The art of cleaving - make a cleft oak or chestnut garden gate 

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

Over 3 days your tutor, Bryce, will introduce you to traditional green woodworking techniques, taking a a close look at the different grades and characteristics of oak or chestnut for strength and beauty. You will learn the art of cleaving, shaping components with an axe and drawknife, and finally joinery and assembly. 

Cleaving is the technique of splitting wood down the grain rather than the more conventional sawing of fibres. Because of this, cleft wood is an incredibly strong, durable and long lasting material. The gates you make will use the natural shape of the wood and require no treatment due to the high tannin content in the oak.


At the end of the course you will take home a gate that will make you proud each time you walk through it!


28-30 August 2021




£320 - tuition fees


£40-£50 for timber depending on size of gate


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




Bryce Rendell leads the workshop and bench department at Say it with Wood in Herefordshire. 


Bryce has been an enthusiastic green woodworker for many years and loves the opportunities that working with natural products bring and the variety of bespoke projects he is involved within.

Say it with Wood supply and install a variety of traditional and rustic styles of fencing, gates and garden installations, all made from sustainably harvested, naturally durable local timber. 


Stories from our students

My gate is now in pride of place. It’s a skill that can be understood and put to great use thanks to Bryce and Aron, excellent tutors with great skill and personality. I will be definitely making other gates on my own now at home.


Wernog Wood 10 out of 10 great place. Thanks for looking after us so well. Really really brilliant course, good people and lovely location. - Ned

Thanks to both instructors and Wernog Wood I now have 4 blisters but a lovely oak gate (nearly finished) and my aching back has gone. Really enjoyed the hard work thanks. - Paul

Had a great time …..shattered, but I said l’d not leave without a gate…. And with great tutors and support I got it done! Thanks , I’ll be back - Matt