Woodturning basics – spindles, boxes and bowls with Jason Breach

Wood, carving and turning

Ref: SLW11883

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About this course

Learn the basics of how to use a woodlathe to create a range of items, covering spindle turning and faceplate work, learn how to use and sharpen basic woodturning tools to complete a range of items to develop basic lathe skiils.

Course Description

If you are new to woodturning or thinking about taking this up, learning how to use the lathe and associated tools safely can be a daunting challenge. You will learn the basic skills to be able to set up and use a woodlathe. From basic spindle work of beads and coves, to bowls and lidded boxes, with the use of basic woodturning tools, and how they are sharpened and maintained, under tuition from an experienced turner and tutor.

You will be allocated your own lathe and tools to use throughout the course, and will receive practical step-by-step instruction throughout the course to enable you to learn about how the lathe is used safely.

You will make a range of items within the time scale of the course; these are about building on tool skills, and understanding how the basic range of woodturning tools work. This covers a spindle practice piece, faceplate work, how to use a chuck to make a bowl, and how to make a lidded box with a fitting lid. Time will be spent looking at how to sharpen tools, explaining timber and grain direction, sanding and finishing,

This is a practical step-by-step tutor-led demonstraion course, which allows for techniques to be shown and repeated as needed, with questions encouraged. It introduces you to each tool in stages, allowing you the time to practise using them.


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


  • On this course the College will supply most of the materials including abrasives and the seasoned timber for the projects described.

What students need to bring

  • Some overalls, boiler suit, or smock to protect your clothes against the woodshavings and dust, these need to be close fitting including cuffs and neck. No loose ties.
  • Long hair must be fixed/tied back
  • Covered sturdy but comfortable shoes as a lot of time is spent standing at the lathe.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Abrasive, cloth-backed
  • Some finishes
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some timber if required
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


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

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in woodworking?

Our Foundation Degree specialising in Furniture is designed to give you well-rounded woodworking theory and craft skills to become a self-employed maker or craftsperson, to continue your studies in higher education or to find employment in the creative industry sector. Find out more

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