Woodturning Courses

I have been turning wood for approximately 16 years on a full time basis. My first encounter with the lathe dates back to the mid 70's. I am a past-President of the Valley Woodturners, and a member of the American Association of Woodturners. I have attended the Annual Ottawa Woodshow for the last 9 years as a participant in the Woodturning Competition, as an exhibitor, and as a demonstrator for tool suppliers and dealers.

The most common type of woodturning is spindle turning. This is how newel posts and balusters are made, table legs, chair legs, pens, candlesticks and more. This introductory course includes an introduction to safety as relates to woodturning, the preparation of the wood, a brief explanation of the different tools used, and a hands-on session where you get to make your own chosen project. Your choice of projects for a 1 hour session includes:

1. Making a tool handle, or
2. Making a pen or stick pen or
3. Making a decorative spindle.

For a 2 hour session:
1. Making a candlestick or
2. Making a small lidded box

A working lathe and tools, the space, preferably a garage or workshop, the electrical connection and your own materials. Woodturning creates a lot of dust and wood chips. I don't do windows or dishes, and I don't sweep! Typically a Slimline pen kit can be purchased for around $5.00. The wood required is priced based on the kind of wood you wish to turn, exotics costing more than local varieties. The cost of the wood will be determined at the time of booking. For the most part the wood cost will not exceed $5.00 to $10.00. You can either purchase the materials yourself or I can pick them up for you. I can also offer a selection from my own stock of wood at a reasonable price.

My rate is $65.00 per hour. Payment can be made by cheque, cash, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard or American Express. The minimum course length is 1 hour. There may be a surcharge based on travel distance to be determined at booking time. What can you learn in 1 hour? In all honesty, only the basics and not much else. However, you should be able to learn enough to be able to decide if woodturning is for you or not. Realistically, a 2 hour session will give you a lot more information and should leave you with enough confidence to get you going on your own.

If you already own a lathe and woodturning tools, the best place for you to get instruction is in your shop. This way, the things you learn can be practiced right away with your own tools. You will need to have a grinder to sharpen tools. If you do not have a lathe, we can set things up at my shop which is in North Gower, about 20 minutes south of Ottawa. Either option works for me.

Most people are really misinformed as to the cost of woodturning in general. Many feel that thousands of dollars are required. The truth is that anyone can turn for as little as $300.00 to $500.00, INCLUDING the cost of a small decent lathe. Woodturning is an extremely enjoyable occupation. If you like wood and enjoy working with your hands you will find that little else compares to making an item out of a piece of wood which might otherwise be consigned to the firewood pile! Woodturning allows you to explore your artistic side and for the most part, the results are entirely dependant on the amount of time you are willing to put into it.

You can book by phone at (613) 823-6770, or better yet, by email at mike@toymakersite.com. Please be sure to leave your name and phone number.

Although all possible safety steps are taken, woodturning, like any other activity employing the use of tools and power tools, can be a hazard and can lead to personal injury. You may be required to sign a waiver whereby you accept full responsibility for any personal injury sustained during the session.

Click here to check out what some of my new turners have learned.