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Make a majestic cleft oak bench

See course details, dates, costs, tutors & stories from students below
Cleft oak bench

Over 4 days Jack Ritson will introduce you to traditional green woodworking techniques to make a majestic cleft oak bench. Make a two or three seater, with or without a back rest and a shapely seat if you choose.

Taking a close look at the different grades and characteristics of oak for strength and beauty. You will learn the art of cleaving to split your log into various sizes using wedges & froes. You will then use an axe & drawknife to shape these on your shave horse, and finally cut joints to assemble your bench.

Cleaving is the technique of splitting wood down the grain rather than the more conventional sawing of fibres. Consequently, cleft wood is an incredibly strong, durable and long lasting material. 

Greenwood working course





18-21 June 2024



Cleft wood bench


£495 - tuition fees

£75-£125 for timber depending on size and length of your bench

Tea, coffee and simple lunch included in your course price 

We also offer accommodation & evening meals

Click here to see what we offer

This course is aimed at adults, aged 18yrs + and is suitable for beginners to those with experience

Jack Ritson - Riven Oak Design.jpg



Jack Ritson has been both managing woodland and greenwood working for over 8 years now.


Jack started learning his trade as an apprentice in Devon, but now runs Riven Oak Design out of Westonbirt arboretum where he is part of a long term coppice restoration project.

Jack is passionate about trees and woodland, and loves the mix of both managing and making.

He now specialises is cleft oak products such as swing seats, garden benches, fences, hurdles and of course, gates!

Stories from our students
Green wood working courses, classes, workshops and experiences in Wales
Although we haven't yet run this course, Jack is a regular tutor in Wernog Wood and one of his students said...
Green wood working courses, classes, workshops and experiences in Wales
Jack was such a nice and knowledgeable tutor, he really did the course proud. 
As you must be well aware, you have got something really special going at Wernog, the place has a great feel and I haven’t felt so relaxed and switched off from the daily thoughts and mental paraphernalia that jiggles around my head for a long time . John
Green wood working courses, classes, workshops and experiences in Wales

Upcoming Dates

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