Centre for Fine Woodworking - FAQ

New Zealand's premier furniture making, woodworking & design school



Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the centre?

Here's a map Click Here.

Why should I come here?

We are a small school in a small country and are unique here in New Zealand as the only independent not-for-profit school of this kind. Our teaching style is experiential and the course content is all practical teaching and learning. Our workshop is relaxed and informal, but don’t be fooled by that, as we are passionate about offering a wide range of opportunities for students at every stage of their skill level. On top of that we are located in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Should I bring my own tools?

We provide all the tools that you will need throughout the course. That said, we recommend you bring your tools (if you can) in order to take advantage of the opportunity to sharpen and tune them whilst you are here. If you are coming by air, be aware that tools will indeed make a difference to your baggage weight, so would suggest that you restrict them to planes and chisels.

What are the course hours?

The teaching day is 9.00 - 4.30 unless otherwise stated.

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.

How do I pay for my course?

Course fees can be paid by:
Direct Credit to Nelson Building Society, 111 Trafalgar Street, Nelson 7040
Account number: 03–1354–0303302–000
Account Name: Centre for Fine Woodworking Trust
For international transfers: Swift Code WPACNZ2W

Payments must be made in New Zealand Dollars and all bank charges are the responsibility of the student.

Payment can be made by Visa or Mastercard - if you would like to pay by credit card please contact us on (03) 5452674 or cfwoodwork@gmail.com
Please note that credit card payments incur a 2% surcharge.

Are there additional costs?

All standard consumables such as glue, sandpaper, etc. are included in the course fee. Project based workshop and course fees include all standard materials for the set project. Some courses have an option to customise or change the standard materials – and any additional cost here will be invoiced at the end of the course. Freight, courier and packaging is not included in the course fee.

What about accommodation in Nelson?

The Centre for Fine Woodworking is located in a beautiful rural setting, about 14 km from the centre of Nelson nestled amongst the hills with a magnificent view of the sea. There is no public transport available, so if you don't have your own transport then you are most welcome to get in touch and we can help you find some suitable accommodation, car hire, as well as we are often able to arrange car-pooling with other students. We have a list here of accommodation which has been recommended by our former students and which seems to work well for all budgets:– bed & breakfast, homestay, holiday home rental and motels – and assisting you to find something suitable is part of our service to our potential students.

What should I wear?

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. Ear muffs and safety goggles are available here for your use, but if you have your own then bring them with you. Long hair needs to be tied back and clothes must be comfortable, practical and appropriate for working in a machine shop and workshop environment.

Does the school offer a qualification?

Our courses do not offer any formal qualification recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Can I seek a subsidy for course fees?

As our courses are not accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, this means student loans are not eligible for the cost of the course fees for the full time Furniture Makers' Programme. There is a database available for free at public libraries called GivMe which is a search engine which can help students needing funding to find agencies which offer scholarships, awards and grants. If you apply for scholarships or are attending a course or workshop as professional development from your workplace we can assist with a letter of support for your application for funding.

Does the school have a Mission Statement?

The school is governed by our Trust Deeds and we endeavour to always keep at the forefront of our decision-making and focus, the purpose of our organisation:-

  • To create future generations of fine woodworkers, fine woodwork teachers and craftspeople through keeping the knowledge and skills alive
  • To foster a community of people whose lives are enriched by practising fine woodworking
  • To create a place where serious woodworkers come to play and be inspired through challenge, exploration and experiment with the highest quality woodworking

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. Here are the relevant links to Immigration New Zealand website Immigration New Zealand website