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Woodturning courses in Portsmouth


About the Course

Students will first be shown around the workshop to help familiarise them with the machinery and the safe use of them. This includes a bit of time getting you familiar with how to use the turning tools to turn to round and produce a bead and a cove in various ways. Then a brief chat about possible projects to see what excites you, this introduction to the workshop helps me get an understanding of your capabilities.

There are a number of interesting projects that can be turned in a day depending on the ability of the student. The time it takes for each project will depend on a number of things; the size of the timber used, the detail put into it and the level of finish required. The time is not restricted to the times shown, if a project runs over and you want to finish, then I'm happy to work on if you are, or make some arrangement to return another time.

I generally work one to one with beginners, more than one is fine once I'm confident you can do some work on the lathe unassisted and depending on the other turners ability. One person turning and one watching is fine as long as one is happy to sit and watch, taking turns is fine and the price can be adjusted to suit, in that situation call me to discuss it.

I'm a retired carpenter/small builder. I've done site work and workshop work, roofing and shop-fitting.
I have been running a club for children doing woodturning and crafts for over 11 years. I teach/demonstrate woodturning and workshop skills to children and adults of all abilities at the club and in my workshop and have an up to date enhanced DAB disclosure. I also demonstrate/teach at other venues.
All workshops are enjoyable and easy going, the children especially enjoy this experience, but I can give detailed lesson type tuition if required. It's all about what you want from the time in the workshop, it may be a one off or regular tuition, it's up to you.

My workshop is 6m x 3.6m and is an insulated building so its nice and warm in the winter, its well equipped and tidy, I have dust and chip extraction and a micro filter to remove the very fine particles of dust from the air.

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?

Face shields, ear defenders, smock and gloves are available, wear sensible boots/shoes, no open toes or soft shoes as tools and timber can be sharp or heavy.

All the tools and machinery are supplied and the finishes to the products, i.e. wax etc, the timber used is free unless you want to make a large bowl, (restrictions on bowl size will depend on what I have and the time available). You could make a pen but there will be a charge for the kit.
Tea and/or coffee is available free but bring a packed lunch, a microwave is available and the washroom is up at the house.

I'm retired so I am available most of the time, week days are best but I can do some weekends if that's the only time you have free, if you're local or passing then you're more than welcome to pop in and see what it's all about, contact me to make sure I'm in, you'll be more than welcome.

No smoking is allowed on site.


Mick Giles at Crafty Mick
76 Second Avenue
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Suitable for

  • Children
  • Public transport
  • School holiday workshops & activities
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers

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One day

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #28232

I spent a full day with Mick one to one. He has a lot of knowledge and skills & is patient. Mick went through all the equipment we would be using with the emphasis on safety. By the end of the day l had used the lathe, pillar drill & band saw. With Micks help l managed to make a bud vase & a small bowl. If you want a fun day learning a new skill l would thoroughly recommend Mick as a teacher.

In-person course
- - #27619

My wife booked this course as a surprise for my birthday and what a suprise it was. I had an amazing day. Mick was so helpful and knowledgable and he taught us so much! Not only did we do lots of activities during the day, but we even got to make two vases as a momento of the day. Superb!

Response from Crafty Mick:

What an amazing day for me as well, Kenny was nicely surprised when he walked into the workshop. Lovely young couple that were inspired by the grain and shapes they produced, with no preconceptions to mislead them. They created very unique shapes, I just love teaching and the students love it too, so good to get people interested in hand making things. I'm thinking they may be getting a lathe sometime so I may see them again.


In-person course
- - #27317

I spent Saturday 11/1/20 learning woodturning with Mick in his garden workshop. Mick has years of experience in woodworking and an excellent teaching manner. His years of coaching all sorts of pupils, including autistic children, really shone through. Despite being a competent DIYer, this was my first go at woodturning and by 5pm I had managed to produce a lovely bud vase from basically a piece of pallet wood, as well as a dibber for planting seeds. Thoroughly enjoyable day! Thanks, Mick.

Response from Crafty Mick:

Another exciting day for me, Alan was quick to understand how the tools behave and loves the idea of so many opportunities when it comes to woodturning, I think with that drive to keep busy now retired turning is going to play a big part in his life, I have a feeling Alan will be back for a more in depth day in the workshop.


