Woodwork for Women

Ref: C2523566

Do something different, learn new skills and change old attitudes, this course encourages students to choose a project, design & construct it, after learning how to use tools and improve techniques in a helpful, friendly atmosphere with attention to Health & Safety at all times. Students comment that learning in a co-operative working group, where differences are respected and equality matters, make this course a valuable 'social occasion.' Many students make things for the garden, storage solutions for the home, or items related to other interests which cannot be bought, or aren’t available in the right size.

Course aim

To enable complete beginners to learn about timber & joinery skills in a friendly, women only environment, in order to design, plan and construct a project, within certain constraints; beginners are encouraged to start with a realistic plan.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for women only as it is held in a women's centre
  • willingness to learn new skills & work with others measuring & perform simple sums is useful but not essential Bring reading glasses! *ability to stand at a bench & grip tools is essential. Please discuss any disabilities prior to enrolling.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Use, maintain and safely store hand and power tools applicable to the choice of project undertaken. We start with basic hand tool skills, growing in difficulty as students gain confidence and skills, then power tools may be used if a student wishes.
  • Design skills are covered, small groups will work together making 'simple' working drawings, adding measurements and transferring information to a 'cutting list' of all project components, info on timber properties covered.
  • Skills for project will be shown&practiced for improvement. Students then plan the order of tasks in project construction (design/cutting list, timber selection & component prep, labeling & cutting joints, checking & fitting)
  • Finally, various assembly techniques used to finish the project. At this point, students can add various decorative features, usually by hand, if they wish. These can make a project look spectacular (as opposed to well made) if well done.
  • Health & safety is stressed at all times, reinforced and checked to ensure our workroom is a risk aware environment. Demonstrate safety in the workshop and safe working practice at all times including minimising risks to self and others

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • Advice, encouragement and many problem solving techniques are shared throughout all sessions, we discuss, observe, measure, touch and manipulate work done in order to evaluate accuracy.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress
  • We will discuss & assess if practice work is fit for purpose, can the 'next stage' can be started. Numeracy issues re Design/Measuring exercises, help given to get the sums right.

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • Strong flat shoes, reading glasses if rqd, tie hair back, old clothes, bring a pencil, tape measure/folder, T&coffee. Students pay £0.50p - £1.00 per week, depending on the project size (small £3-£4, large £5-£12)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Project design: measure any 'obstructions' e.g. electrical sockets/switches, window cills/skirting boards, door openings etc, and the size items to fit 'in' eg books, dvds.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Continue “Woodwork Course” progressing from basics to advanced techniques & Projects Colleges offer Carpentry & Joinery Construction Design including furniture at Degree Level

Download full Course information sheet

Woodwork for Women


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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