TOTAL COST: £495 INCLUDING 5 DAYS TUITION, A SIMPLE LUNCH, TEA & COFFEE EACH DAY, 2 WEEK HOME STUDY COURSE SECTION, COURSE MANUAL & ALL MATERIALS. A DEPOSIT OF £150 IS REQUIRED IN ADVANCE TO SECURE YOUR COURSE PLACE.
Five days of the course (Monday to Friday) are entirely practical, hands on, and are conducted at our course venue near the centre of the beautiful cathedral city of Exeter in easy reach of the M5 motorway, railway stations and airport.
There is also a 2-week home study part of the course that provides the essential background theory to many aspects of the practical course work. This is designed to be completed by you prior to coming on the practical part of the course. Completing this short home study section ensures you will be prepared for and get the most out of the practical part of the course.
A course manual is included with the home study course, it explains the techniques you will be learning, so nothing will be forgotten when you get home after the course. This course is for the complete beginner and acts as a basic introduction to the fascinating world of antique furniture repair, conservation and refinishing techniques. You will receive plenty of one-to-one tuition from Peter and Josie Thomson and be taken, step by step, carefully through some of the basic cabinet repair and traditional hand finishing techniques required in the sympathetic restoration of antique furniture. This course is similar in structure to the weekend restoration course but instead of two days we have five. This means we cover more topics, and the topics that are the same in the weekend course, are covered to a greater depth in this course.
You will learn how to sensitively and efficiently dismantle fine antique furniture without doing further damage to the piece. You will learn about our dismantling methods, the reversed clamping system, paired wedges and other tools used for this purpose.
Once the piece of furniture is apart, you will learn about our methods and the tools used to efficiently remove nails, screws, old glue and dirt from the joints, splits and cracks in the right way, so all original surfaces and the integrity of the joints are preserved.
Then we will show you how to reassemble the piece of furniture using the right clamping systems, the right glues and again ensuring all original surfaces are preserved.
You will learn how to let in a small veneer patch. First choosing the right section of veneer so it matches the piece of furniture in figure, pore size and colour.
You will learn how to re-glue a small area of lifting veneer.
You will learn how to sharpen a chisel and a plane iron manually and with a sharpening machine.
You will learn the careful cleaning and re-waxing of an original antique surface.
You will learn the correct solvents to use, when removing old perished polish from an original antique surface.
You will learn about shellac polish, its history, how it is made, how to use it safely and how to store it. (Shellac is the only varnish to use on antique furniture. It is an ingredient in the making of French Polish)
You will learn how to make and use a polishing rubber, the tool used to apply shellac polish.
You will learn how to treat woodworm infestation
You will learn about wax polish, how to use it, its history, how it is made and how to store it.
You will learn how to flawlessly fill small and large gaps and holes.
You will learn how to remove stains and marks from a polished surface without needing to use solvents.
You will learn how to remove stains and marks from an unpolished surface after using solvents.
Health and safety in the workshop.
You will be shown some of the ways to spot a fake.
You will be shown how to recognise the different woods used in the making of antique furniture and how they change in appearance over time.
You will learn the importance of original surfaces and how to preserve them.
We will provide you with a reading list to learn more.
We will provide you with a list of suppliers of restoring materials.
You are invited to bring photos of simple furniture restoration projects you are planning for the future. We will evaluate the pieces originality, age and the woods from which they are made. We will also provide restoration advice for you to carry out after the course. It will not be possible for you to bring any furniture to the course.
This course is held in our compact, well equipped attached workshop; Situated near the centre of the beautiful cathedral city of Exeter within easy reach of the M5 motorway, railway stations and airport.
The atmosphere is enthusiastic yet relaxed and the workshop is light, warm and the perfect learning environment for the three people (on average) attending each course. Please see Places to Stay for advice on accommodation in Exeter.
The first tutor is Peter Thomson. He is a 4th generation master craftsman. He completed a traditional training at his family’s antique furniture restoration workshops and then attended West Dean College where he received a B.A.D.A diploma in antique furniture restoration and conservation in 1974. He has worked for the National Trust, Sotheby’s, the Jordanian Royal family, museums, private collectors and dealers both here and in the U.S.A. He started teaching over 35 years ago. He has renovated some of the world’s most rare, beautiful and valuable antique furniture.
The second tutor is Josie Thomson. She completed her training with distinction 14 years ago, a master craftswoman, specialising in refinishing and French Polishing techniques. Her ability to render a difficult antique furniture repair invisible is unsurpassed.
28th June to 2nd July 2021
12th to 16th July 2021
26th to 30th July 2021
16th to 20th August 2021
30th August to 3rd September 2021
13th to 17th September 2021
27th September to 1st October 2021
18th to 22nd October 2021
1st to 5th November 2021
15th to 19th November 2021
29th November to 3rd December 2021
17th to 21st January 2022
28th March to 1st April 2022
9th to 13th May 2022
18th to 22nd July 2022
12th to 16th September 2022
7th to 11th November 2022
The course runs on Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm - Lunch - then from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with tea & coffee breaks at 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.
TOTAL COST: £495 INCLUDING 5 DAYS TUITION, A SIMPLE LUNCH, TEA & COFFEE EACH DAY, 2 WEEK HOME STUDY COURSE SECTION, COURSE MANUAL AND ALL MATERIALS. A DEPOSIT OF £150 IS REQUIRED IN ADVANCE TO SECURE YOUR COURSE PLACE.
We provide an attractive Gift Card with an enclosed course voucher that makes one of our courses the perfect birthday or other present.
Students carefully taking pieces of antique furniture apart using the dismantling and labelling systems from this course. The third photo shows a table ready for reassembly.
Students carefully reassembling pieces of furniture using the methods from this course.
Work in progress by a student using the methods learnt on this course
Work in progress by a student using the methods learnt on this course