Recent Furniture Projects

Music Stand by Horatio

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Recent Furniture Projects

Utility Chest and Folding Chair by Rachel

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Recent Furniture Projects

Orkney-inspired chair by Beckie

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Recent Furniture Projects

Bench by Bertie

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The Boat Building Academy has been teaching furniture making since 2008, over the last 12 years the popular 12 week course has taught over 200 students how to make fine furniture.

Our Courses

12-week Furniture Making

12 weeks

An intensive and highly practical 12-week course suitable for complete beginners. In addition to learning hand skills, students also design and make a piece of furniture under expert supervision.

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12-week Advanced Furniture Making

12 weeks

Tailored for intermediate makers: Explore woodworking techniques including furniture construction, steam-bending, CAD, project design/development, and business studies. In the last four weeks, you will make a piece of furniture to your design.

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Short Courses

2-5 Days

The BBA Furniture School runs a popular programme of 2-to-5-day short courses in woodworking, aimed at all skill levels, whether for beginners or the more experienced. We also run courses in marquetry, antique furniture restoration and bench making.

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Boat Building Academy

Our flagship 40 week Boat Building course teaches men and women how to build boats to industry standards.

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News & Events

Robert Ingham @ the BBA

We are delighted to announce Robert Igham will be joining us for a talk on Monday 14th November at the Boat Building Academy. Robert is a renowned furniture designer/maker and a leading figure in the development of the cabinetmaker’s art. Robert uses beautiful and unusual timbers, sometimes in combination...

Read More Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

Furniture Making Course September

Our Furniture Making Course of September 2022 are already on week 7 of the course. Here’s what our furniture making students have been up to: They have recently finished building a Chesnut side table as part of the second phase of the course and they are onto building an...

Read More Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

New Machinist Jerry Fleming

Graduate Jerry Fleming has joined us as the new Machinist, taking over from Sam Robinson, who is taking over the role of Technician later in the month. Jerry brings a wealth of experience to the Academy, having worked in yacht maintenance around the Mediterranean and sailed the Atlantic.

Read More Sunday, October 30th, 2022


The course tutor was very experienced. Steps were broken down nicely so they were easy to understand. A relaxed environment to learn in. Fantastic tools and workshop.

...Was great to have an insight into the boat build projects.

Adam Swires, Intro to Woodwork Short Course 2022

"My experience at the BBA was fantastic. I loved my time here and I learned a huge amount".

Lewis Ashby-Whelan, 12 week Furniture Making 2021 & Advanced Furniture Making 2022

“Having spent the last 20 years in financial services, I was definitely on the look out for a change. I wanted to do something that gave me enjoyment on a daily basis and enabled me to express a creative side that was longing to come out. I have always been interested in working with wood, over the years building sheds, decking and restoring the odd item of garden furniture. So a fine furniture making course, working to fine margins with hand tools fitted? (well actually, I was made redundant so why not!) I heard of the course through a friend who spoke highly of it so I took the plunge. It was so different to anything I had experienced before, but I say with all honesty that I had a blast, learning every day and being given the freedom towards the end of the course to really explore wood and what I could do with it. I made loads of items in time for the final day's show, with the pick of the bunch being my Steamer trunk bar.

I had accumulated many tools over the years and came to the course with ‘loads of gear but no idea’ now I am confident that this is the right career choice for me. I have a fully set up workshop and I have had my first commission. Loving the wood always."

Andy Staines, 12 week Furniture Making 2017

“I did the 12 week woodworking skills course in the summer of 2017. I had found myself unexpectedly retired after 30 years as a GP. The previous summer I attended the one week short course and was hooked. The 12 week course exceeded my expectations on every level. Firstly, the place: the location is wonderful but the energy is extraordinary. Secondly, the students on the boat building course, the fantastic administration staff and Wendy with her remarkable breakfasts give the place an amazing vibe. The body of knowledge held by the instructors must be truly unique.

I have been fortunate to have had some great teachers in my time as a doctor but I have never been taught by anyone as inspirational as Will. His quiet expertise as he demonstrated a joint in 10 minutes that we would spend several days reproducing was one thing but the way he encouraged and developed our project pieces was the highlight. He quietly challenged and encouraged us to aim miles above and beyond the level we thought we could achieve. Every disaster (and there were many) was met with a solution. Being taught by a master craftsman was a huge privilege. Since the course, I have built and equipped a workshop at home and I daily think of the huge amount of knowledge I gained in that 12 weeks. I cannot recommend this course enough.”

Mark Couldrick, 12 week Furniture Making 2017

When I started my 12 weeks fine furniture course at the Academy, I was very excited, however, this course has managed to exceed these high expectations of way beyond what I could hope for. The teaching was precise, fascinating and well-paced, we had to be dedicated too, it was a lot of work and it certainly felt like the money invested in this effort was not in vain. The tools, machinery, material and facilities were perfectly adapted to the course and everything was in place to make you succeed. This course was undeniably the best training I ever received and I cannot recommend it enough.

Laure Mora, 12 week Furniture Making 2017