Short Courses


Short Courses

melbourne school of fine woodworking offers the following short courses to both members and non-members. Some short courses may be scheduled on demand through the year. All courses are subject to minimum attendance levels and full payment is required when you book.

If you are interested in attending any of our short courses please contact us via (email) or (phone) 03 9897 3055.

If you are interested in a course that has not been scheduled, please let us know.  We will contact you to discuss the opportunity to run the course.

Course List

Introduction to Furniture Making – $380

Join Gray Balmer for this two day course for beginners. Gray will introduce you to the process of furniture making including:

  • Introduction to safety on the standing machines
  • Introduction to the use and care of hand tools
  • Accurate mark out
  • Layout of tools
  • Use of saws, hand planes, chisels
  • Practice joinery
  • Sharpening
  • Plans and Drawings
  • Preparation for the purchase of materials
  • Timber selection

This is a stand alone course where you learn the fundamentals required to start furniture making. It is not a project based course but will give you a good grounding if you are intending to join a msfw Tutor Group, or if you want to attend any of msfw’s project based courses.

No previous experience required.

Furniture Restoration – Secrets of the Trade – $285

Ben, our furniture restorer, has 30 years experience of restoring quality furniture for museums and private collections in Australia and England. He will teach you how to restore your treasured period or contemporary furniture and artefacts. With his knowledge of furniture history and understanding of furniture restoration, Ben’s classes are a fascinating and enjoyable learning experience.

Bring along your restoration project and learn how to remove stains, make repairs using traditional glues or decoratively tool leather. Includes French polishing, gilding and contemporary decorative faux finishes.


“With the help of Master Restorer Ben Hodgetts, I’ve brought three family heirlooms back to life and also worked on a number of small projects. Under Ben’s practical guidance, I’ve learnt how to repair structural damage; revive wooden furniture and apply a range of finishes; re-upholster with leather using traditional webbing methods and repair and replace locks and handles.”

Lucy Callaghan



Ben graduated from The London College of Furniture (now London Metropolitan University), completing 6 years of full-time study in furniture studies and antique furniture restoration. He is also a member of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials.

He was awarded the National Diploma of Furniture Studies and the Higher National Diploma of Antique Furniture Restoration and Conservation. Further studies at the London College of Furniture gained him the City & Guilds Award for Furniture Making and he was also the recipient of the coveted London College of Furniture Higher Award in July 1988.

Ben’s most notable commissions have been, The London Museum, The Royal Academy of Art, Sotheby’s, Osprey’s and Terence Conan. In Australia, Ben, with his company South Fitzroy Antiques, has undertaken commissions with many institutions such as The National Gallery, The Johnston & Beleura Collections and for numerous private collectors and dealers.

Box Making – $385 (includes materials)

Join Remy Tramoy for this one day course for beginners. Remy will introduce you to the process of box making using traditional techniques. The course focuses on developing hand skills. At the end of the day you will have a beautiful handmade box to take home.

Remy has a Masters in Joinery and Furniture Making. He has travelled and lived in various regions of France, Germany and Switzerland learning the traditional techniques of each area.

You will be taught how to measure and mark timber, use a hand plane, chisel and saws.

The box is – 100mm x 200mm x 75mm



Router Techniques – $250

Do you already own a router, but feel that you’re not able to realise its full potential? Do you lack confidence in the use of your router? Are you considering buying a router? Then this one day workshop is for you. Topics at this popular hands-on course include safe use of the router, choosing a suitable machine, router bit types and their selection, use of a router table, and design and construction of router jigs and templates.  Please bring your router if you have one.

Plane Tuning – $270

Learn how to renovate an old plane or correctly tune a new one.  At this one day workshop you will learn how to flatten the sole, sharpen the blade and adjust, fettle and finely tune your plane.  Bring at least one plane to work on…and make it sing!

Wood Finishing – $250

This intensive two part workshop is designed for woodworkers wishing to develop their understanding of finishing products and techniques.  The course covers surface preparation, product selection and application techniques through demonstration.  With a wealth of experience to call upon, your tutor will explain and compare the suitability of different finishes.  Includes shellacs, oils, varnishes and waxes.

Tool Sharpening (SH) – $160

This half-day workshop will help you develop a perfect sharpening technique. It will cover the sharpening of chisels, planes, scrapers and spokeshaves and includes grinding, honing, setting and polishing.

Bring some of your own tools and be guided by our instructor to achieve that perfect cutting edge.

2019 Course Schedule


Introduction to Furniture Making (IFM) – $380

Sat/Sun 14/15 September 10am-4pm 3 vacancies
Sat/Sun 12/13 October 10am-4pm 6 vacancies

Furniture Restoration (FR) – $285

Sunday 18 August 10am – 5pm Full
Sunday 24 November 10am – 5pm 4 vacancies

Box Making (Box) – $385

Saturday 7 September 8.45am – 5pm 4 vacancies