Fine Furniture Making, Cabinet Making & Antique Furniture Restoration taught by John Lloyd, a highly respected furniture restorer and maker.

With over 25 years in the bespoke furniture making and antique restoration business, John passes on his knowledge and skills through educational full time long & short courses, suitable for those wishing to train for a career as a designer maker, the serious hobbyist or perhaps someone looking for an income in retirement.

Book your 2016 course to ensure a place.

Education in fine furniture craft


John offers a complete range of short training courses in furniture making skills, antique furniture restoration, traditional hand finishing, veneering & laminating and wood machining.

Perhaps you have only ever made a bird table in woodwork at school or never even picked up a chisel but have a longing to try, you’ll be surprised how much you learn in just a few days of intensive teaching in a professional but relaxed and inspiring environment.

With their new found confidence students, often return for further weeks to extend their skills – creating with wood quickly becomes very addictive.


Supportive and on hand guidance ensures that your time with us, will enhance your development and skills.

John offers full time furniture making and antique restoration courses in blocks of 12 weeks up to one year.  These courses are suitable for those wishing to train for a career as a designer maker, the serious hobbyist or perhaps someone looking for an income in retirement.

Always mindful that the majority of our students must build a successful business career at the end of their time with us,  we are incredibly proud of our students’ post graduate achievements.  John is passionate about passing on his skills and nurturing new talent. Ultimately, having encouraged each student to fulfill their potential and finally seeing them succeed in their ambition is his greatest reward.  A few examples of our graduates’ work may be viewed here.

If you would like to learn more about how our courses would work for you or to meet John and look around the workshops please Contact Us.

Your training is incredibly important to us and will not be entrusted to anyone else, all teaching is carried out exclusively by John, who is available to students throughout the day, from 9 – 5 and often beyond!

Read first hand, what our students say about our courses and the education offered by John Lloyd

We have many testimonials from our students, You can read them all here.

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Andrew Wilson - Guildford, Surrey

I have recently completed two training courses with John: a year-long furniture making course followed by a 12 week course on furniture restoration.  The two courses comprised four consecutive 12 week terms, ending in July 2013.

My training with John involved a complete change in direction for me.  Shortly before starting the course I had retired from a 30-year career as partner of a large international law firm.  I had almost no prior woodworking experience.

Read the full testimonial

My time with John was a revelation and has, I feel, provided me with the ideal foundation for my new career. The content of both courses was practical and well structured, covering all of the fundamentals while still providing scope for the student to explore particular areas of interest and creativity.  Equally importantly, I regard John’s abilities as a teacher as second to none.  He shares his immense knowledge and experience with patient good humour and practical guidance, always encouraging his students to test their abilities and reach their potential.  In short, I would happily recommend John and his courses to anyone who is considering retraining in woodworking.

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Caroline Jones - Brighton, Sussex

Incredibly, I was completely unaware of the precision required in a cabinet maker when I signed up for John’s furniture making course.

My learning curve was dizzying. That said, my time in John Lloyd’s teaching workshop was a treat.

John makes you laugh, but also makes you want to learn. As you’d expect, he knows about all things woodwork, which is great. But as a trainer he is patient and clear – and a little bit wise like Yoda.

Read the full testimonial

Expect to learn your joints, acquire some traditional veneering skills, get non partisan tools advice, pick up some finishing skills, learn the importance and satisfaction of properly sharp tools and even get advice on how to set up a machine shop.

I found the course a fabulously relaxed but productive time, with the added joy of the company of a glue eating dog, “Cake Wednesday”, and a regular revisiting of the Two Ronnies Fork Handles sketch .

More importantly I took away an appreciation of a cabinet maker’s precision and a real drive to achieve that precision in all my work.

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Peter McCoy (12 Week Foundation Course) - Portand, Oregon, USA

John was tremendously patient.  The course taught me hand skills which would have taken years to develop.  Now I feel confident that I comprehend not only the traditional methods, but also how they integrate into current fine furniture making.

I had taken some courses before (in the States) but John’s was not only delightful, I also learned a tremendous amount.  The dovetail practice alone was worth the price of admission.

I now feel confident in my techniques to produce pieces that match my aspirations.

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John Long - West Sussex

I had been considering a major career change to pursue something I was passionate about for some years prior to meeting John to discuss what could be achieved in a year with his tuition and guidance.  By the time I first turned up at Bankside Farm to discuss these ideas with John I had already been researching the various options for retraining for some time.  I had also met with a lot of people running similar courses over this period.  Although the idea of furniture making had completely got under my skin I was acutely aware that I did not know what I did not know so it was quite difficult to know what questions to ask.  

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John was great at explaining his approach to teaching and what one could expect to get out of a year with him with a bit of hard work.  I was also impressed with the fact that John had run a “making and restoration” business so could also approach things from a commercial perspective.  A few months later we met again after and clarified a few other things and so my career transition begun.

The first term provided a great structure with set topics being covered with the objective of developing hand skills.  There was however a large amount of scope for tailoring the projects to your requirements.  As the second and third term progressed there is a lot more scope “going off piste” and I designed the chair I made in my second term, and the cabinet in the third term to learn a combination of specific skills including laminating, some simple carving, veneering, coopering, spokeshave work, making a tambour, knuckle joints etc.  John is always available for help and guidance and the fact that he has, at some point, seen every mistake possible was always reassuring!

The fact that the courses are 100% hands on really worked for me and this focussed approach can clearly develop someone from novice to someone getting great results in a relatively short space of time.  Cabinet making is a huge topic and although a year is only really enough to make a start, after that period you may not be fast but you will be will be equipped to approach most tasks with a good degree of confidence that with a bit of careful consideration you can get the result you want… and for the other tasks you can just pick up the phone to Bankside Farm!  I still do!

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Examples of the knowledge & expertise that John Lloyd has to offer.

John currently writes thought provoking articles for Furniture & Cabinetmaking under it's 'Our Correspondent..'. banner.    He previously wrote a regular series of articles for British Woodworking entitled Fundamentals.  He also regularly reports on in-depth testing of various tools he encounters.  Many of his articles may be viewed here.


Furniture and Cabinetmaking

Furniture & Cabinetmaking is the only woodworking magazine focused exclusively on fine furniture making. It reports on the latest styles, reflects the best of contemporary design, and also respects the traditions of the past, not only in the UK but worldwide. It features projects and technical articles by and for professional and non-professional designer/makers, with the aim of promoting excellence in furniture making.



British Woodworking

British Woodworking is regrettably no longer in print.  It liked to promote British craftsmanship, British timber and British innovation. It focussed on hand skills because it believed they are the beating heart of any workshop, but it also tested the latest machines, power tools and gadgets, and studied techniques that incorporate a wide range of tools and equipment.