Furniture making – a dovetailed box with Daniel Pateman

Ref: S4D13508

Book now

2 places available

About this course

Extend your woodworking experience as you learn to make a dovetailed box. You will be taken step-by-step through the relevant techniques, such as the use of cutting gauges, chisels and the basic use of a router.

Course Description

This course is suitable for anyone who would like to extend their woodworking experience to include dovetailing. The aim is to enable you to learn how to make a dovetailed box, through demonstrations and practical work, using basic woodworking tools.

You will be taken step-by-step through all the relevant techniques. Topics covered will include the setting out, cutting and assembly of dovetails, as well as other processes necessary to make the box, such as the use of cutting gauges, chisels and the basic use of a router.

Please note: furniture making is a demanding activity, both mentally and physically, so a good level of fitness is required. Some previous experience of using woodworking tools is helpful


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Tools:
  • Please bring with you any of the following tools, if you already have them and would prefer to use your own, as they may be tuned to suit you better, although they are provided for use at the College so it is not necessary to purchase them specially for the course.
  • Dovetail saw - important note: this is very specific and needs to be a rip cut saw
  • Dovetail marker
  • Jack plane, block plane, bevel edged chisels, marking knife, cutting gauge, steel rule, 6” engineers’ square,
  • piercing saw/fret saw with blades of 18tpi or more, hammer, cork block, scraper
  • If you are interested in purchasing these tools, or their equivalents, they can be purchased from
  • Axminster Tools and Machinery or Classic Hand Tools Ltd.
  • If you are purchasing new tools, the following makes are recommended:
  • Dovetail saw: Veritas dovetail saw, Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw or, if you are familiar with using Japanese saws, a Japanese dovetail saw is also suitable
  • Dovetail marker: 1:6, Veritas Dovetail Saddle marker
  • Please contact Tom Kealy if you need advice on tools if you are considering purchasing these.. Please email: [email protected]. Please include your name, course title and course dates.
  • Please also bring the following:
  • Reading glasses (if worn)
  • Pencils, ideally a clutch pencil, 0.5mm HB
  • Sturdy, comfortable, covered shoes (essential)

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • The timber will be supplied by the tutor at the cost of approximately £85 per person. This charge must be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash, cheque or bank transfer

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Daniel Pateman specialist teacher in furniture design and craft at West Dean College

Daniel Pateman

Subject Leader, Furniture (and Related objects)

Daniel designs and makes furniture to commission inspired by the principles of the arts and crafts movement which had a profound influence whilst serving his apprenticeship at the Edward Barnsley Workshop in Hampshire. He has an affinity for using hand tools and how they creatively contribute to the making process.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in woodworking?

Our Foundation Degree specialising in Furniture is designed to give you well-rounded woodworking theory and craft skills to become a self-employed maker or craftsperson, to continue your studies in higher education or to find employment in the creative industry sector. Find out more