Beginning Woodturning
with Bonnie Klein

Woodturning  Series Level: Level I


In this class Bonnie focuses on giving you a thorough understanding of how the different turning tools cut. Each of the tools reacts differently to the grain of the wood and you need to understand that relationship to cut well, cut safely and leave a great finish on your work. Although this class with master turner Bonnie Klein is intended for beginning woodturners, even experienced turners will benefit greatly from Bonnie's tutoring.

Class Description

This class includes a good dosage of cutting theory, basic cutting techniques on practice blocks, and tool shaping and sharpening.  To reinforce the skills, there will be several projects such as a crazy stick pen, a spin top with chatterwork, a tool handle with a brass ferrule, and more from Bonnie’s book.  

You may be wondering - "Where is the best place to begin?" Bonnie, like most other instructors, believes that spindle turning is the answer. 
By definition, spindle turning is when the grain is oriented parallel to the lathe bed, usually with the work piece captured between centers.  We think this is a safe place to start and best for learning about tool cutting theory. This cutting theory can be applied in the use of all turning tools.  The ultimate goal is to achieve the best possible surface on the wood right off the tool, thus reducing excessive sanding.  Too much sanding will distort or ruin fine details and reduce design crispness.  A good sharp tool, used properly, will produce a good cut.
Skew chisel techniques will be introduced and a skew chisel project will be turned.  "We will tame the skew!"
When you finish this class you will have a good understanding of how the tools are used to remove wood and you will feel confident about putting a tool into spinning wood.
 "Let’s make some shavings!"

Bonnie's Tool List

This is Bonnie's list of basic woodturning tools that will get you started turning. We are equipped with the turning tools you'll need for the class. However, if you want to bring along your own turning tools and work with them, we encourage you to do so. 

  • 3/4" roughing gouge
  • 3/8" spindle (shallow fluted) gouge
  • 3/8" bowl gouge
  • 1/8" parting tool
  • 1/16" parting tool
  • ½” round nose scraper
  • ½" square scraper
  • Skew (3/4” or 1”)
  • Chatter tool
  • Sandpaper (80,120,220,400,600)
  • Glues (CA), finishes and rags 
  • Shop lamp or gooseneck lamp for extra light
  • Jewelers magnifiers for sharpening
  • Colored felt pens

You will need to bring:

  • Paper, pencil,
  • Small ruler

We do require that you bring your own safety gear:

  • Face, hearing, and respiratory protection
    We suggest that you bring a face shield, hearing protection and a comfortable dust mask. You can buy a face shield from Woodcraft for around $22. You can also buy face shields at Edensaw (our local lumberyard). Check our FAQ for more details.


None except your interest in woodturning and enthusiasm.

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day. Please note these classes take place in Building 306 at Fort Worden State Park.

Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.

Please also read our Registration Policy.


Class size: 8
Cost: $300
Materials Charge: $40


2014 Classes: 

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.

May 3 - 4, 2014 Beginning Woodturning Register
September 13 - 14, 2014 Beginning Woodturning Register

If you'd like to ask questions - please feel free to contact  us - (360) 344-4455 or by email.

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Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades Copyright © 2007-2014. All rights reserved.

200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 | email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.