Woodturning Courses

Courses will be tailored to suit the requirements of the student, structured to cover basic principles, but flexible enough to take into account individual needs. It may be wise to delay purchasing tools and equipment until after the course as my strictly impartial advice will probably save you money.

Spindle Turning

This will explain correct cutting techniques of timber, fixed between centres with the grain running along the lathe bed, usually driven by a pronged drive centre and supported at the tail-stock end by a revolving centre. `Hands-on` experience using the Roughing-gouge, Shallow-spindle-gouge, Skew-chisel and Parting-tool, will swiftly produce Tapers, Coves, Beads and V-cuts ready for Sanding and Polishing. Long-hole-boring and End-grain turning will also be covered.

Bowl Turning

This will explain correct cutting techniques of timber, with the grain usually going across the lathe bed, fixed to the headstock by means of a Face-plate or Chuck. The emphasis will be to present the Bowl-gouge onto the wood correctly so as to control the desired shape and give a clean cut straight from the tool. Thereby eliminating or minimizing the use of scrapers which can, when used too harshly, lead to torn grain causing the need for excessive sanding.

Sharpening, Grinding

I will demonstrate how to achieve an appropriate bevel angle, and a sharp cutting edge, directly from the Grinder so as to enable a swift return to the work in hand. However honing can sometimes be more desirable and will certainly save precious steel. Students are encouraged to bring along a selection of tools, especially any that are giving problems, a minor adjustment to a bevel angle maybe all that is required.

Health & Safety

A by-product of woodturning can be the accumulation of dust and shavings, which apart from being a potential fire hazard, can cause severe skin and respiratory problems. Advice will be given on how to control and minimize this problem. Safe working practices will be observed and commented on as and when they occur during the course.

Intermediate & Advanced

These courses are aimed at those that have developed a sound understanding of basic practices and principles, but wish to aspire to projects that require a greater level of skill. Natural edge bowls, Wet turning, Box making, Colouring, Texturing and Carving are some of the things that could be built into the course, which would be structured to individual needs.

Workshop Equipment

There is 500sq.ft. of space dedicated to woodturning with full dust extraction to all machinery. This includes a V.B. Bowl-turner, Harrison-Graduate and Dominion lathes. A Startrite 502 Bandsaw, Belt-Sander, Bench-Grinder, Air-Compressor, Air-Tools, Pillar-Drill, Chainsaws and many hand-tools. All in all a serious workshop.

Booking, Charges & Accommodation

The courses can be structured over one to four days depending on your requirements, but I consider that a two day course is enough for most students to absorb at one time. We will cover a lot of ground. Subsequent problems that may be encountered back in your own workshop can usually be sorted out with a quick phone-call.

Each day runs from 9-30am to 5pm with a break for lunch. The cost is £175 per day and is inclusive of timber, materials, refreshments and lunch. Accommodation, if required, can be provided on a B&B basis at £30 per night. The unspoilt Hamlet of Morwenstow is situated in North Cornwall close to the South-West coast path amidst spectacular cliff-top scenery. Ideal for `non turning` spouses/partners to explore while you are slogging over a hot lathe. The same B&B terms would apply.

Alternatively there is a good selection of Hotels/Pubs/Guest-houses in the area that we can advise upon if required. To reserve a place or to discuss your requirements telephone 01288-331453, or write to 'Trelawney', Crosstown, Morwenstow, Nr.Bude, Cornwall EX23 9SR.


1990 to 1997."Mr Don White has been employed as a specialist woodturning lecturer at this college since January 1990. At that time we commenced a Health and Safety course for Design and Technology teachers, following the syllabus laid down by the Association of Advisors for Design and Technology. He teaches safe working practises in woodturning to a wide range of students, from younger first-year BEd and final-year BEd [Hons] through to more mature PGCE and Articled Teachers from Bristol Poly, and a whole range of serving teachers from Avon schools. His knowledge of his field is encyclopaedic and his rapport with the students is excellent." July 1992. Colin Scholes.....Head of Department Engineering Mathematics and Science. SOUNDWELL COLLEGE...St Stephens Road...Soundwell...BRISTOL...BS16 4RL.

Founder Member.....National.....Association Woodturners Great Britain...1987
Founder Member.....Bristol and Avon..........A.W.G.B..........1989
Workshop organizer...[Dogs-body]..at..5..Loughborough Seminars ....1987-1995

For over 40 years Don White has been among the leading Bowl-turners in the U.K. Believing passionately that there is no substitute for the discipline of repetition to hone one's skills enabling the natural progression to more advanced individual work. His range of domestic-ware is stocked by good quality kitchen-ware shops. The more 'individual pieces' are sold through selected galleries and exhibitions with the Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire Guilds of Craftsmen.