Our new years resolution this year was to make classes available to everyone regardless of skill level.
Our 2019 classes kicked off in style last Saturday with our first Benchspace Bites of the year where 5 amazing beginners made an awesome live edge coat rack each going from freshly milled yew to a completed piece in just 4 hours.
Over the next few weeks our 2019 classes will be starting, ranging from
A weekend long course in Green Woodworking at Mark Donnelly’s Sawmill just outside Cork City. Mark is a seasoned woodworker (and supplier of the beautiful pieces of yew pictured above). Over the weekend he will bring you how to create beautiful handmade country craft furniture from freshly fallen wood.
Our Evening Classes begin in the following weeks including
Frame Joinery: which is a great introduction to woodworking suitable for the complete beginner . The talented Martin Horgan will bring you through the basics of handcut joints and the fundamentals of traditional joinery.
Box Making: Suitable for those with a little woodwork experience looking to advance their skills. Learn, from third generation cabinetmaker Anthony Aylward, the correct use of the saw, the square and the plane and use these newly found skills to create a beautiful handmade box.
Our Benchspace Bites classes are sold out until March (with the exception of 1 place remaining for our Rustic Coat Rack on January 29th) but signup here to be notified when we schedule the next class.
For those with a little more experience who want to tackle their own project, we will be holding Make it yourself sessions on Saturday mornings twice a month going forward. Book here
Heading in to the New Year we have a whole host of classes from short Saturday morning Bites classes (for the pure beginner & including the Coat Rack we made with YayCork) to 10 week evening courses on Frame Joinery, Box Making or Machine Skills and Safety.
Mark Donnelly also returns with his second weekend of Green Woodworking in early February.
Our ever popular Make it yourself member mornings are also available to book now for the first few months of next year.
Check out all these and more details on our new Classes page. If you’re purchasing the course or membership as a gift, we can send you out a voucher in the post to give to the recipient.
Commencing mid October, we are delighted to announce that the first ever Benchspace Designer in Residence will be Avian Evans-White.
Avian is a designer & craftsman, who graduated from Rycotewood Furniture Centre (Oxford) in 2017. He finds functional and honest solutions to modern day needs, using local materials. He strives to reduce environmental impact, whilst simultaneously improving comfort and practicality, resulting in a mindful aesthetic.
By avoiding the use of synthetic glues/finishes and applying a low-waste methodology, his designs allow materials to maintain their natural life-cycles. This approach utilises modern, batch-production techniques alongside traditional low-tech processes. Having had a wide variety of experiences in woodwork, Avian’s practical and considered approach has rewarded him with many accolades.
We’ve been working away over the last few months to fund and acquire some new equipment. From a combination of fundraising, donations and earnings from our classes, we have been able to provide some new machines in the workshop and these have come on line in the last few week. In no particular order:
The Rojek 400mm thicknesser was commissioned on Friday. This powerful 3 phase machine replaces the Startrite combination planer-thicknesser we’ve been using up to now. This should be a real boost to the makers in the workshop and should be available to the current Machine Skills class before they finish.
The SCM Surface Planer, which we have had for a while, was also serviced on Friday and the tables tuned up. Brendan has been surfacing elm on it for the afternoon, a good test for it. Its a vital piece of equipment for furniture makers allowing them flatten rough hardwood boards.
The 2.5m table length makes this ideal for straightening long lengths of timber, for table tops, etc.
The Trend Router table along with the Trend T11 router is an excellent routing system, giving precision and safety. Features include 2000w router, feather boards, mitre fence and dust extraction. A great machine for profiling, grooving and rebating.
We’ve had a Festool Domino machine in the workshop for a few weeks now, a very handy tool for fast joinery. They have replaced a lot of traditional mortice and tenon joinery but are a little expensive for all but the busiest makers.
If you haven’t heard of this machine its well worth looking it up.
This one might seem a little out of place with all the woodwork gear but the Ultimaker 3D Printer is part of our push towards providing rapid prototyping technology. We received this one as a generous donation last week and we’ll have it up and running just as soon as we’ve built a dust-proof cabinet for it. Lookout for introductory classes on this later in the year.
The equipment is available to our resident makers immediately, and will be covered in our Machine Skills classes in the near future. It is our plan to continuously upgrade the facilities at Benchspace, to provide the best professional making space we can to makers in Cork.