Introducing woodturning – bowls, spindles and boxes with Dave Regester

Wood, carving and turning

Ref: S3D11355

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About this course

Working at a wood turner's lathe, study the bowl-making process through demonstrations and practice, using the various tools in sequence to produce a small bowl in seasoned ash or sycamore.

Course Description

This course is designed for the beginner and those who have been woodturning on their own, and feel that some sympathetic help from a knowledgeable tutor can save them a lot of wasted effort. You will be allocated your own lathe, instructed in its safe use and all the accessories, given a list and diagram of the parts of the lathe and the tools.

The method of teaching will be by explanation, demonstration and practice. The tutor is very happy to repeat these as often as you need and will encourage you to ask questions. The bowl gouge and scraper will be introduced in sequence as they are needed to produce a simple bowl; the tutor will explain how and why they work. You will be shown each stage of the process and then put this into practice at your own pace, with as much supervision as needed. Next, you will be introduced to the spindle roughing gouge, the parting tool, the skew chisel and the detailing spindle gouge.

There will be time to practise the techniques needed to make the basic components of all spindles (coves and beads) and then make a project such as a mallet. Following this, you will learn how to hollow into end grain and make a small bowl using this technique; those who attain sufficient skill within the time available can make a lidded box.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Timber supplied for set projects and some abrasives are included in the course fee. Additional timber may be purchased for individual projects if required.

What students need to bring

  • Overall, boiler suit or smock (to protect your clothes against wood dust and shavings. It should be close fitting round the neck, no loose ties, etc.)
  • Covered, sturdy but comfortable footwear (sandals are not permitted in the workshop)
  • Woodturning tools (marked with your name) if you have any
  • Wood for turning, if you wish (seasoned English hardwoods such as Ash, Sycamore, Beech for bowls, i.e. 50-100mm thick, 150-250mm diameter. For spindles: 50mm x 50mm x 200mm or longer, 75/100mm x 75/100mm x 225mm, 50mm x 50mm x 150mm or branches of hardwood of same dimensions).
  • Thin super glue
  • Your favourite finishing product

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Pencil
  • A selection of timber blanks (cost around £8.50 each)
  • Finishing oil
  • 80, 100, 150, 180, 240, 320 grit, cloth backed abrasive
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Dave Regester

Dave Regester began turning full time in 1974 and is self taught. He sells in David Mellor and Divertimenti in London and Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Devon. David has written many articles for Woodturning magazine and five books. He taught at Parnham College and has demonstrated and taught in Britain and abroad.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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