Ireland’s First Shared-Access Furniture Workshop

Benchspace Cork

Official Opening this Friday 20th October @ 7pm

Fundit Thank YouOpening Night

Opening Night – Friday October 20th @ 7pm

Its been a hectic six months of preparation, fundraising and building but Benchspace Cork is most definitely up and running. We have received massive support from our crowd funders, our night class makers, our volunteers and our full time makers and we want to take a moment to thank them and to formally open the workshop to Cork.

So please come on down to the workshop this Friday evening and help us celebrate this very special occasion.

Fundit crowdfunding campaign a huge success.

Thanks to everyone who donated, spread the word and gave encouragement over the 5 weeks. We made it, the final total pledged was €8,225.00, exceeding the target by an impressive €725.

We received the email addresses of donors on Friday and we are contact you now to issue invitations and to get delivery details for rewards. Hopefully many of you will come to this Friday night’s opening and we can give them to you in person.

Next we are shopping for a good quality 14″ or 16″ planer thicknesser, ideally a quality used machine. Any sightings, please let us know.

We really appreciate your support, thank you.

Sean, Fergus, Tony & all the Benchspace makers

Tailor Made For You

Have an idea for a furniture piece?

Or, maybe a space that needs something special?

The talented furniture makers at Benchspace can help.

The first step is to start a conversation, contact us through the form at the bottom of the page.

As part of Cork’s exciting new maker space, you will meet other makers, and share their knowledge and experience. There are opportunities for collaboration, inspiration, sharing of costs, networking and just staying in touch.

  • Get advance notice of new classes and a 10% discount as a Benchspace member. 
  • 10% discount on all items except special offer items at McQuillans Tools, Oliver Plunkett St.
  • A R Brownlow and Frank Clark Tools both  offer  trade  prices  to  members, worth  10% to 20% per purchase.
  • New members can avail of a free wood turning lesson with turner Tony Farrell, email us to book your lesson.

Most importantly, membership fees support the Benchspace dream, to make Cork a capital of making, to support makers as they launch their careers. So even if you don’t live here now, you can still help by becoming a member now. Membership fees are an important source of income for Benchspace Cork, which is a not-for-profit organisation.

Membership is for 12 months.

Thank you for your support.

Running Mondays at 7pm from 18 September – 13 November
(8 weeks, excluding Monday 30 October)

At Benchspace Cork you will learn your craft at workbenches located alongside those of experienced furniture designer makers in Ireland’s first coworking workshop.

Please note: structured classes involve making a specific predetermined piece.

Our classes at Benchspace are focused on excellence in making and design. During our structured sessions you will make a set project which will introduce you to the first principles of furniture making, correct marking out, hand tool techniques and sharpening, and the all-important health and safety considerations. We welcome those with no woodworking experience, with projects designed to guide you through the process of becoming a confident woodworker.

For those intermediate students who have previously attended lessons, a somewhat more advanced piece will help develop your skill set and provide you with the fundamental knowledge to help you begin designing your own furniture in the future.

Running Wednesdays at 7pm from 20 September – 11 October  (4 weeks)

Want to get the most from your power tools? This class brings you through all of the most popular power tools in woodwork and furniture making. During the 4 weeks we will progress from basic DIY tool to professional level equipment.

We will demo the tools of the trade and talk you through the most useful tooling and accessories. Then you can try them up for yourself under our guidance and supervision.


– Drills, bits, drivers, countersinks and fixings for wood, plaster and masonry

– Jigsaws and blades for all sorts of material

– Sanders, types of sandpaper and finishing like a pro

– Circular saws and track saws

– Biscuiters and Domino machines for perfect joinery every time

– Routers, cutters, jigs, techniques and router tables

Members receive a 10% discount and early notification of upcoming events.

Always wanted to learn woodwork but didn’t know where to start?

Join us for guided maker sessions in benchspace.
(no experience needed)

We will bring you through creating and finishing the piece.
Along the way you will learn valuable new skills that can be applied to almost any woodwork project.

Benchspace Bites are short introductory sessions where you can make your very own piece in a single class.

Cost to members is €30 + Eventbrite fee. Members also receive advance notice of upcoming events.

