Wood Workshop

This resource will direct you toward helpful information and give guidance on how to access the workshop facilities and gain technical support.  Click on the individual headings below to be taken to the appropriate book system or location. 

What we offer 


  • Bench Space Access- After successfully completing a Wood Workshop Induction you may book a timeslot to secure bench space.  You may use the machines and tools you have been trained to use and will have a technician on hand for further support where required. 


  • Wood Workshop Skills Development Sessions– Offer you time to learn how to safely use a new tool or understand new processes in more detail.  These sessions are run on a one-to-one basis and focus on tools and processes that can be safely taught in the wood workshop.  Please make sure you email or speak to Tom (tom.williams@reading.ac.uk), before attending a session, so that the appropriate equipment can be set up (scroll down for more information).  PLEASE NOTE THAT A WOOD WORKSHOP INDUCTION MUST BE COMPLETE BEFORE ATTENDING ONE OF THESE SESSIONS!. 


  • Online/in-person consultation- These sessions give you an opportunity to discuss ideas before attending the workshop.  We can give guidance on suitable materials and processes to use and help you get started. 


  • Metal Workshop Skills Training- Learn how to manipulate metal through a variety of means.  Be advised that due to the Potential hazardous tools being used in this space, sessions and access will be offered on a one-to-one basis and because of this priority will be given to finalists.  Please email tom.williams@reading.ac.uk for more details on access and use. 


  • Firing Service-   Pieces can be dropped off by the kiln between 15:00-15:50 every Friday (place your full name with work). Clay needs to be completely dry before being fired (this can take up to two weeks) so please make a note of the type of clay and how long it has been drying before dropping pieces off.  The firing process takes around 2-3 days so we usually suggest that pieces can be picked up the following week.   

Important points and information 


Think about your requirements 

Before attending the wood workshop in person please consider the following: 

  • What it is that you want to do/make? (A sketch with dimensions is a good place to start) 
  • Have you undertaken these processes before? 
  • Do you have the relevant workshop training? 

If you cannot confidently answer the questions above for yourself then YOU MUST book an online consultation with Tom to discuss your requirements and needs further.  Failing to do this could mean that you may not be able to complete your work as planned.  You are welcome to drop past the workshop and discuss things in person, although if the workshop is busy, please book in an online/in-person consultation. 




More information on Skills Workshop 

Wood Workshp Skills Development Sessions – 

Are you interested in learning how to safely use a new machine, hand tool or process?  If the answer is yes, please sign up for a session and email me (tom.williams@reading.ac.uk) with a description of what you are interested in learning. More information can be found on the resource blog under the wood workshop tab. 

Development sessions are run on a one-to-one basis and focus on tools and processes that can be safely taught in the wood workshop.  Please make sure you email or speak to Tom (tom.williams@reading.ac.uk), before attending a session, so that the appropriate equipment can be set up. 

Examples of training include:  

Machine skills– bandsaw, pillar drill, scroll saw, pin gun, jigsaw, router, Multi tool (Dremel), sanders  

Hand tool skills– chisel, files, marking tools,   

Processes related to these skills– shape creation, gluing techniques, joining techniques, hanging work, structures, carving, finishes.  

These are only some examples of skills used in the wood workshop. Please book an online consultation if you wish to discuss which skills might be appropriate to achieve your goal. 


Studio tool kits 

Each studio has its own tool kit to use and look after.  Please remember that you must be fully trained to use the drill that is included in the toolbox.  As incorrect use could cause serious harm to yourself or others.  Make sure that you return tools back to the box so that others can use them.  Items will not be replaced if lost, so it is the duty of the studio group to look after your studio toolkit. 

Borrowing tools 

Tools can be signed out between 09:15 – 9:30 and 12:45 – 13:00 but must be returned by 16:45 the same day.  Please note that tools can only be hired out if a full induction has been completed. 

Borrowing Ladders 

There are platforms available in Studios 2,3 and 4 and these can be found under the studio workbenches.  Students can use the platform without booking, but please use them correctly. 

1) Put the red safety catch in place after extending the legs (use on a flat surface). 

2) Make sure someone else in the space is aware you are using the platform (keep an eye on each other’s safety). 

3) Keep both your feet on the platform when you are on it (no stretching on one foot).  If the platform is in the wrong place carefully step off and move it, do not stretch! 

Ladders can be hired between 09:15 – 9:30 and 12:45 – 13:00 if a risk assessment has been fully completed and approved (signed off by your convener and Jude). 

Material purchase  

Materials can be purchased using the Online Art Shop.  If you are unsure of what you need, please talk with Tom via an Online Consultation. 

Large material collection (wood/sheet material):   

You can collect your material the following day between 09:15 – 9:30 and 12:45 – 13:00. 

Link to- >>> Online Art Shop <<< 

If you would like any other information about the Online Shop, please contact: 

Mildred Burchett-Vass  g.m.e.burchett-vass@reading.ac.uk 


Consumables and reusing materials 

There are several consumables available in the workshop, such as: screws, nails, nuts and bolts and glass paper. 


There is also a selection of wood offcuts that you are welcome to use.  You can find these in the storage containers under the chop saw and in the larger container by the table saw.  Please put any useful unwanted excess material back into these bins for others to use.  Any pine/ply offcuts that are too small to be useful should be placed in the wood recycling bin (no painted wood or MDF). 

Working together 

The technical team look forward to helping you bring your ideas to life.  Please be patient and considerate with staff and help us by vacuuming up dust, clearing your waste/spare material and placing tools back in the correct storage location when you are finished with them. 

It is important to work safely in the workshops, so please feel free to ask questions if you are unsure before, during or after practical processes. 

We look forward to seeing you all soon! 

Kind regards, 

The technical team