Build a Bowl Lathe & Learn to Turn
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About the Course
Over the course of the four days of this workshop you will build your very own bowl turning lathe to take home and spend some time learning to turn beautiful, functional wooden bowls. Adults only, or over 16 when accompanied by a paying adult.
This workshop will be limited to 4 participants.
The workshop will focus specifically on the following areas:
• The skills required to build your own historic Viking style bowl turning lathe
• The different types of lathe used for turning
• Suitable British timbers for bowl turning
• Selecting appropriate sections of a log for bowl turning
• Roughing out a bowl ‘blank’ using an axe
• Safe and effective axe technique
• Mounting the blank on the lathe ready for turning
• Using home made hook tools to turn your first bowl
• Trimming up, drying and finishing your bowl
You will be constructing your new lathe out of a mix of locally sourced, kiln dried hard and softwoods, and from recently felled local greenwood. We choose to use a mix of kiln dried and green timber to minimise the amount of movement or shrinkage in the finished lathe, this keeps everything nice and tight and square and allows for a less frustrating turning experience.
There will be lots of time for you to develop and practise new skills, both joinery/construction skills and bowl turning skills. Whilst the main focus of the workshop will be about process and safe technique, you should still look forward to producing at least the first bowl off your new lathe to take home with you at the end of the four days. This will be a perfect sized bowl for you to eat your breakfast out of every morning, or your hot soup at lunch or your curry at the end of the day! By the end of this workshop you should feel confident to be able to continue your turning journey at home on your new lathe.
This is quite a physically and mentally demanding workshop. There will be plenty of breaks and stops to talk about process and technique but a reasonable level of fitness is required to make sure you get the most out of the four days.
Please remember that your new lathe, although transportable, is a serious piece of kit – you will not be able to take it home with you if you are planning to travel by public transport! This should not discourage you from attending though, there are options available should you need them but you will need to discuss this with us beforehand.
To be held in our farmhouse workshop in Dundraw, Cumbria.
All tools and materials are provided but you may bring your own if you have them and we can advise on their suitability. There is a materials charge of approximately £150 included in the price of the workshop. This covers absolutely all materials required to complete your lathe, including hand forged turning centres and a mandrel to continue your turning.
Turning hook tools are provided for use during the workshop but are NOT included within the workshop cost – these may be made available for participants to purchase at the end of the workshop.
ALTERNATIVELY…It is possible to tag a fifth day on to the end of the workshop where participants can learn to forge their own hook tools. This is normally £140 per person as a standalone workshop but if enough wanted to include this the price would be reduced to £120 each as a bolt on. This includes all steel and gas for forging, and of course refreshments and lunch. This means that participants would be able to go away 100% ready to carry on turning with a couple of tools that they have made themselves.
Further information will be sent via email upon confirmation of booking.
Workshop bookings are non refundable.
Workshop dates cannot be transferred once booked.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All tools and materials are provided but you may bring your own if you have them and we can advise on their suitability.
The workshop cost includes a simple ploughman’s type lunch on each of the workshop taught days. This will normally be homemade soup, freshly baked bread, local cheeses, salad, pickles, chutneys and free-range eggs from our flock of hens as an example. If you have particular dietary requirements then you should advise us beforehand so that we can try to make sure we provide for you appropriately.
Free flowing tea, coffee, water and fruit cordials will be available for the duration of the workshop, and home-baked biscuits and cake will be provided for morning and afternoon breaks.
I had a great five days with one to one tuition. The first day was spent forging two bowl hooks, a new and very satisfying experience. The next three days were spent constructing a very sturdy bowl lathe, the bed and poppets being of kiln dried three inch thick ash. The tenons for the legs and uprights were shaped with 1 3/4 and 1 1/2 Veritas tenon formers in a cordless drill, another new experience for me. The matching round mortices were drilled with hand augers, strenuous exercise. The last day was particularly satisfying, turning a bowl with the newly constructed lathe and the newly forged bowl hooks. The work was sustained with deliceous lunches and cake for tea. The instruction was excellent.
Peter Hoare - - #16077
Learned and talked about so much more than how to build a bowl lathe and turn wood (e.g. how to look after your body as a crafts person, how to look after your mind in a hectic modern world etc.)
Thanks for an awesome course - thoroughly recommended
Christian Lenehan - - #14851
What a hoot!!! Four days in Adrians world renowned and envied workshop with the man himself. How can you beat that? By making an utterly fantastic bowl lathe to take home.
Then what? You get to make a bowl on it under Adrian’s expert tuition. Excellent tuition, hospitality, cake and craic. Fantastic course. Thank you so much.
Tim Davis - - #13719
A really enjoyable 4 days, and what a lovely lathe to take away with us. Adrian is a tremendous teacher, very patient and encouraging and he created a very positive learning environment throughout, more than once helping me stay on track with the lathe building when I felt like it might have been falling off the rails! Also I really appreciated his willingness to start early and/or finish late so that the slowercoaches among us could get the work done and we could spend the last day turning.
Unbelievably, we were each given a lovely piece of cherry on the last day to make our first bowls out of. Again the teaching was top notch as we were guided through turning our cleft half of wood into a (very) bowl (-like object!)
The venue for the course was ideal, as well as an idyll. The food/refreshments provided (everything homemade) exceeded all expectations and really were a complete treat.
Great to leave with everything you need to go forth and turn more bowls, which is exactly what's happened, thank you.
Would highly recommend this!
Helen Clarke - - #13699
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Course Start Dates
Course dates are flexible; please get in touch for the next available date.
- Suitable for beginners
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