Makita, leading British professional power tool manufacturer and official sponsor of the National School of Furniture (NSF), has delivered its first student training sessions in the correct and safe use of power tools.

The NSF, a partnership between Bucks New University and Oxford & Cherwell Valley College based in High Wycombe, the historical home of furniture making, offers a three-year BA (Hons) Furniture course bringing together industry focus, design insight and advanced making skills; a two-to-three-year Foundation Arts Degree (FDA) in Furniture: Conservation, Restoration & Decorative Arts; and a two-to-three-year FDA in Furniture Design and Make course.

The workshops are now fully equipped with Makita’s high-performance power tools, which play an intrinsic role in the early stages of project preparation. The current first-, second- and third-year students, who started the term at the end of September, were said to be delighted with the breadth of power tools now available for their use.

“We have a second-year project based on the Isoken penguin donkey and pocket bottle ship, which require the use of tools, in particular the router,” says Andrew Shenton, course leader, BH (Hons) Furniture: Design & Craft. “We will be incorporating the teaching of router techniques very early in the term.”

The training session carried out by Makita’s full-time trainers, Ray Wilby and Martin Dunn, took place just two weeks after the start of the autumn term, and further training sessions are planned for the course technicians, who must remain ahead of new product launches.

“We have identified exactly how the use of hand tools and power tools relates to our academic programme,” continues Andrew Shenton, “which is key to the students’ success. This will be an exciting term in which we all hope to enjoy and learn new techniques.”
Following the student’s induction training, Andrew says: “This has been a great success. Ray and Martin are excellent trainers, good communicators with a friendly, engaging approach to the subject.  As a result the students are itching to use the equipment – therefore, we as tutors are now even busier!"