Woodturning classes

I offer woodturning classes here in London. Would you like to try your hand, spending an exciting and satisfying day learning a new skill? Perhaps for a new hobby? Or do you know someone who would enjoy the experience of making their own wooden bowl? A woodturning class makes a brilliant ‘experience’ gift!
No previous experience is necessary, and most people who come to my workshops have never used a lathe before.  But the classes are also suitable for people who have done some turning and want to improve their skills. The workshops are great value, with no hidden extra charges.
I offer classes for just one or two people at a time in my own studio in North London (at 17 Ashbourne Avenue N20 0AL, which is not far from Underground stations and Junctions 23 and 24 on the M25). I also teach larger groups at the Camden Town Shed (see below).
Because only one or two people take part, all woodturning classes in my own workshop are one-to-one, including those for two people. I explain each step in the process before you carry it out, working at your own pace and gaining confidence as you go. You will have my undivided attention to make sure you get the most from the day. A bowl class for one person usually takes between four and five hours. Working with two, the class takes a bit longer, usually between seven and eight hours. A one day class also takes 7-8 hours.
I occasionally run classes for three people. Because there is not time in one day to complete the class on a one to one basis, it has to be spread over two days. If you are interested in this option, please contact me to discuss it.
There are no set dates for classes at my studio – they are arranged to suit you. I can do weekends and some weekdays. Times are flexible, but classes for one normally begin at 1 pm. Classes for two and one day classes begin at 10.
To book a class, please pay for it here. I shall send more information and you can contact me by phone or email anytime to arrange the date.

Introduction to bowl making

turning first bowl

These classes are a great opportunity to express your creativity. Making a bowl will give you an insight into the craft of turning. The beautiful hardwood bowl you take home will be a thing to be proud of.

Enjoy the challenge

Making a bowl needs concentration and care, and you will enjoy the challenge. After an intensive session, guided through every step of the process to shape your bowl to the best of your ability, you will end the day with a great sense of achievement. Your bowl will be your own work, made with your own hands. You will be amazed at its quality. The bowl will be nicely turned and finished, and there won’t be another in the world quite the same!
If you bring a friend to join you in the class, each of you will receive one-to-one attention. The process is broken down into short steps. You will take turns on the lathe, with a break after each stage while the other works. When not working at the lathe, you are able to watch and learn from your partner’s progress and take part in discussion.

I also give bowl making woodturning workshops at the Camden Town Shed. Working with a group, classes at Camden are not one to one, but consistently get great reviews too! Follow the link to join a class.

Already into turning?

Woodturning is an absorbing hobby. But if you try to learn without going on a woodturning course you will make lots of mistakes along the way. If you persevere, you may get there in the end, but life’s too short for that approach. And sometimes those mistakes can be dangerous, so proper tuition and guidance might save you from injury.
My woodturning classes give a foundation for further progress. I can’t make you a skilled turner in a day, you will have to do lots of practice to reach that point. But I can get you off to a good start, or help you overcome difficulties you may be having.  You can return to your own workshop to build on what you have learned. The classes cover health and safety issues as well as the use of the tools.
During my woodturning workshops, you will learn how to avoid catches and get a better surface on the wood, so that less sanding is needed.

Spindle turning class

I can help you develop your skills with spindle gouges and the skew chisel. These tools are used to make a great variety of items such as candle sticks, furniture parts and much more. The class is one-to-one, for one person only, and normally takes about 4-5 hours. Although anyone can attend, this class is of most benefit to those who already have some experience and have their own workshop in which to practice.
Though it is not essential, I recommend that beginners interested in spindle turning start with a bowl-making class, because it will help them get a feel for how the tools work. This skill is transferable to spindle turning.

Full day class for one person

Bowl turning and spindle turning are the two main branches of the craft of woodturning, so I offer classes devoted to each. But I also offer a combined class for people who want to cover both topics in a single day.

Refreshments and a light lunch are provided.

Because there isn’t time in one day for two people to do this class, I can only offer it to one person at a time. Many people find spindle turning challenging at first if they have done no turning before. This class is quite intensive, with a lot to take in in a limited time.

This class can be quite flexible in content and level. If you are mostly interested in bowl making you could make two bowls, instead of doing the spindle turning. The first will get you off to a good start, while the second could perhaps be a little more advanced. This option is for one person only. You could also book this class to work on another project such as a turned box, but please contact me first to discuss this option.

Book a one day class

Sharpening class

I also offer a shorter class on tool sharpening, because sharp tools are vital. If you can’t sharpen, you can’t turn! You will learn how to shape the tools properly, how to get their edges sharp, and how to make and use the simple jigs that make sharpening quick and easy.
All my woodturning classes are very informal and flexible. I can usually tailor the lessons to your own requirements, but please let me know before booking if you have any particular issues that you would like to cover. To find out more, call me on 07496 021531.
When someone books a class I normally send an acknowledgement and class notes on the same day. If you don’t hear from me within a day or two please check your junk email folder and get in touch if necessary.


From one-to-one sessions:

turning first bowl

two bowls from an introductory class
Two bowls from an introductory class

Bowl made by student

A yew bowl

bowl made during woodturning lesson
Ash bowl
bowl made during woodturning lesson
Spalted beech bowl

Some recent reviews of my woodturning classes:

  • “What a brilliant afternoon with Terry, learning (and doing) woodturning. The bowl I made looks great, even if my new expertise means I can tell where it isn’t perfect. A great Christmas present from my wife, and a great session. Thanks Terry.” Roger
  • “My partner and I had an absolutely brilliant day learning how to turn a wooden bowl under Terry’s expert guidance. It was a really hands-on day. You get stuck in straight away and learn by doing. We both had lots of time on the lathe turning our bowls and came away understanding the principles of how to turn a wooden bowl. Terry is a patient and friendly teacher who explains everything in a really clear easy to understand way. We were both really happy with the bowls we made. If you’re looking for a fun educational day where you learn to make something, we couldn’t recommend it more highly.” Lauren

For more reviews of my woodturning workshops, go to my “Book a class” pages.

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