I offer woodturning tuition in London. Today I had a student with no previous experience of turning who came for an afternoon’s introductory lesson.
We began with a brief discussion about the tools and machines and safety issues. Then the student turned a small bowl in dry sycamore. I think bowl turning can be easier for a beginner than spindle work, and it’s nice that they have something tangible to take away. She made all the cuts herself, under close supervision, using two bowl gouges, a scraper and a shear scraper. Her work was very good, and she was more than happy with her bowl.
There was just enough time after that to move to the spindle lathe. The bowl work had given the student some feel for the tools and the importance of maintaining bevel contact. She had no trouble with the roughing gouge, but using the spindle gouge to make a bead and cove was harder. Accurately coordinated tool movements are necessary to make beads and coves. A turner has to put in lots of practice before they become fluent. I was sorry when we ran out of time.
If you are interested in woodturning lessons, or just an introduction to turning, you can call me on 020 8361 5391.