Making a table

Alumnus Tony Bramwell recently contacted us with a delightful tale about about his experiences of studying at Reaseheath. Here’s his story:

Console table with two drawers - American walnut with lacewood and ebony inlay

Console table with two drawers – American walnut with lacewood and ebony inlay, by Tony Bramwell

Back in 2011, I signed up for evening classes in Joinery at Reaseheath, with the aim of brushing up on my DIY woodworking skills. I enjoyed the course, so I enrolled in a longer ten week class. Our lecturer, Dave Allman, encouraged us to bring along any ideas. I came to the class with plans for a hall table that my daughter had asked for. Dave was really positive about the project and immediately set about explaining how to make the different joints, where to source the timber and so on. He remained supportive throughout, and the end result was a lovely oak table that I was able to present to my daughter, much to her delight.

Wall-mounted bangle cabinet in cherry wood, Tony Bramwell

Wall-mounted bangle cabinet in cherry wood, by Tony Bramwell



But something more happened. I found that the three-hour class seemed to be over in an instant as I became completely engrossed in designing, cutting shaping and assembling the timber, supported by Dave’s constant and unwavering enthusiasm.

I realised that this might be the activity I had been looking for as a way of making good use of my forthcoming retirement, and I began to look at the possibility of taking this up as a craft. As a result, immediately after my retirement in 2013 I signed up for a full time one-year course in designing and making fine furniture with a master craftsman near Oxford. This was a wonderful and deeply rewarding experience; you can see two examples of the pieces of furniture I made in the pictures below, and I am now building my own workshop so that I can pursue this wonderful activity full-time.

It all came from a short course in Joinery at Reaseheath, and the wonderful enthusiasm of our lecturer, Dave Allman, to whom I will always be grateful.

Tony Bramwell in his workshop 'making a table' article

















Tony Bramwell,  short-course in Joinery, 2011

Inspired by Tony’ story? Find out more about the range short-courses currently on offer in our Construction department here.