Short Courses in Portsmouth

Spring 2022 Short Courses

Learn something new or improve your existing skills with IBTC Portsmouth.

Book an unforgettable experience, learning woodworking & boatbuilding skills in the very special surroundings of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

More information on each course is below, to reserve your place or find out more contact the College at info@ibtcportsmouth.co.uk.

Gift Certificates are available for individual courses or any amount.

 

100% of Short Course participants would recommend our courses to their friends.

  • Courses run 9.30am to 5pm in our purpose-built training facilities
  • All tools and materials are provided
  • Most courses are suitable for beginners - see individual listings for details
  • Well-equipped break area with free tea & coffee, a microwave and fridge
  • Use your lunch hour to visit one of the on-site restaurants, explore the Historic Dockyard or go for a stroll around nearby Gunwharf Quays shopping centre. 

 

Download the Short Courses Brochure 

 

All course participants must be 18+


One-day Courses

Woodworking Basics

Interested in working with wood but don’t know where to begin? Take away the fear with this one-day introduction to the foundational woodworking tools; saws, chisels, planes and marking gauges.

Our experienced Instructor will share their knowledge with you as you learn how use hand tools with confidence and skill. Learn techniques including how to accurately mark timber, cut to a line, produce a square cross-section and use a chisel to remove excess wood cleanly.

Suitable for beginners

Dates  Tues 22nd March

  Thurs 14th April

  Tues 31st May

Price  £105


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Saw Sharpening

Participants are encouraged to bring their own saws in for this hands-on masterclass in sharpening different saw types.

In the morning we’ll look at crosscut saws and how different rake and fleam angles affect how cleanly and quickly the saw cuts through timber. The afternoon will be spent considering different rip saws and how to sharpen a tenon saw with a variable-raked rip tooth to make it easier to control and use.

Suitable for beginners

Date  Thurs 24th March

Price  £105


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Hand Tool Sharpening and Maintenance

Perfect for beginners, this course can teach you how to set up, sharpen and care for all your woodworking hand tools. A well-made hand tool can last a lifetime, or even two! Master the techniques you need to keep your favourite tools in tip-top condition with this comprehensive one-day course.

Don’t have a full set of tools? Don’t worry, we can provide tools for you to practise your skills on. Let us know which tools you'd like to learn about when you make your booking.

Suitable for beginners

Date  Fri 1st April

Price  £105


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Caulking

Caulking is the time-honoured technique for sealing the gaps between planks, vital for building or restoring carvel planked boats. On this course you will learn how to prepare the work site, select and use different caulking materials, and pay-up the seams, using caulking mallets and irons. You’ll also learn how to select and use mastics and tar to seal the seam.

Suitable for beginners

Date Tue 12th April

Price  £105


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Marine Painting and Finishing

This one-day course encompasses both the theory and practice of protective and decorative finishes for watercraft. Find out about the different products and paint systems that are available and the perfect application techniques for each.

The practical sessions will focus on how you can use these products and achieve great results by hand.

Suitable for beginners

Date Fri 6th May

Price  £105


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 


Two-day Courses

Woodworking Basics - Ship's Chest Making

Keen to learn a host of woodworking techniques in just two days? Then this beginners' course in constructing a Tudor-style storage box is the one for you. Develop skills in precise sawing, joining wood, accurate hammer work, letting in a hinge and hand-finishing techniques.

Choose between a traditional Van Dyke brown stain (as pictured) or a clear wax to highlight the oak grain and the copper boat nails used in the construction of this attractive and useful piece of furniture.

Suitable for beginners

Dates  Tues 29th - Wed 30th Mar

  Tues 3rd - Weds 4th May

  Mon 16th - Tues 17th May

Price  £300


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Hardwood Mallet Making

Historically, a mallet was one of the first objects a boatbuilding apprentice would learn how to make, and it’s something we still teach on our one-year boatbuilding course.

Made from just two pieces of wood, a mallet is a surprisingly complex object to shape and construct. No glue is required in its manufacture; friction is all that’s needed to hold a well-made mallet together. On this two-day course you will learn how to make a tapered mortice and neat stopped chamfers, the final mallet will be finished with a coat of refined linseed oil.