In-person course
- - #26277

Had two sessions with Mick to learn the safe use of the wood lathe and come away with a result. Well I wasn't disappointed on either. Mick showed patience in teaching me techniques for turning the wood and of course the safe operation of the lathe. As a person looking for a contrast from the pressures of work, these days were perfect. As a result I now am the proud owner of a wooden vase and a set of wooden skittles for my Granddaughter which, before the course, I would never thought I could achieve. Mick's relaxed but professional guidance to his courses is a real plus. He is approachable and very happy to go over something more than once for a complete novice for which I was. Couldn't recommend his courses higher. Really brilliant couple of days.

Response from Crafty Mick:

Yet another amazing day in the workshop, good to see Dave back again, there are 2 ways at looking at this project, sometimes its good to make more than one of a kind as youll be surprised how quickly you learn the methods through repetition, on the other hand especially if its fine detail work making 2 or more the same is time consuming and can be quite stressful for even the best of turners, No stress here today, there's not enough room in the workshop for it.......we both enjoyed the day and 6 more skittles with one more to make the set, It'll be interesting for Dave to make this somewhere else with different guidence,tools and lathe, a good experience that will help him choose what to buy when he sets up at home.

In-person course
- - #25961

I spent one day with him in Portsmouth and I was hoping to learn wood turning.
I managed to make a candlestick and bud vase. Mike Giles was extremely helpful and very nice. When I get the opportunity I would definitely go again.

Response from Crafty Mick:

Henry is doing a DT scholarship at his school and I was more than happy to give him the opportunity to try woodturning, he understood instruction well and really enjoyed creating a shape, sanding and polishing, we need to give these young people the chance to use their skills, ideas and enthusiasm, we need to keep them busy with hands on activity, its so important for later in the work place. I expect to see Henry and his mum turning together in the workshop sometime in the future.

In-person course
- - #25766

I had a great day with Mick, he explained all I needed to know & more on wood turning.
He chatted about sourcing & drying the wood, what is possible to make and how, also the type of equipment required.
Turning a simple vase was very satisfying, and I'm looking forward to taking this forward.
I would highly recommend this day with Mick, if you're thinking of taking up wood turning.

Response from Crafty Mick:

As always a day in the workshop is very rewarding, Rob picked up the handling of the tools very quickly, I can see him looking for a lathe now and will enjoy time turning with his children, as always contact me if you need any help in the future.


In-person course
- - #23948

I spent a brilliant day with Mick, he showed me how to use all different types of equipment, gave me specialist advice and guidance on using various tools. I left with practical skills and my brain bursting with knowledge. I would definitely recommend booking with Mick he's superb teacher, giving you confidence to perform tasks you didn't think you were capable of.

Response from Crafty Mick:

My Pleasure Diane, let me know if you need anymore help or a quick reminder.
All the best with your new job.


In-person course
- - #23595

If anyone is cautious when it comes to online reviews - then I am. However, on spending the day in Mick’s workshop , I found that every positive review I read was absolutely true as I was super impressed with Mick service and expertise. I initially booked the wood turning course for my partners birthday, but decided to get stuck in too. Mick was very accommodating, and observed both of us , getting to know quite quickly how we worked best and how to teach and guide us, according to our individual needs. We had so much fun and learnt so much at the same time. Mick has a great personality and that was a huge contributing factor to us enjoying the day. We created two beautiful vases - Mick was patient and helped us to create different designs that matched our individual personalities. It was truly a memorable day and although we live 145miles away, I hope to visit Mick for another woodturning workshop soon- It was well worth the travel!

Response from Crafty Mick:

Thankyou Ish,
I’ve said this before, when you have wonderful students and love your trade then everything is a real pleasure, every student has different ideas and skills and guiding them through the day to leave with something that they have created is so rewarding, I meet some lovely people here at the workshop, I love the challenge of making their ideas happen whatever their skills are and showing the natural beauty that’s within every piece of wood, my pleasure entirely Ish.

In-person course
- - #23434

Mick's passion for helping people and working with wood is amazing.

I made contact with Mick seeing he ran courses in wood turning as I needed a bespoke piece of carpentry for the outside of my house. I tried a couple of other local business without success so wasn't holding out much hope.

Mick replied within a few hours and was happy to take on the piece of work. Communication with Mick was really easy and super quick and in the end I I had fully completed bespoke product ready to fit in less then 48 hours - which was actually over a weekend.

