Anaesthetist
    Tool tuning course May 2009

    "If you want to learn a very good technique for sharpening and how to fettle a bog standard plane to take a shaving so thin it floats Mr C is the man. Go on his tool preparation course.

    I learnt how to sharpen a chisel and plane blade, how to make an old (
    Stanley) plane take a 1 thou shaving and most importantly (IMHO) how to use these super sharp tools. Using a chisel for paring, more importantly using a plane - techniques for flattening a board, squaring an edge, removing wind. Everything I struggled with to get started in the world of wood got easy overnight.

    Getting direct teaching from someone who knows what to do and why it works is the best thing I even spent money on! It might sound a bit silly, but I didn't just learn how to do things - I learnt how to think about what I was doing."

    Sean Griffiths

    Not affiliated to Mr C, just a very very happy customer


    "When I first started out, a few years back, with hand tools I found your DVDs very helpful. Over the course of time, I have taken some classes and read more books and articles. I'm not sure how or why, but I slowly moved away from your techniques. I have been struggling quite a bit lately, not getting the results I want. I was thinking to myself, I wasn't having these issues when I was starting out. A lot of my issues revolve around sharpening. I then remembered that I always got the best results using your approach. Over the past couple days, I have gone back and watched the first few of your DVDs. I was amazed at how much information I had allowed to slip away or be replaced. I think I only spent 15 minutes in the shop, and my plane blade sharpening has improved dramatically! How could I have strayed off course! I know you might have your critics, but your approach always gives me consistent results. Spending an extra couple of minutes, over other approaches, is worth my time now. I'm now going to go back and review my chisel technique. Do you have any plans to release any new DVDs or travel to the US to teach any classes? Thank you again,"

    Mike lingenfelter

    From time to time one gets a letter or an e mail like this, raising the spirits to a huge degree. Writing is a solitary pastime, so it is particularly welcome to hear from the occasional reader, otherwise one might feel that there were none......... Many thanks to Paolo for allowing me to post this letter.

    " Dear Mr.Charlesworth, First of all let me thank you for all your DVDs and books. After a long career in academia I have decided to have a rest (possibly permanently) from research and writing, and devote my remaining time and energy to working with wood. Your DVD lessons and books are excellent examples of first rate teaching. They are clear, concise carefully worded and therefore easy to follow. You reduce the energetic, inarticulate and rather chaotic demonstrations of others to logical economic and repeatable systems: reminiscent of, and I mean this in a very positive way, surgical operations. Sometimes writers on cabinet making rely on mystification when they are unable to explain some complicated technique clearly. Even worse they are not even aware that what they do instinctively is not obvious to the novice; as though one will suddenly be assailed by furor divinus and become proficient through some inexplicable process of enlightenment. Where others at times engender confusion, and have made me feel like giving it all up, your demonstrations have given me real encouragement and have been truly inspirational. For all this I am deeply grateful.
    I look forward to learning from your new DVD.
    With best wishes "

    Paolo Rossi

    "I've occasionally managed to get my tools sharp (or so I thought) so I know what a joy it is to use sharp tools and what they can achieve. But this has been at the expense of an inordinate amount of time. The result - I don't sharpen my tools often enough and in a consistent way. So I was looking for a course that concentrated on tool sharpening and tuning. David's course seemed to fit the bill and I'd seen some of his videos and was impressed by them. I booked myself on the course and it more than lived up to my expectations, much more.
    David is an excellent teacher, clear and concise. But above all it's his thoughtful and analytic approach to things that I liked. I came away understanding not only how to tune and quickly sharpen my planes and chisels, but why I was doing it in a particular way, the sharpening angles I might choose for particular situations and how the tools are used. My sharpening has been elevated to a level I didn't think possible. For instance, today I was adjusting the fit of a mitre joint and achieving wafer thin shavings. No chattering and no effort. Pure joy. But just as important were all the snippets of information I gleaned. I wouldn't have picked those up working on my own or reading books and watching videos.
    There's no substitute for a hands on approach under instruction from somebody who has seen all the problems before and solved them for you. This short note doesn't do justice to what I learnt and I'll be back next year to do the dovetailing course. On top of a very enjoyable week in the workshop, the setting is in a beautiful part of the country and has an excellent B&B next door, run by Merlyn, who made me feel very welcome and comfortable."

    Ian Knight


    Some students appreciate the opportunity to experience the workshop and its surroundings before committing to the longer course. For long course information click here



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    "Drawer Making And Fitting"
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