The Centre for Fine Woodworking

New Zealand's premier furniture making, woodworking & design school


to the Centre for Fine Woodworking

The Centre for Fine Woodworking is a registered charity with the principal aim of offering high quality tuition in fine woodworking - New Zealand's premier teaching environment for woodworking, furniture making and design.

The school is located in the beautiful Nelson region, nestled into the hillside with a stunning view of Tasman Bay and the western ranges. Nelson has plenty to offer the visitor, and we are happy to work with you in finding suitable accommodation as well as other non-woodworking activities to make your stay here a memorable experience.

We run a wide selection of weekend workshops and short courses for beginners and intermediate level, an 8-week Beginners Intensive and Guitar Making courses. All of our courses and workshops have a very low student to tutor ratio, so you quickly gain an extremely high skill base for follow-on courses, or for your own personal journey towards becoming a woodworking professional or enthusiast.

Our flagship Furniture Makers' Programme is a full-time 32-week intensive course split into four eight week terms. Our ongoing commitment is to offer our students the very real experience of learning from the best in the world and we are delighted to formally announce that the full time 2016 Furniture Makers' Programme will be taught by David Haig, John Shaw, Thorkild Hansen & Brian Reid.

If there was ever a year for you to decide to take that leap and address some of those items on your Bucket List, then 2016 will be the year to enrol on the full time Furniture Makers' Programme - between these four gentleman you will have the opportunity to pick the brains and learn skills from a combined total of over 100 years’ experience of furniture making and teaching.

To quote Brian Reid "David Haig is the best steam bender in the world". So, although we may be a little understated when it comes boasting about ourselves, our students really are getting access to a world-class teaching facility. Listening to our "boys" talking about their former training and education in designing and making, it really is apparent they are the last of a generation of people who learned their time-honoured skills from great mentors. The only way fine woodworkers of the future will be able to learn their skills will be through schools like ours - this training really doesn't exist anywhere else. We already have David Upfill Brown lined up for 2017 and plan to have a continuous schedule in the future of international tutors involved in the full time programme.

And for those of our loyal ongoing short course students - please do be assured that we are most definitely committed to creating the opportunities to offer short course to you by all of our visiting tutors, so you won't miss out.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Furniture Makers' Programme please get in touch. We had a couple of great articles written recently about this year's full time programme and what motivated the eight students to make it happen - do have a look.

See Stuff

See Australian Wood Review

Contact us to discuss the perfect course for you.

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Physical location and postal address
The Centre for Fine Woodworking Trust,
465 Wakapuaka Road, R.D.1. Nelson 7071 (See Map)
E-mail:, phone: +64 3 545 2674


Email Helen for enrolments now For Full Time programme - email John Subscribe to our mailing list for News Our 2016 Course Programme Full Time Course prospectus Friends of the School

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