Suitable for beginners

Date Thu 10th - Fri 11th Mar

Price  £192


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Basic Joints

Join this masterclass on essential joints used in furniture and cabinet making. Over two days, our Instructor will guide you in the construction and execution of tee-halving, cross-halving, mortice & tenon and bridle joints. Develop your accurate chisel-handling and measuring techniques under the expert guidance of one of our joinery Instructors.

These techniques will allow you to add finesse and refinement to your future woodworking projects.

Some experience preferred

Dates  Thurs 17th - Fri 18th Mar

Price  £192


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Hand Tool Restoration

Why buy new tools when you can restore characterful older ones? In this two-day course you will learn how to breathe life into worn-out planes, saws, hammers and mallets. You will be taught to identify common defects and develop the skills to repair them. At the end of the course the tools you restore will be yours to take home and keep.

All tools and materials, including tools for restoration, will be provided. If you already possess tools in need of repair and would prefer to work on those during the course, please let us know when you make your booking.

Suitable for beginners

Date Mon 25th - Tues 26th April

Price  £250 (£200 with own tools)


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Router Skills Masterclass – Clock and Barometer Plaque

Learn a variety of routing and construction techniques as you craft a beautiful new addition for your boat or home. Develop your hand tool skills as you select from a choice of shapes, patterns and decorative woods to make your plaque unique.

All tools and materials, including clock and barometer, will be provided. If you prefer to create a plaque for your own clock and/or barometer, please do contact us to discuss.

Suitable for beginners

Date Thu 19th - Fri 20th May

Price  £250 (£200 with own clock & barometer)


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Spirit Level Making

A 20cm spirit level is a classic Shipwright’s tool. Over two days you can make your own handsome and functional level from sapele (a mahogany substitute) and brass fittings, similar to the one pictured. Develop your hand tool skills as you learn to shape the wood to a high degree of precision.

All tools and materials will be provided.

Suitable for beginners

Date Thurs 28th - Fri 29th April

Price  £192


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 


Week-long Courses

Paddleboard Paddle Making

Make the paddleboard paddle of your dreams on this intensive one-week course. No need to compromise with a shop-bought paddle when you can choose the position and contour of the grip, the placing of walnut and mahogany veneers and whether you build an otter tail, beaver tail or spade-ended blade.

Constructed from spruce, a strong yet light timber, and finished with marine-grade varnish, this will be a paddle you can be proud of for years to come.

All tools and materials will be provided. Some previous woodworking experience is recommended, but not essential, before undertaking this course.

Suitable for beginners

Dates Mon 28 February - Fri 4 March

  Mon 4th - Fri 8th April

Price  £480


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Dovetail Masterclass – Jewellery Box 

Handmade dovetail joints have been the sign of fine furniture for hundreds of years. On this five-day course you will develop the skills to make dovetail joints and will use them to create your very own jewellery box.

Over five days, you will learn how to accurately prepare, cut, build and finish a jointed box with a hinged lid and clasp. The box will be made from a high-quality hardwood and lined with velvet or baize to give a luxurious finish. All tools and materials will be provided. Some previous woodworking experience is recommended but a slightly modified course is available to those with little or no experience. This involves constructing the box using the simpler, finger joint technique.

Some experience preferred

Dates  Mon 6th - Fri 10th June

Price  £480


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 

Cabinet Making Masterclass - Dovetail Tool Case

Learn all the essential cabinet making skills in just five days as you construct this stunning attache-style tool case. Use dovetail and half-lap joints to create the carcass, construct a drawer and runners, let in and fit hinges and affix a handle. When finished, this practical and stylish case will be large enough to hold all your key woodworking tools and allow you to carry them with ease.

All tools and materials will be provided. Some previous woodworking experience is recommended before undertaking this course.

Some experience preferred

Dates  Mon 9th - Fri 13th May

Price  £480


CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

 


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Fund your course

Bursaries and external funding can assist with course costs. Find out more.

FUNDING


Thank you to our partners and supporters

Heritage Lottery Fund - Lottery Funded
Supported by the Regional Growth Fund
Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage
Shipshape Network - The Solent
Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust
National Historic Ships UK