Intro to Woodturning


Intro to Woodturning

Get started in woodturning by learning safety, tool control, and how to create basic shapes for spindle and bowl turning.

Meeting Times
  1. Tue, 8/15/2023 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  2. Wed, 8/16/2023 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  3. Fri, 8/18/2023 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Tue, 8/15/2023 - Fri, 8/18/2023

See additional date options »

Class, Has Prerequisite

Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio



A small project will be started and completed as time permits.


In Session 1, you will learn about woodturning safety, bevel contact, and gouge technique focusing on good body mechanics - all important to building a foundation to launch your turning skills. You will use the roughing gouge during most of the class, followed by an introduction to the regular (“fingernail”) spindle gouge. Tools you will use include a spindle roughing gouge and fingernail spindle gouge.

In Session 2, you will review the earlier lesson, and then focus on the spindle gouge and parting tool, learning new mechanics for turning beads and coves. Toward the end of class, you will learn how a scroll chuck and tenon work in preparation for Session 3.

In Session 3, you will increase the precision of your turning technique by making a small project such as a honey dipper, finial, spinning top, or goblet, with your own design elements. You will use a scroll chuck, a Jacobs chuck and Forstner bit. 

Completing this class clears you to use the wood lathes for spindle turning during open studio. While you also will be eligible to take a bowl-turning class, it is strongly suggested you spend time turning in open studio a few times before you enroll in a bowl class.



  • Skill level: Beginner (but see "Prerequisites" below).
  • You must wear safety glasses and closed-toe shoes, tie back long hair, and avoid loose-fitting clothing and jewelry. We recommend bringing your own safety glasses.


You must first complete Orientation to the Woodshop. Multiple sessions of this free, one-hour class are listed on the Woodworking Calendar. Log in to your BARN account and click on "My event registrations" to ensure you will have completed this class before Intro to Woodturning begins.

Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up are welcome. 

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Jamie Straw

Jamie has been turning wood for several years, working on both spindle and bowl projects, and has taught woodturning at BARN since July 2017. She also serves as coordinator of BARN’s woodturning classes. She is past vice president for education and training for the local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. Her focus is on helping students build skills progressively as they design and create their woodturning projects.

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