The Centre for Fine Woodworking
New Zealand's premier furniture making, woodworking & design school
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the centre?
Please see the instructions on the Nelson page.
Should I bring my own tools?
We provide all the tools that you will need throughout the of the course. That said, we do recommend if you have your own that you bring them along, in order to take advantage of the opportunity to sharpen and tune them. However, if you are coming by air, be aware that Air NZ is very tight on baggage allowances and are charging for every kg over your allowance. Therefore, if you are planning to bring your own tools, we would suggest that you restrict them to those that you will want to tune up on the course; planes and chisels for example.
What are the course hours?
All courses run from 0900-1630 hrs, Mon-Fri.
Can I work after hours or on weekends?
In general, yes. Machines can only be used by students who have been demonstrated proficiency to the tutors and when two or more people are present.
How do I enrol a place on the course?
A deposit of $350 is required to secure your place on any course. Once the deposit is received we will send you confirmation of your enrolment. Full payment of course fees are due 30 days prior to the start of the course. Please note that deposits are non-refundable, and all prices are inclusive of GST.
The course fees can be paid in several ways - please see "Bank Details" below.
How do I pay for my course?
Course fees can be paid by:
Direct Credit to Nelson Building Society, 111 Trafalgar Street, Nelson 7040
By cheque made payable to The Centre for Fine Woodworking, and posted to P O Box 1452 Nelson 7040
Payment can be made by Visa or Mastercard - if you would like to pay by credit card please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there additional costs?
All standard consumables such as glue, sandpaper, etc. are included in
the course fee. Timber costs depend on the particular course. Please
see the individual course descriptions. Exceptional costs, such as
substituting a more valuable timber for the the one normally supplied,
are the responsibility of the student. Students will keep account
for their use of billable consumables on a fortnightly basis and be
expected to settle their accounts within 3 days of receiving an invoice.
How much is the New Zealand Dollar worth?
The NZ$ has recently been very volatile. The current exchange rate can be found here.
What about accommodation in Nelson?
The Centre for Fine Woodworking is located about 14 km from the centre of Nelson in the budding non-metropolis of Wakapuaka.
If you would like some further help in finding suitable accommodation to meet your needs, transport and budget, then please contact Helen.
Listed below are a few suggestions:
Blackmore Cottage & Gibson Cottage, both on 8 Russell Street, Nelson are two completely self-contained, quiet private accommodation available 365 days per year. This is great accommodation for small groups as the cost is approx $160 per night regardless of the number of guests; sleeps up to 6 people in three bedrooms. We have had students stay here in the past and it comes well recommended.
Thackwood Cottage, Wakapuaka, Boutique Garden Accommodation is a ten second walk from the Centre for Fine Woodworking.
Rivington Cottage, Wakapuaka, Nelson is walking distance from the school.
Maitai Holiday Park
Tahuna Beach Holiday Park, Nelson
Tui Cottage, Cable Bay about 10 km from the school.
Julie McLintock. Board offered in furnished self-contained flat. Separate bathroom, toilet, large double bedroom & kitchenette. Own entrance and deck a stones throw from estuary. Ideal place for swimming, kayaking, fishing and country walking. Price negotiated depending on fully catered or doing own breakfast and lunches. meals by arrangement.
Cable Bay Holiday Park, campsites and 1 cabin sleeping 2-3
Short term students have also rented campervans from local family run campervan rental company in Nelson,
What should I wear?
High fashion is not expected. Safety dictates that full cover footwear must be worn at all times. Comfortable shoes are important as you will be standing for long periods of time, at least until you complete your bench stool. The workshop will warm up during the day, (remember we're in Nelson the sunniest place in NZ) so light casual clothing is best to work in.
Can I purchase tools at the school such as plane irons, chisels?
We try to maintain a small stock of commonly needed items. We often bulk order popular tools.
Does the Centre offer a qualification?
We are a charitable educational trust established to foster opportunities in fine woodworking. We offer no qualification. There are many reasons for this but fundamental to our philosophy is the belief that it is the student's work which best reflects his/her ability.
We offer low student to tutor ratios so that individual assessment is ongoing throughout the programme and we actively seek feedback to review our efforts. It is our opinion that a formal process is inappropriate to this assessment. The Centre's reputation is based on the quality of students' work, which cannot be enhanced by outside review. So our students leave us not with a piece of paper but with the beginnings of a portfolio showcasing their design and construction skills.
Can I seek a subsidy for course fees?
Be aware of the Breakout programme of the Funding Information Service which can help students needing funding to find agencies which offer scholarships, awards and grants. You can get information on the programme by visiting www.allaboutfunding.org.nz, but if you do your searches there, you will have to pay for the service. However if you visit almost any library in New Zealand you can have access to this large database of potential funding agencies free of charge. If you choose to apply for subsidy from a worthy organization we will work with you to enhance your application.
Does the school have a mission statement/philosophy?
It seems to be a modern requirement:
Do I need a visa to enter New Zealand?
People from most countries do not need a visa to enter NZ and to stay up to three months. For longer stays, a visa is required and can be used to stay up to nine months. There is a restriction that visitors can only stay in NZ for nine months in any 18 month period. See www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/visit/visitors/
How do I obtain a New Zealand visa?
The Immigration web site (www.immigration.govt.nz/) is fairly straight-forward. Several of our students have used a local immigration attorney to help them with special situations, but in general such help is not necessary. If you feel the need of help we can supply you with the name of the attorney that our students have used, but we are not in the position to provide assistance in obtaining visas ourselves.