Classic Hand Tools Develop Their Skills With Local Course Providers

Mike, Mary and Fraser recently completed a 5 day course making a chair with Cretingham Crafts

Stewart taught them all aspects of making a chair without using glue or wedges. The magic of green woodworking. They learnt how to use various hand tools including drawknives, froes and spokeshaves to develop skills including cleaving, shaving, tenoning, steam bending and weaving the seats. You do not need any previous experience and all the tools are provided for you.

Fantastic chairs made by all of them and a course to be recommended, described as relaxing by some….

Last week Joy and Mary spent a couple of days on the Sudbourne Printmakers workshop developing their woodcut printing skills. A wonderful location to do a course, including a trip to the local pub at lunchtime – can’t be bad! The workshops run with 4 people creating woodblock prints and 4 people etching – 2 tutors with each group. As well as creating their prints using different methods Joy and Mary learnt about how to use the tools including sharpening them (something lots of people are wary of doing).

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Makers Central – NEC Birmingham – 11 & 12 May

Come and see us at Makers Central again this year on stands A1, A2, P7, P8 and P9. We are being joined again this year by Tormek and for the first time we will have demonstrators from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Arbortech.

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks (P7) – we will have Roger Benton demonstrating Lie-Nielsen tools for us. Roger owns and operates RE-CO BKLYN, a custom design/build furniture shop and urban lumber harvesting operation specializing in harvesting storm damaged trees for lumber in the New York City area. His shop specializes in large, live edge slab tables and desks, as well as solid wood stand-alone furniture. Since it was an interest in classic hand tools and techniques that drew him to furniture making, Roger’s classes always involved choosing, tuning, and getting the most out of planes, handsaws, and chisels.

Roger Benton - Lie-Nielsen Toolworks
Roger Benton – Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Arbortech (A2) – Simon Clements will be demonstrating the Arbortech tools. Simon describes himself as a woodcarver, sculptor and educator. Therefore, visitors may know of Simon through his courses at the Sylva Wood Centre where he has a workshop. Simon will show just how easy power carving can be using Arbortech.

Simon Clements – Arbortech

Tormek (A1) – Pontus Gyllby from Tormek, Sweden is demonstrating the Tormek sharpening system. Pontus has been with Tormek for over 20 years and has played a big part of the company’s growth and success in recent times. With his experience and knowledge in edge tool sharpening, he will demonstrate the sharpening of woodturning, woodworking and other edge tools. Learn how Tormek is the best way to make sharpening easy.

Pontus Gylby – Tormek

Event opening times are 10am till 6pm on the Saturday and 10am till 4pm on the Sunday.

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Midlands Woodworking Show

Friday 22 & Saturday 23 March 10am-4pm
Newark Showground, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY

We are doing things a little different at this years Midlands Woodworking Show.  We are being joined by a number of other demonstrators some of whom you will remember from the European Woodworking Shows.

Brian Walsh

Brian Walsh is a versatile craftsman who makes his living from his woodworking skills.

Covert Craft – Lee Stoffer

Lee Stoffer is a green woodworker with a passion for spoon carving, carving bowls and other functional and beautifully hand carved treen as well.   

Curtis Turner – Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Curtis traces his interest in woodworking to his early childhood and still has the first toolbox he made from scraps at the age of 10.  Curtis was a customer before joining the Lie-Nielsen team in 2007.  His first Lie-Nielsen plane was a No. 4½ bench plane and remains a favourite tool.

Fiona Kingdon

Fiona Kingdon makes unique scrollwork suggested by the wood she finds, the landscapes she loves, their inhabitants, and their stories. 

International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC)

The International Boatbuilding Training College provides the widest range of boatbuilding training in the world and is internationally recognized for the quality of its graduates.

MAC Timbers

MAC Timbers will be bringing their wide selection of British Hardwood blanks and boards.

Over The Wireless – Kieran Binnie

Kieran Binnie is a luthier, writer, and regular contributor to Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine. R

Oliver Sparks

Oliver Sparks is a planemaker working from a rural Northamptonshire workshop. He likes to work high end, and blends traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.

Skelton Saws

Skelton Saws are first class tools and true pieces of fine handmade English craftsmanship.  Handcrafted from the finest quality timber, the handle of a Skelton Saw is produced from beautifully figured rosewood.

The Rocking Horse Shop

Every horse is a handcrafted individual; ready-to-ride horses are available from stock, or you can commission a ‘Special’, made to your own preferred size and style.