Mick was an absolute pleasure to deal with and I couldn't have been more happy to have worked with Mick. Thank you

Response from Crafty Mick:

Hi Andy,
It was a pleasure, I dont like turning more than a couple of pieces the same as it can get sort of boring but yours was fairly straight forward and exciting as I decided to turn it from your pictures on line, quite a challenge but worked out fine, some turning and some morticing to fit, it was good to meet somebody not to scared to repair something like this, you listened to advise well and made a good job so well done you.

Ill post a picture when Andy sends it.

They say a person who enjoys their work never works a day in their life, Ill second that.....


In-person course
- - #23288

I had a wonderful day with Mick as he taught me how to turn a bowl and a vase of which I am very happy with. I will definitely continue this hobby and have learned a number of techniques. Mick is obviously very experienced in turning wood and he was a delight to spend the day with. If someone was in two minds about whether to take a course in using a lathe, I would highly recommend Mick in a heartbeat.
Thanks Mick, I'll be back at later date for round 2!

In-person course
- - #23239

I had a wonderful time doing a day of woodturning with Mick. We started with a chat about what I wanted to learn and my experience. Then went on to learn all about the lathe and different tools. He very cleverly set up the lathe in a way that made me feel very safe and confident. He guided me through designing my own bud vase and then help me turn a rough looking piece of pallet wood into a lovely decorative vase. The transformation was amazing and I was thrilled with the results and finish. I would highly recommend this course for anyone looking to get into wood turning! Great value for money!

In-person course
- - #21457

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day with Mick last week, and would recommend this course to anyone, regardless of their previous experience or knowledge of woodturning. He is a born teacher, patient and unflappable, and imparts his knowledge clearly. He has a real passion for his craft, and shows you how to see potential beauty and form in even the most unprepossessing lump of timber.

With his calm, informative guidance I was able to make a delightful vase, and a natural-edge bowl (which is already in use---it's filled with M&Ms!), both of which I am quietly proud of having made, and I am hugely grateful to Mick for having shown me how.

It was a fantastic experience, and one that I am determined to repeat as soon as possible. I can't praise this one-day course too highly.

Response from Crafty Mick:

As always a day in the workshop is a real joy, I like meeting interesting people, Jill understood the how to and was excited by the silk like finish and grain on the projects, I really enjoyed the day and the light hearted chat, It'll be interesting to see what she wants to make next time.

In-person course
- - #19016

This was my first time at trying woodturning and it couldn't have gone better. I had a great day with Mick who is clearly very knowledgeable and excellent at explaining what I had to do. I really enjoyed learning the different techniques and then using them to produce a bud vase to my design which I was able to take home. I'm now looking forward to getting my own lathe and hope to visit Mick again to learn more !
Thanks so much Mick, Noah, aged 12.

Response from Crafty Mick:

Noah is a quick learner and is good with design, he listens and discusses matters well, Im sure he will make a good, interesting turner. I really enjoyed the day with Noah and his dad Paul. Mick

In-person course
- - #18290

Mick is a very patient man who understands my aim for perfection in my creations :)

Response from Crafty Mick:

Angela loves attention to detail, its always interesting to see how well she sands and polishes, ever since she first started turning here 5 years ago after her busy day at school there's been an official finish called "An Angela Finish" only a couple of people have come close to achieving it. As always a real pleasure to work with and always produces an exciting piece and in this case an amazingly creative picture taken in the workshop.

In-person course
- - #17607

I would highly recommend this course especially if you are like me,new to wood turning. I have learnt loads about tools, techniques and finishes which I’m sure will help me become a better turner. Thanks for your patience Mick - I had a great day!

Response from Crafty Mick:

Thanks Wendy, always happy to help, I really enjoyed the day to. I really enjoyed your take on ideas and pleased to help with ways to achieve results, nice to meet somebody so excited about making things. Let me know if you need help with anything.


In-person course
- - #15305

Mick is brilliant, an amazing teacher and goes to no end of trouble to help you achieve what you want to do. His workshop is superb (and like the Tardis) and time with him is really inspiring.

