Key Making

Course overview | During this course you will make an ‘apprentice piece’ as per the examples pictured below.

Through making the piece, you will explore and learn about the process of making keys, enabling you to be able to offer keywork adjustments, repair and alterations to your customers. This will also open you to new customers who may be hindered by disabilities as you will be able to offer bespoke key positioning; it will open up the possibility of re-manufacture of previously unrepairable keys and modification according to needs.

The intensive three day course will give you hours of hands-on practice time under the expert tuition of Pete Worrell.

You will learn about:

  • Key filing
  • Key design, form and function
  • Spring hitch design and mounting
  • Pillar facing
  • Point screw fitting
  • Through steel fitting
  • Springing
  • Pad fitting

The finished piece will be yours to keep and present as part of a portfolio of work to demonstrate your skill and capability to your customers.

Responses to our Key Making lecture demonstration indicated that having the knowledge and skills taught on this course would be worth more than £500 per year to professionals. Beyond technological development we would anticipate the skills learnt to last for longer than a year.

It may also be possible for hobbyists to join this course, for example if you wish to make simple keys for tenor recorders. Please let us know what it is you are interested in making when you book your place on the course.


Or sign up to on the waiting list at the bottom of this page.

Tutor Pete Worrell

Through working with both Howarth’s and with Duncan Crawford, Peter has refined the art of woodwind instrument design with a focus on mechanisms of oboes, clarinets and flutes. A highly accomplished key maker and craftsman he now focuses on making entire flutes, though his recent invention of a clarinet that can be played by someone with only a functioning right or left hand is a tour-de-force and ranks him in the top echelons of instrument designers and technicians. Probably the finest key-maker in the industry.

Co-tutor | Daniel Bangham

Daniel is the founder and director of Cambridge Woodwind Makers as well as being an internationally renowned classical clarinet maker. Daniel started a clarinet making and instrument repair workshop in 1981, this then became Wood, Wind & Reed specialist music shop in Cambridge.

The course fee covers all the materials, use of tools and expert tuition. It also includes lunches, light refreshments and some evening meals.

Please note that this course will only run with a minimum of four participants.

Cost | £500

Course duration | 3 days

Times | 10.00am – 5.00pm

Abilities | This course is designed for experienced makers and repairers with an interest in improving their understanding and creation of keywork.

Questions | if you have any questions or comments please email Daniel: [email protected]

What to bring | You will also need to wear workshop appropriate clothing. Aprons and overalls are available. Remember glasses if you need them, the work involves looking at small details. If you have any tools of your own, then please bring, making sure they are marked or labelled.

Location | 6 Lintech Court, Linton, Cambridgeshire, CB21 4XN, ENGLAND

Transport | The workshop is a few miles south of Cambridge city and can be reached by the route 13 buses. Follow signs to Linton Zoo and we are on the industrial estate next door.

Accommodation |  If you are not local to Cambridge you will need to arrange your own accommodation for the duration of the course. View our accommodation page for ideas.

Participant Guidelines | Please read our participant guidelines which can be found here along with our covid-19 guidelines which are here: Cambridge Makers covid-19 guidelines - Cambridge Makers.

Booking | Your reservation on a course is not complete until payment has been received.

Photos | We may take pictures during classes which may be used on our social media feeds and later in publicity. If you wish not to be in photographs please let the tutor and staff know at the start of the class.

Insurance | We have pubic liability insurance, however personal accident insurance is obligatory for non EU participants.

Deposits | Any course with a fee of £200 or more includes a non-refundable deposit of £200.

Alternative Dates | If the dates available do not suit you it may be possible to arrange a date that does. However, we can only run an instrument making course with a minimum of two people and a Repair & Care with a minimum of three.

Upcoming Related Courses


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