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The Windsor Workshop Travishers

James Mursell of The Windsor Workshop has recently updated his range of travishers, we now offer all three:

Deluxe Travisher – the first of the new models is made of the engineering polymer Delrin with a solid brass toe insert in front of the blade.

Travisher Deluxe £150

Wood Travisher – this is the original Windsor Workshop travisher that has been in production for over ten years, made from Hard Maple.

Travisher Wood £120

Black Travisher – the second of the new models is completely made from Delrin, having similar if not better wearing properties than the wood travisher and is almost indestructible, totally waterproof and crack proof.

Travisher Black £105

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Who Forged Your Gransfors Bruk Axe?

Gransfors Bruk from Sweden are famous for their axes and edge tools. They have been hand forging tools for over 100 years and have a deserved reputation for their quality and product range.

Each axe is individually made so you can identify which blacksmith created your axe. The blacksmiths complete their work by stamping the Gränsfors Bruk logo and their own initials into the axe head, as a declaration that the axe has been well made and approved by the blacksmith.

Blacksmiths currently forging at Gränsfors Bruk

AS – Anders Strömstedt
BK – Kahsai Beyene
CS – Christian Sjölund
EB – Erik Blixt
EE – Emil Bohjort Engberg
ES – Erik Sjöström
EW – Eseyas Brhane
JB – Jonas Berglund
LH – Linus Hejmer
MB – Mattias Blixt
MF – Martin Forslund
MS – Mikael Sundberg
TT – Tobias Thelin

Blacksmiths who have forged at Gränsfors Bruk

AM – Anders Magnusson
CK – Claudia Kowalek
CM – Christoffer Malm
DF – David Faxby
DG – Daniel Gräntz
DP – Domingo Gas Pallarés
HD – Henrik Danielsson
HF – Håkan Frank
JE – Joakim Eriksson
JH – John Hårdsten
JMH – Jessica Mona Hassel
KB – Kyle Benkwitz
LP – Lennart Pettersson
MH – Marcus Hulin
MM – Mattias Mattsson
KS – Kjell-Åke Sjölund
LE – Lars Enander
PJA – Paul James Alford
PH – Patrik Hansson
RA – Rune Andersson
UN – Ulrik Nilsson
US – Ulrika Stridsberg

The Gransfors Bruk story
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Up Your Game

Learn to carve with Master Woodcarver, Chris Pye

Just click here, no strings attached – available for a limited time only.

Learn to carve with Master Woodcarver, Chris Pye

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Albert Goes Mobile

Albert Goes Mobile

The Classic Hand Tools team, led magnificently by tech guru Albert, have been beavering away quietly for months in order to update our website  ( to ensure it is mobile friendly.

We have now launched so please refresh your browser and see what our updated website looks like. Our aim was to keep the feel of the original website whilst making improvements – evolution rather than revolution. We think we have achieved this but we are a little too close to it. So we, especially Albert who has had sleepless nights about this launch, would love your feedback. Please let us know what you think.

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Westonbirt Woodworks Open Days

Classic Hand Tools stand at Westonbirt Woodworks

A few shots of the Westonbirt Woodworks venue……


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Bill Carter Was Struck by Cupid’s Arrow, But it Was the Bow that Got Him

Grab yourself a cuppa and have a read of Linda’s (of Hock Tools) interview with Bill Carter. Linda was inspired to write this piece after chatting with Bill & Sarah about the planes at last years European Woodworking Show.




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Inspirational Visit to Start the Year

Super lucky 14-19 year olds in the East of London.

Mike Hancock and Alex Primmer from Classic Hand Tools were privileged and excited to visit the set up for hand tool woodworking training at the London Design and Engineering University Technical College (LDE UTC) on the edge of the Royal Docks.

Despite this being temporary building with smart portacabins bolted together this place was amazing. Principal Designate Geoffrey Fowler gave us the whirlwind tour including the robotics workshops, the Lego Room and so much more.

Students can really progress here and the woodworking hand skills area as important for students to be able to relate to how things are made, rather than it being just a programmed thing for a machine to do. It widens their knowledge.

More to come as in 2019 the college moves a few metres into a state of the art super building overlooking the dock and London’s City Airport.

Our short visit was inspirational.  Well done Geoffrey Fowler and your team for getting it off the ground. Hundreds of lucky students are going to have a magnificent facility to learn and thrive in.

Thank you to Derek Jones for our invite and well done on helping create an impressive woodworking setup here.

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