Response from Crafty Mick:

I really enjoy working with the students in the workshop, the projects always challenge me to find a way to make things happen, I never say no, theres always a way and thats what makes workshop time exciting. Mick

In-person course
- - #13952

Perfect day's course.
I have been tempted to take up woodturning for some time now never having had a go before.
My hopes for the day were to have a go on the lathe, get a feel for the craft and confirm it is something I want to take up. The day more than exceeded my expectations.
A fun day spent with Mick where we went through the basics ending up with a very presentable vase and bowl. Mick's approach is very relaxed and friendly and within a short time I was on the lathe turning simple shapes. He's also a fountain of knowledge and gave me a lot of tips on what to look in the equipment for when I come to set up my own lathe/tools.
Overall a great day!
Thanks also to Mick's wife for the cups of tea etc. I was made very welcome.

In-person course
- - #12020

Amazing day Mick was very patient considering I have never even touched a lathe in my life.
I had so much fun making a bowl and a acron keyring, I have booked in again for another lesson definitely hooked now and would highly recommend

In-person course
- - #9904

Spent a fantastic day on Mick's one day course.

I'd always loved the look of turned wood and jumped at the chance of using a gift voucher towards actually trying it for myself for the first time.

As previous reviewers have said, Mick's obvious enthusiasm and love of wood and wood turning in particular in infectious. After a brief intro to what can be done...the nuances of wood...the tools involved and techniques well as how to do so get to actually having a go pretty quickly with the results instant. The initial spindle work lets you get to try various techniques to see what you might be better at/prefer. Then it's down to picking what you want to do that day and getting on with it. With Mick always there to help and advise but not interfere/take over unnecessarily. So you end up with something you have made.

I think I may have the bug - been looking at lathes etc to buy already!

A brilliant day and one I'd recommend to anyone.

In-person course
- - #9651

What a great day! My son and I are self taught amateur (beginner) wood turners with 6 months experience and knew there was a lot more to understanding how real turners work than watching a few YouTube videos. Mike took us back to first principles and built on what we knew. His knowledge and teaching skills are fantastic and he has a real passion for the subject. We made two great bowls that any amateur would be proud of and came away with a good foundation to keep going in the right direction. I would not hesitate in recommending Mike. Thanks again

In-person course
- - #9275

I've been interested in carpentry and wood turning for a while but neither have the space nor equipment to have a stab at it. Mick took me through the basics of wood turning step by step and we spent the day making a vase and bowl in his workshop. Such a lovely guy, very patient and a great teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learned a lot and had a good laugh with him. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in turning their hand to something creative. I left inspired.

In-person course
- - #9274

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In-person course
- - #8002

I really enjoy the time after school that I get to spend with Mick in his workshop. Mick's great fun and always up for a challenge. I get to learn so many different skills and use tools that I wouldn't normally get a chance to have a go with. Mick explains things really well and has lots of patience. He encourages me to think for myself and to be independent in the workshop.
The first project I chose was to make a model sailing boat. Mick helped me to design and build a working boat and we even had great fun sailing it. My second project was to turn a bowl which I am really proud of. Thank you.

In-person course
- - #7473

Great day spent with Mick. The knowledge and easy manner in which Mick imparts his tuition is great. Mick operates good working practices in the shop but treats you as adults, quite a rare thing these days.
Myself and Caroline turned a vase and bowl respectively albeit with a little assistance

In-person course
- - #7352

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In-person course
- - #6212

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In-person course
- - #6112

I spent a thoroughly enjoyable day with Mick who helped me to improve my basic knowledge of woodturning and give me the confidence to have a go on my own. Well worthwhile - thank you.

In-person course
- - #5702

My dad and I spent the day with Mick as part of a fathers day gift. We had lots of fun but at the same time we learned so much. We made two lovely bowls and a few more ornaments that I now have at home. Mick takes health and safety very seriously and I felt very safe with Mick around. But he doesn't let safety spoil the fun. Mick also is a very kind and funny person, his wife is kind as well.

In-person course
- - #5416

I know this is a bit unconventional but Im Mick who runs this course, I am noting that Ive just had a brilliant day with two of the nices guys, Rob & Alan spent today in my workshop, they enjoyed it so much we didnt stop for lunch, they both went home with a beautiful Ash bowl and my guess is they will be looking at purchasing a lathe each quite soon.
I enjoyed it so much so that I just had to write this to say thank you to them.


