Woodturning classes

As a woodturner of long experience, I offer woodturning classes in London. They are suitable for complete beginners as well as people who have done some turning before. The classes are great value, with no hidden extra charges. I teach classes for one or two people at a time in my own workshop, and group classes at the Camden Town Shed (see below).

Introduction to bowl making

turning first bowl

If you have never done any turning before, you are like most of the people who take my woodturning classes. No previous experience is necessary. The classes are a great opportunity for you to try your hand at woodturning. They are a chance to express your creativity by making a bowl while gaining an insight into the craft. The beautiful hardwood bowl you take home will be a thing to be proud of.

A woodturning class makes a brilliant ‘experience’ gift.

Enjoy the challenge

Making a bowl needs concentration and care, and you will enjoy the challenge. After an intensive session, working under guidance through every step of the process to shape the bowl to the best of your ability, you will end the day with a great sense of achievement. Your bowl will be entirely your own work, made with your own hands. It will be nicely turned and finished, and there won’t be another in the world quite the same!
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. Then, 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 class for one person takes between four and five hours. Working with two, the class takes a bit longer, usually about seven hours.
Classes can be arranged for any day of the week, including weekends. Times are flexible, but classes for one normally begin at 1 pm and usually finish at about 5.30, depending on progress on the day.
If you bring a friend to join you in the class, each of you will get true 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 at the lathe, you are able to watch and learn from your partner’s progress and take part in discussion. Classes for two usually run from 10 am to about 5.30.

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 woodturning classes might save you from injury.
My woodturning classes give a foundation for further development. I can’t make you a skilled turner, 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 lessons cover health and safety issues and tool sharpening  as well as the use of the tools.
If you have some experience, I can help you improve your bowl making ability. During my woodturning workshops, I show how to use the tools to avoid catches and get a better surface on the wood, so that less sanding is needed. If you have made bowls before, you can move on to more advanced techniques.

Spindle turning classes

I can also 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. My wooden mice and bud vases are spindle turned. The class is one-to-one and normally takes about 4-5 hours.
It can be a good idea for beginners interested in spindle turning to start with a bowl-making class, because it can help them get a feel for how the tools work. This skill is transferable to spindle turning.
When you can make a bowl and turn a spindle, you will have the confidence to make items such as boxes and hollow forms in your own workshop.

Sharpening classes

I also offer a shorter class on tool sharpening, because sharp tools are critical. 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.

Other tuition

I also give woodturning workshops at the Camden Town Shed. Working with a group and with limited time greatly restricts the attention I can give each person, but these classes consistently get great reviews too! I can’t take bookings for them myself, so if you would like to join a class at Camden, please go to the Funzing website.

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 more advanced yew bowl

bowl made during woodturning lesson
Ash bowl made by someone with more experience
bowl made during woodturning lesson
Spalted beech bowl made with more experience

Some recent reviews:

  • “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 other reviews of my woodturning workshops, go to my “Book a class” pages, and here are lots more, and details of the Camden classes.

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