Traditional Woodland Craft Progression Course in Pembrokeshire

Written by Tir Coed / Wednesday 16 October 2019

Led by two experienced green woodworkers, the trainees used materials from the woodland where they were working to make a cleaving break, a shave horse and a pole lathe.


A cleaving brake enables green woodworkers to split timber along the grain, efficiently converting trees in to usable material. Cleft wood is stronger than sawn timber and can also be debarked or worked to shape in the cleave brake (clench brake).

A shave horse is a vice that the woodworker sits astride,  using their legs to clamp the wood they are shaping with a draw knife or chisel. It allows a safe and comfortable working position, and the work can be quickly rotated or adjusted.
A pole lathe is powered by a treadle, the pole acts as a spring, spinning the piece of wood which can then be shaped with chisels.


As the all trainees had recently completed a 12 week course together, there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere in the group where they were able to practice and gain confidence in newly acquired skills. The trainees have the ability to make these items for themselves and Pembrokeshire now has access to this equipment for use in future activities.