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Advanced pole lathe turning

Harry turning a bowl

About the Course

This course is an opportunity to work on all those things that have been bugging you about pole lathing, for example, correct use of chisels and gouges, as well as many others.

You will look at:

- Sharpening
- Turning dry and fresh wood
- Shrinkage of fresh wood and how this can affect products
- Batch production and the art of being fluid.

To take part in this course it is essential that you have either attended an introductory course to pole lathing or have a reasonable amount of experience and understanding of the principles of pole lathing.

Day 1

We will start Day One by turning a pre-prepared dry billet and making a rolling pin, sounds easy, but making something perfectly flat and smooth can be a real challenge. After using dry wood on a pole lathe it can leave your tools quite dull, so we will cover sharpening at this point. After lunch, we will move on to fresh wood and make a babies rattle, which will really focus on skew chisel control. I do not use a ferret anymore and feel this makes a stronger, longer lasting product. If there is time we will make a turned spoon, which is a nice combination of turning and carving.

Day Two

This day will be kept as open as possible, for you to bring to the table products or techniques you have struggled with, whilst learning pole lathing. However, if this is not something you feel you need, I will have products up my sleeve for you to work on.

Your tutor for this course will be Harry Samuel:

Harry has been turning on a pole lathe for almost a decade and is still yet to have a go on a power lathe! He learned to turn a plethora of household products with Barnaby Carder a.k.a Barn the Spoon. After perfecting some of these products he began teaching pole lathe evening classes at The Green Wood Guild for several years. Harry then apprenticed under Tim Gatfield of The Cherry Wood Project where turning was an essential part of the Chair making and Stool making courses they ran throughout the year.

More recently Harry has featured in Barn the Spoon’s book Wood Craft where he can be seen turning a traditional potato masher. You can also find him on SpoonClub turning a traditional Windsor chair leg and a turned spoon. Harry runs courses across the UK and makes products to order from his workshop in South Gloucestershire.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Your course fee includes tuition, tools and equipment, materials, refreshments throughout the day, and lunch unless otherwise specified. All courses start promptly at 9.30 am (feel free to arrive from 9 for refreshments)

All information about accommodation is available through Shropshire tourism websites. You may be able to book online with some hotels.

We also have basic on-site accommodation. Limited camping and space for camper vans are also available to course participants, available only on request.

With more than 30 years experience of delivering courses and training, Small Woods courses have gained a reputation for high quality teaching and professionalism. Most courses take place at the well-equipped Green Wood Centre in Coalbrookdale, Telford. We have a range of indoor and outdoor teaching areas that provide a range of versatile spaces for our diverse range of courses.

We work in partnership with approved external providers to deliver courses across the UK. We expect all courses to meet the high standards that have been established over many years and to use only experienced professionals and woodland practitioners as tutors.

Small Woods strives to ensure the best quality learning experience by keeping course numbers low. Our courses, unless otherwise specified, are suitable for all levels of experience and ability. We have many years experience in enabling all groups to attend courses and will make every effort to ensure a satisfying experience for all.

We try and encourage car sharing and the use of public transport for participants on our courses. Please contact us if you need a lift or you are willing to offer a lift to someone else who is travelling here and the direction that you will be travelling. We can also offer to lifts to and from the train station. Please contact us if this is of interest to you.


Small Woods at Small Woods Association
The Old Station
Station Road
Coalbrookdale, Telford
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Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Public transport
  • Romantic
  • Stag dos
  • UK Holiday

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