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Advanced pole lathe turning

Harry turning a bowl

Duration: 2 Days

Price: £170

Contact: Small Woods at Small Woods Association

The Old Station
Station Road
Coalbrookdale, Telford
Shropshire
TF8 7DR
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Course Start Dates

Due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19/Coronavirus, please contact the course organiser before finalising plans to attend this course.
Saturday 12th September 2020

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 booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Tools, equipment and refreshments are provided. Free parking. Courses start promptly at 9.30 (feel free to arrive from 9 for refreshments).

Rustic huts on site, camping / campervan area with stocked kitchen and wash facilities and fire pit. Café on site too! Please ask us for advice on local B&Bs and hotels.

Small Woods use only experienced professionals and woodland practitioners as tutors. We have more than 20 years’ experience of delivering courses and training and a reputation for high quality teaching and professionalism.

Small Woods courses are suitable for all levels of experience and ability and we keep course numbers low. The physical nature and/or woodland location of some courses may make them difficult for people with mobility problems. We do, however, have many years’ experience in enabling all groups to attend courses and will make every effort to ensure a satisfying experience for all.



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  • Accessible by public transport
  • Accommodation offered
  • Events & groups
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Romantic
  • Stag and hen dos
  • Weekends