I've recently opened a woodturning school at my own studio in Durham, NC. I offer classes and lessons for groups and for individuals. Depending on the topic, classes can last from one day up to a full week. I teach a variety of classes that are geared for people at each skill level. New skills are developed through the completion of projects which each student gets to take home so that they can look back and learn from their successes (or mistakes) and progress from there. Recent projects have included turned boxes, bowls, and spindles. I spend a little time teaching proper tool sharpening techniques during each class, and for those interested in learning more, I do offer a whole class on sharpening at the Woodcraft store every other month.
I don't currently have any classes scheduled, but if you are interested in setting one up, please call or email. Classes are tailored to fit the student's individual interests and schedule. If you are interested in a topic you don't see offered, be sure to call and set up a class at your convenience. I usually limit my in-studio classes to 3 students for optimum hands on and instructor feedback. Individual sessions are also available, but you get much more out of group sessions because you can share and learn from each other's questions and mistakes - so gather your friends and schedule a session together! I recommend taking the series of all six classes to get a well rounded basic wood turning education, though you are welcome to take them one at a time. Each class builds on skills learned in previous sessions, but if you have prior wood turning experience, let me know and I can waive the prerequisite requirements.
My studio is minutes from the Raleigh Durham International airport and the Research Triangle Park area. If you are coming from afar, there are a variety of accommodations and activities nearby. Durham is located in the Piedmont area of central North Carolina, just three hours' drive from both the beach and the mountains.
Session 1 part 1: Bead and Cove Stick
The purpose is to practice tool techniques and to develop turning skills without the worry of damaging a project. In this session, the basic cuts (convex curves, concave curves, and flat or straight cuts) in woodturning are explored. These cuts are generally referred to as beads, coves, and flats and filets. Body positioning and movement of the body and tool through the various cuts will be developed.
Project: the classic teaching aid, the Bead and Cove Stick
Session 1 part 2: Projects Using Beads and Coves
Start a simple project such as a weed pot, mallet, candlestick, honey dipper, toy soldier ornament, etc. For students taking all 6 sessions, I like to have the students turn a tool handle, and then using round bar stock, grind a pyramid (point tool) on one end and a skew on the other. I teach how this tool is used in sessions 5 and 6.
Sample Projects: weed pot, ring holder, seam ripper handles, simple ornaments, cutlery handles, candle sticks, mushrooms
Session 2: Facing Cut, Convex Cut and Concave Curves Exercise
This exercise makes use of the 3/8" spindle gouge to practice turning full convex curves and concave curves and to develop the skill for flattening the top or bottom of a turned piece across the end grain. This is a very useful skill to develop and comes in handy in faceplate work and especially when making glue blocks or turning boxes.
Sample Projects: a goblet, mushroom box with threaded lid, or birdhouse ornament.
Session 3: Tips and Techniques for Turning Hollow Forms
This session will explore techniques used to hollow vessels and work on shape and form.
Sample Project: a hollow globe with an icicle ornament or a small hollow form
Session 4: Tool Techniques for Turning Platters and Bowls
Tool techniques for turning platters and bowls and possibilities of using those skills
Sample Projects: ikebana flower vases, artistic lazy susan, laminated lamp with base, miniature stool, 24" three legged stool
Session 5: Turning Green Wood
It is now time for the students to experience the fun and pleasure found when turning green wood. In this session the students learning how to turn bowls by shaping the outside for a bowl using both the push cut and the pull cut. As usual, the class starts with some technique and skill building exercises and then moves on to learning about turning bowls
Sample Project: green wood turned bowl
Session 6: Discovering and Exploring the Wonders of Shape and Form
Sample Projects: bowls, hollow forms, and spindles
Unless otherwise noted, the fees are:
All Day Classes $100 and Evening Classes $50
Class size is typically 2-3 students
Class Curriculum from my Fundamentals of Woodturning Class:
Sample Handouts are available below, however I am constantly improving my course handouts. For the most up-to-date version, call or email me.
Table of Contents
Sessions 1 & 2
Sharpening For Turners
Making a Point Tool and Skew Chisel
List of Suggested Turning Tools
Mini Lathe Explorations
Other Class Handouts:
Three Legged Stool.pdf Goblet.doc
Hollow Globe Ornament.doc
Ring Holder with Finial.doc
Seam Ripper Handles.doc
Tips and Techniques for the Detail Gouge.doc
Ultimate Lazy Susan.doc