This introduction to the craft of furniture making will combine the use of hand tool techniques, power tools and modern machinery. In our well-equipped workshops those with no previous woodwork experience as well as improvers will create a piece of fine furniture.

The nature of timber, its characteristics and working properties will be considered. From there you will learn how to sharpen and hone cutting tools to work effectively. Woodcraft and joinery skills will be learnt through applied exercises. Attention to timber grain and surface finishing will also be explored.

Those who have always wanted to work with their hands, apply woodwork skills at home or possibly retrain as furniture makers in the future will especially benefit from this class.

Teacher: Anthony Aylward
No of weeks: 8 weeks
Day: Tuesday 7pm – 9:30pm
Commences: 19th October 2017

Running every second Saturday from 10am to 2pm (sessions booked individually)

  • Make it youself, let us guide you

Have a project in mind that you’d like to build yourself? Then a Maker Session might just be the answer.

Guided Maker sessions allow you to build your own woodwork project with the help and advice of an experienced furniture maker using the facilities of the Benchspace workshop. You supply your own materials and we will supply the tools, advice and coffee.

We will also include a ‘maker clinic’ for new projects, where you can get advice on how best to approach your project, where to find materials, what equipment you might need to use and how long it might take.

  • 1 hour maker clinic included

We’re starting small, with 2 places every two weeks, but we hope to add more slots as time goes by.

Crowdfunding coming to a close.

With the Friday deadline for their crowdfunding campaign looming, the boys and girls at Benchspace have been working very hard to spread the word and seek support for the workshop fit-out. Amazingly, some generous supporters have pushed us over the finish line two...

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Fundit Crowdfunding

Only 4 days left, its all or nothing, please DONATE TODAY. We are crowd funding to buy professional equipment for the workshop, machines that startups generally cannot afford to buy or house. All donations will go towards buying equipment and installing it. The more...

read more

Benchspace is a not-for-profit shared workshop in Cork City. Our goal is to provide affordable access to work benches and professional standard machinery to local furniture makers and designers, particularly to graduates and early career professionals. We also actively encourage collaboration and co-working to stimulate creativity and innovation in the areas of craft and design, and aim to build links with other creative and manufacturing organisations to make this happen. It is also a place where the public, individually or in groups, are welcomed to come and build their ideas.

This is in line with our vision of Cork is as a creative hub, where entrepreneurs, artists, designers, makers, creatives and techies, work together as part of a vibrant, productive and invigorating creative economy.


Fergus Somers

Fergus Somers

Fergus is a furniture design teacher in CSN in Cork, with an interest in 3D design and digital fabrication.

Sean Breen

Sean Breen

Sean is from Cork and currently lectures in GMIT Letterfrack, the centre of excellence for furniture making in Ireland.

Tony Farrell

Tony Farrell

Tony Farrell is a successful woodturner, his work has been exhibited internationally and is on sale both online and in retail. He is former engineering lecturer in CIT and current chair of Cork Craft & Design, a not for profit that assists craftspeople and designers to market their work through exhibitions, events and through their Shop in Douglas Mills in Cork. He sees the Benchspace project as a natural extension of this work.

Join the Benchspace Email List

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Keep in touch with what’s happening in the workshop. We don’t post regularly, instead we post when there’s something of interest to pass on.

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Interest in Benchspace

Start-ups, start your business here

Benchspace exists to allow makers turn their passions into their professions. If you want to start your own fine woodworking business then we’d like to help to providing space and equipment at an affordable price. Instead of many individual bills, we charge one fee to cover all of your machine, space, power, waste and workshop insurance costs. We work hard to keep this fee as small as possible.

But more than that, we want to create an environment that encourages creativity, cooperation and excellence. By working alongside other makers, and participating in a culture of sharing and collaboration, we believe that together we can become more than the sum of our individual parts. By collectively reaching out to the community and beyond, we aim to establish the reputation of Cork as a centre of excellence for design and making in Ireland and beyond.

A bench space with full access to the machine workshop is €350 p/m including all bills and utilities. 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in then

Apply Now

Ask us a question

Benchspace, Cork