Family bushcraft activities

Wild North Discovery

Bushcrafts, wild food foraging, birdwatching, wildlife, nature and ancient craft skills in North East England and the North West Highlands of Scotland

Bushcrafts cooking fireThe pole lathe - make a chair

The ancient craft of the pole lathe: making a chair

This week is aimed at those who are familiar with the pole lathe and would like to improve their skills. You’ll make a chair with a woven sea grass seat to take away with you. You’ll get plenty of practice and expert guidance working on a carefully selected project that will develop your skills with each of the main chisels. You’ll learn to make simple joints used in chair making. You’ll discover the uses and properties of the various trees and the pleasure and satisfaction of working with green rather than seasoned wood.

Day One

An introduction to chair making
Selecting the wood
Cleaving revisited
Steam bending
Introduction to the week’s project
Making the chair parts
Day Two
Making the chair parts
Drying legs and stretchers
Steam bending back legs
Day Three
Making the chair parts
Steam bending back legs
Drying legs and stretchers
Day Four
Steam bending back legs
Drying legs and stretchers
Assembly of parts
Day Five
Finish assembly
Weaving a sea grass seat
Day Six (optional depending on ability of participants)
Finish assembly
Weaving a sea grass seat
Duration: 5 to 6 days depending on group: 7 to 8 hours per day

Cost: 250 per person for two people; 100 per additional group member.

Individual one-to-one booking available at 500. Accommodation not included; see booking information.

Booking: Ring or email to book tel. 01388 529154 or email then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and make your payment by cheque or click on the button below to pay online. Download booking form

Further information: Minimum group size two; maximum five. Participants should be 16 or over.
Although not too strenuous an activity you will need to be able to stand at the lathe for several hours pushing the treadle with your foot. Bring a packed lunch each day.

The activity leader has nearly 30 years experience in greenworking and the pole lathe and is DBS checked.

Location: North Pennines (Weardale) and North West Highlands

Booking options

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