2021 Cupboard Building and Installation course now open for bookings

Week long course 09:30 – 15:30 | Secure parking available

Click here for details


Via Tinsley Woodcrafters, we can supply the the following:

  • Custom woodwork
  • Timber decks
  • Tables and desks
  • Food serving boards
  • Pastry rolling pins
  • Wood decor items


Brendan’s website is, and he has an
extensive Facebook page.

-For more information, visit us on Facebook


This course is designed for those who either know little (or nothing) about woodwork, and those who might have forgotten what they did know. We teach students to make simple items to illustrate basic concepts in woodwork, while keeping it enjoyable and fun. By the end of the five-lesson course, you will have a solid understanding of the concept of working with a drawing and making something of it. Along the way, you will be introduced to all the hand tools you need to get going. The emphasis is almost entirely on hand tools (with the exception of powered drills). We demonstrate all the tools and students get to practice using them in class.

Click here for the full syllabus: Beginners


This course caters for students who have completed the beginners course or those with some background in woodwork. The Intermediate course will further your skills and knowledge of woodwork technicalities such as grain direction, sanding, fastening systems (screws, nails, wall plugs, etc) and drill bits. Lessons include demonstrations and discussions on hand power tools such as routers, sanding machines, jig saws, portable circular saws, etc. You’ll also be taught about standing power tools like the table saw, radial arm saw, surfacer, band saw, scroll saw, column drill, chisel morticer.

Click here for the full syllabus: Intermediate


By now, you’ll be ready to concentrate on joint-making, in particular, mortise and tenon, dowel joints, pocket-hole joinery, biscuit joinery, butt and half lap joints and edge-joining of solid timber. Advanced students will have enough expertise to make anything from picture frames to furniture, shelving and even decking. You can arrange private classes with one of the teachers at the school for assistance on a particular project you have in mind.



Click here for the full syllabus: Advanced     


Extra Courses covering the subjects of Router Use, Pocket Hole Joinery, Biscuit Wafer Joinery, Mortise and Tenon Joints and Door Hanging can be arranged on request, subject to time availability.


  • Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced: R1600-00 per course;
  • Intensive Course: R4800-00;
  • Router Use Levels #1 & #2, Pocket Hole Joinery, Biscuit Wafer Joinery, Mortise & Tenon Joints – R1700-00 each;
  • Cupboard Building and Installation Course: R7800-00.

All the above include all materials needed, and the use of any equipment required.

  • Door Hanging: R1800-00 plus materials (door frame, hollow core door, mortise lock, hinges & handles needed).

Basic hand tool kit for woodwork:

Try square 300mm
Combination square 300mm
Sliding Bevel
Tape Measure 5,0m
Steel Rule 500mm
Steel Rule 150mm
Handsaw 660mm – General Purpose (9tpi)
Tenon Saw (Backsaw) 250mm (11-14tpi)
Claw hammer (fibre glass shaft)
Panel Pin Hammer
Chisel 6,0mm (1/4”)  (Bevel)
Chisel 18,0mm (3/4”) (Bevel)
Chisel mallet (+/- 500g)
Carpenter’s pencil
HB pencil
No 4 plane (Jack Plane 350-380 mm long)
#2 posidriv screwdriver
Carpenter’s pincers
Marking Gauge (cutting gauge)
Safety glasses
Dust mask
  • All three of our Foundation in Woodwork Courses (Beginners’, Intermediate & Advanced) comprise of five lessons of about two-hour duration each.
  • Students can start at any of these three levels, depending on your previous experience with woodwork.
  • After a level is completed, there is no obligation to carry on with the others not yet done.
  • All classes are conducted at our workshop in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town.
  • We start with the Beginners’, then go on to the Intermediate & Advanced.

The following dates are the starting dates for these three different options:

OPTION 1: Weekday classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and all fifteen lessons of the Foundation are completed in seven visits to the studio.Each of these classes, which last about four hours, as a “double lesson” is done on each day (10h00 – 14h00.)

OPTION 2: Classes are held on a Saturday. All three levels are offered on each Saturday. This means that each level is completed over five weeks. The time for Beginners’ is at 13h15. The time for Intermediate is 11h00 and the Advanced at 09h00.

OPTION 3: Classes for The Intensive Course are completed over 5 days from a Monday to Friday of the same week. All fifteen lessons of the Foundation in Woodwork (Beginners’, Intermediate & Advanced) are completed.

OPTION 4: Classes for Beginners are completed on a weekly basis on Wednesday evenings. Times are from 18h00 till 20h00.



“I chose the Mercury School of Woodwork because I had so much things that I wanted to build and lacked the knowledge and had no idea where to start. Buster’s comprehensive courses enabled me to find my feet, and his amazing after-course care and generosity with advice helped me to realize every project I wanted to tackle. I would highly recommend the courses to anyone, even if you just want to a know a bit more about DIY to someone launching themselves into a new carpentry career – just do it!”

“I knew I wanted to learn more about woodwork, but had no idea where to start. After completing Buster’s Beginner, Intermediate and Advance course I am excited about all the possibilities that lies in front of me. I met so many people from all walks of life. Some were about to retire, some are just starting out in their new careers, but all of us were inspired and in awe of the knowledge and experiences shared by Buster. I now have the confidence to start creating because I now not only know which tools to use but also where to go for advice and help.”

“You don’t come across someone like Buster Tinsley every day. I’ve attended many of his woodworking classes over the years and am still astounded by the man’s carpentry skills and know how. But not only that – he shares this seemingly endless knowledge so freely, almost as if he himself doesn’t realize how valuable a mentor he is. There’s not a single tool in my workshop that I didn’t first discuss with him before buying – he’s advice is rock solid. And I’ve asked MANY a stupid question, which has always been answered with a kind patience. Go to Buster’s, you will not regret it. I’m very thankful for having this gentleman as my “uncle in the carpentry business”!

“With Buster Tinsley’s passion for the subject, and his wealth of knowledge, you cant go wrong by attending these courses. Not only does Buster divulge a wealth of useful tips and tricks, he also demonstrates the practical applications of woodwork skills and supervises projects that allows you to put to practice the skill sets you have learned. I would recommend these courses to anyone with an interest in working with their hands.”

“Buster is a brave man – he not only has let me into his workshop but has let me play with power tools! The school has given me a new creative outlet while making sure I work properly and safely.”

“Buster Tinsley is the best. I did the courses a couple of years ago and have been doing woodworking projects ever since. A truly enriching experience. Yay for the Mercury School of Woodwork.”