Wood turning Classes

    Brooke and Rob 3.jpgAre you interested in learning how to turn wood on a lathe? Do you live in the Greater Vancouver area, lower mainland or anywhere in the Fraser Valley? I would be happy to help you get started in this enjoyable craft with lessons in our own heated and spacious shop. Lately, some of my students have been turning for quite some time and have been pleased to learn techniques that have taken their turning to a new level – mainly by getting rid of a few bad habits. 🙂  In the words of one of my stars, “I just didn’t know what I didn’t know”.

We live in Langley, just off the #1 freeway at the 232 St. exit, about 45 minutes from central Vancouver. We can also be accessed by any route that includes the #10 highway since that connects with the #1 freeway at the same interchange.

     I’ve been a wood turner for more than 50 years – since I was a kid – but seriously since 1988. I am sensitive to the needs of new learners, having taught many new wood turners in my own shop and through the two guilds to which I belong. Seeing the need for structured, hands-on learning for new turners I developed a Focus on Fundamentals program for one guild which is now also the framework for the same program in the second guild. I presently teach a variety of woodturning seminars for Lee Valley Tools in Coquitlam.  I have an extensive background in training in the Fire Service, so am no stranger to helping adults learn.

IMG_0273The objective in these sessions is to have fun while learning – and we always do. You will be introduced to proper cutting techniques that produce clean lines and reduces sanding. Many folks have turned in high school but unfortunately were not taught proper techniques. If you are one of those, you will be amazed by the difference. If you have never turned, the process is introduced in a logical and progressive manner in a way that a novice can understand. Safety is of prime importance and all safety equipment is provided along with the proper tools. You will learn about wood characteristics, how to use various turning tools, sharpening, work holding methods and lathes themselves.

     A day is about 6 hours in the shop, usually starting at 9:30 and ending at 4:00 but those times are not fixed. In the past I offered single day sessions but have found that there’s not enough time in one session to learn the skills required for a new turner to continue on their own. As a result I offer a minimum two-day session with the option to extend at a discount. I will teach faceplate turning (bowls) or turning on center (spindles) but both cannot be adequately taught in one session. I prefer to train new turners one at a time, allowing for closer attention to individual needs. I have on occasion taken two in one class – either members of the same family or friends.

All wood, safety equipment  and tools are provided. We don’t have any restaurants nearby so it’s a good idea to bring a light lunch.

IMG_0281If turners have some experience at an intermediate level, I can customize a session for a maximum of four (maximum 6 if two participants are able to bring mini lathes). For these turners I can offer training in specific areas of turning and wood colouring. If you are a wood shop teacher I have conducted a few class specifically for high school teachers on Pro D days both in their shops and my own.  Participants must bring their own tools and any wood specific to their project. You are, however, free to use any of  my tools to try something you may not have. While here, you may want to include a concentrated session on sharpening.

I offer a minimum two day rate and a discount for booking a third day at the student’s discreation. Please contact me for details.

Contact me through this website: edswoodturning@shaw.ca.


From Sinisa

Hi Ed

I wish to thank you again for inviting me to your workshop and showing unselfishly wood-turning secrets.  The whole experience was unforgettable. I woke up this morning and felt like going to the workshop to continue where we left yesterday.

Also a big thanks to your wife for a nice lunch.

Definitely, I’ll get a lathe and start doing wood-turning.


From Kim and PJ Burns

Kim and PJ were here on a “date night” to simply experience woodturning. She commented on the session in her blog; http://burnsdatenight.blogspot.ca/2013/06/pretty-amazing-woodturning-date-night.html.  Apparently PJ decided to purchase a lathe after the session.

From John

Hi Ed,

I just wanted to thank you again for your instructions in our three days together. I was at a workshop yesterday supported by our Island’s Woodturners Guild here in Victoria who was hosting Alan Stirt. I was a little concerned about going and being able to stay up with the other 4 experienced woodturners from our guild, then after I saw Alan turn a piece of eastern maple into shavings and form the back of his bowl, beautifully done I might say, in about a minute I  went from concern to nervous. However as the day started and listening to your voice in the back of head I managed to get through quite well and even managed to get a complement or two from Alan on some of by cuts….”Let the wood come to the tool” was what I kept hearing.

Thanks again.


Communities best served by our location are:

West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Mission, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs, Chilliwack and Abbotsford. I’ve had people from as far away as Hope, Squamish, Merrit and even Washington State in my shop for classes.


9 Responses to Wood turning Classes

  1. John Wiskel says:

    I am a beginning woodturner. Since I retired a few years ago I have taken some courses at Lee Valley and most recently, being a member of the Island Woodturning Guild of Victoria, I completed their “101 Woodturning” course: spindle turning, bowl turning, some introduction to finishing options, sharping of tools and of course safety. I have always labored at turning on a Shopsmith and last year I built a lathe table for a spare Shopsmith motor to bring the lathe up to height. I have just acquired a new Delta 46-460 and I completing a lathe table for that particular lathe. Since I completed the “101” course I have been practicing spindle turning, not my main interest but to learn to handle the tools…probably 25 – 30 spindles (sad spindles!!!) and also some small bowls to motivate me.

    I would be interested in working with you on improving my skills and would like to set three consecutive days aside to work on proper techniques of tool use. I would be interested in knowing what you might have available what your three day fee would be.

    John Wiskel
    Salt Spring Island

  2. changsik shin says:

    I want to get your woodturning classes with my friend in July between 15th and 26th.
    We are beginner in woodturning so I dont have an idea how many sessions I have to take including tool sharpening. Could you please inform me about availability in july and how many sessions, fee ?

  3. Jeannie says:

    Hi Ed. I am very interested in stating a hobby using a lathe. I don’t drive & live in Surrey. Do you know if buses go near your shop? Also, how much is a 2 day course? And following/extra courses? Thank you.

  4. Sue Hazlewood says:

    I am very interested in a two day session in September. I have no previous experience with turning but have recently become very interested in woodworking. I have taken a course on making a bench with power tools and two courses of making a wooden boxes with hand tools at the Vancouver Roundhouse. Please send me the price for your class and available dates you have.

    Thanks Sue

  5. Donna Rauser says:

    hi ED..I am very interested in taking your wood turning course…Although i have been turning for a while … i’m just not becoming as good as i would like…i need help with spindle turning, duplicating chucking ,sharpening etc.. My lathe is a 48 x 16 Record…too heavy to travel.. i live in Kamloops so i would like a date when there is no snow on the coquahalla.. i would stay in vancouver…please let me know your prices and avaiable dates..thanks donna

  6. Vaneesha Advani says:

    Hi Ed, I am new to wood turning and would like to take wood turning course. I will like to know when are the next available dates to start the course. I am available right away, this is something I have been wanting to learn for months now but did not know where to find. Let me know prices and dates, looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks Vaneesha

  7. Michael Brown says:

    I am interested in a class or two to learn the basics on the lathe. Do you have any upcoming classes?

  8. Marianne Pearson says:

    I am interested in wood turning lessons. I live on the North Shore but can make it to you Thursdays. Fridays, and the weekend.
    I have read thru your website and understand that you do one on one lessons. I may see if my daughter (28) would like to do it with me.
    Please let me know your fees, your schedule and how far in advance I have to book
    Thank you

  9. Remie Benoit says:

    Ed, I was in your class in Lethbridge. Could you tell me what the correct mixture is for Procion mx dye and water for use in an airbrush?

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