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Pole Lathe Turning

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Course Overview

Turning wood on a pole lathe—a wonderfully simple hand-built machine that needs only your leg and a wooden pole to power it—is a challenging and empowering experience. Your whole body must work together to make a usable bowl or cup. Over three days we will axe out blanks from green wood and turn bowls with pole lathes. We will cover the basics of turning, cutting techniques, and bowl design. Experienced students can move to more challenging projects like nesting and end grain turning. We will also discuss handling and storing green wood, sharpening, axe skills, and how to dry and finish your bowls with oil, paint, and decorative carving. Students should be prepared for a very physically demanding class that requires a certain level of stamina, coordination, and physical strength as well as the ability to follow precise instructions with regard to safety. Students must be able to stand on one leg for extended periods of time and have the hand strength to open a sealed jar or swing an axe or hammer repeatedly. If there are questions about this or if students have injuries or physical limitations, please contact the school before registering.

Required Tools

All tools will be provided

Optional Tools

  • Turning hooks
  • Hook knife
  • Axe

Currently Scheduled Sessions