9.30am - 5pm

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The course

This two day course has been designed for students with little or no previous tool sharpening experience, who enjoy working with wood but have found difficulty achieving a satisfying standard of work due to their lack of tool tuning and sharpening skills.

During this course you will learn how to sharpen wood cutting tools to professional standards and select new or second-hand tools that are well engineered. From this understanding of the importance of tool technology and the acquisition of tool tuning skills, you will be in a position to expeience the pleasure of working wood by hand to a finer degree of accuracy and with less effort.  Students are advised not to buy tools or equipment for the course, but bring any tools they have in whatever condition they may be.

The tutor

Philip Hodge is a fully trained furniture restorer, cabinet maker and gilder and has been practising and teaching these skills for over 20 years. As well as courses from his own workshop Philip has also designed and run courses for BAFRA, Norfolk Local Education Authority and the Workers Education Authority. Philip is keen to pass on traditional skills and techniques to interested people as well as keeping them up to date with new materials and technology.

Participant information

Participants should bring with them:

  • Any old woodworking tools that they may have, however damaged they might be, such as: hammers, metal and wooden bodied planes, chisels, gouges, hatchets and axes, bill hooks, drawknives, metal and wooden spoke shaves, sharpening stones, screwdrivers, scrapers, knives, cutting  gauges etc.
  • 3 kitchen rolls (paper towels)
  • 2 sheets of 1000 grit wet & dry paper
  • A candle
  • Notepad and pencil
  • Large tipped, black marker pen (permanent ink)     
  • Protective clothing  
  • Pair of stout shoes or safety shoes (you will not be able to wear sandals or canvas shoes in the workshop)

 Items that you will be able to borrow:

  • Cabinet scraper
  • Ticketer
  • 30cm satin chrome rule.
  • 6000g  Japanese water stone    
  • Honing stones
  • Engineer’s square
  • Cutting gauge
  • No 5 or 5 1/2 bench plane
  • Chisels.  
  • 4 & 10mm glass
  • Mechanical and digital calipers


£199 per person, to include all tuition, teas, coffees and a light lunch.

The Museum

The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum has over 45 historic building exhibits.  It is also home to the award winning and innovative Downland Gridshell, which houses a conservation workshop and artefact store, and is also used for many practical courses.  The Museum runs a full programme of courses in historic building conservation and traditional rural trades and crafts, along with MSc programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation validated by the University of York. Please telephone for further details.

To book, download a form here. Alternatively, fill in the booking request below. Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

Make a Booking Request

This is an initial booking request form, and does not guarantee a place on the course. The Adult Learning Team will check the availability of the course, and reply to you as soon as possible - usually within one working day.