In-person course
- - #4419

Mick Giles is is very experienced and knowledgeable about wood turning with a real passion for all wood craft. Mick gave some careful explanations of the wood turning lathe, safety, various apparatus and tools. I chose to make a half scale representation of a Buddhist hand prayer wheel, which used four different woods and utilised a number of different woodcraft techniques. Mick was very patient and helped me to improve my skills which enabled me to complete the project.
Really enjoyable and very satisfying - another session already booked.

In-person course
- - #4385

I had not done any wood turning for 46 years but wanted to see if my memories from school were fact or fiction. With Mick's tuition and enthusiasm I quickly found they were fact! I had a wonderful day in the extremely well equipped workshop. After a morning of careful instruction in the use of the various tools and apparatus available, including close attention to health and safety, I was shown various pieces of seasoned wood and asked to pick a piece to work with. Mick is extremely knowledgeable and has endless patience. He guided me through the various processes involved and at the end of the day I walked out with a lovely polished bowl! I have booked a second session already and am planning my own workshop ready for my retirement.

In-person course
- - #4270

Had an excellent day with Mick yesterday (22 Feb2016 ), Mick clearly explained about wood, safety what we were doing and why, step by step as the day went on, he explained everything in terms that a novice like me could understand and has a well equipped workshop and lots of experience and knowledge that he is happy to pass on. I would thoroughly recommend anyone thinking of taking up wood turning to give Mick a call

In-person course
- - #4089

I've just had a really excellent wood turning session with Mick. I'm an absolute novice but with his guidance and his unlimited patience I left the session with a beautiful tree which now has pride of place on the mantelpiece (and much admired by friends). He demonstrated each step very clearly and gave me the confidence to try each for myself. He takes health and safety particularly seriously. I'm now hooked and already have another session booked in!

In-person course
- - #3910

I had a really good day with Mick who is a very interesting and knowledgeable man. I produced a bowl that I am proud of and have been encouraged to progress further with wood turning.

In-person course
- - #3826

Just had an excellent day with mike managed to make a beautiful looking bowl thank you so much for your great day . Will be in touch soon for another lesson .

In-person course
- - #3804

Had an excellent day with Mick on Tuesday last week. He is very hospitable and clearly enthusiastic about teaching all ages. The great thing is that he is willing and able to adapt to whatever level you are at and will concentrate on what you want to get out of the session. Learned lots and have a clear idea now about what I need to practise and focus on to improve further. Highly recommended.

In-person course
- - #3783

I had always wanted to try 'wood turning' but had not realised how many steps there were from the raw material to the finished product.
Mick is the perfect teacher - he finds out what experience you have (if any), what you may be interested in making and explains the 'do and don't' aspects to ensure you have a safe and satisfying experience.
He demonstrates various techniques so you have a choice of how to produce your finished object, but at no point imposes his views on what you choose to do.
At the end of my day with him, I came away refreshed (had escaped from the world), excited (because I had created something) and happy with my creations - two 'bud vases' to give my daughters for Christmas, plus a 'Parlour Game' to keep for myself.
Mick - thank you for sharing your talent and love for wood turning.

In-person course
- - #3628

I had a fantastic day with Mick. He is a very skilful and knowledgable instructor. I've learnt a lot and definitely is hooked on woodturning. As a wiseman says, all depends on your teacher - and this is true. Its exciting and satisfying to see the results of your work. I made a bowl by the end of the class . It looks almost professional :) And its all thanks to Mick, who guided me step by step.
Thank you A++

In-person course
- - #3574

I spent a fantastic day with Mick on Saturday October 24th. I have had very little skills of using a woodturning lathe... to be honest... since I left school many years ago.... but with Mick's guidance, knowledge, expertise and patience!!!....I managed to produce a small petal vase which I can honestly say I was really chuffed about. Would 100% recommend Mick,s course it was worth every penny. He is friendly, laid back, patient and his knowledge of woodturning is outstanding.
Will definitely be going back for more.

In-person course
- - #2994

I spent a day last week with Mick Giles' on one of his 1 day courses for woodturning as I was looking to improve my skills and I have long respected Mick as a master in his field. Mick is not only highly experienced but is also a great teacher and his passion for the craft is quite infectious. I would definitely recommend Mick's courses to anyone looking to improve their level in turning, irrespective of where they are from beginner to advanced alike.

Here is a link to the bowl which I turned on the day under Mick's guidance.

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