Monday, September 24th, 2018

Woodturning Classes With Fred

Fred Hill working on the lathe during a class I have been turning wood for over 3 decades. Most of my initial learning was from  trial and error. More recently I have been more reliant on the use of the knowledge base in a variety of woodturning books and attendance at a number of symposia (Ohio Valley Woodturners Guild, American Association of Woodturners, etc) and various classes, one of which was a  multi-day workshop with David Ellsworth in his studio.  It goes without saying that it is imperative that you join the organization that supports woodturning, the American Association of Woodturners (, as this organization has a world of information and support for woodturners.

After retiring as a university professor I opened a woodworking business (Fred’s Creative Woodworking) which focuses on woodturning. As a production turner I have created very successful products for quilters that I make and sell through my business. I also create one-of-a-kind turnings and teach a variety of subjects. I also write articles on woodturning, etc (refer to section on Publications).

I am presently offering my background knowledge and teaching skills in woodturning for students interested in either learning from scratch or honing their woodturning skills. If you are just getting started in woodturning or have done some woodturning, I can get you past all of the 30 years of mistakes that I have made (and learned from) in a one-day session! Why waste all of the time with trial and error when you can come to my studio and in one day get past most of the stumbling blocks to successful woodturning?

My studio is well equipped and includes two large lathes, a Robust American Beauty and a General 260. Both of these lathes have variable speed drives and state of the art quality. I have a vacuum chuck system and innumerable other chucks, etc. with which to work. All of the necessary tools for woodturning are included and available for students to use in classes.

Classes are focused on specific needs of students. I specialize in helping individuals who are just getting started with woodturning as well as those who have skills but need to improve their focus. Class size is limited to two students so each student is able to work on a lathe during the entire class. Cost of instruction is $240 per student for each 8-hour session or, if there are two students in a session, the cost is $210 each. Or, if you just need a brief “tune-up”, I offer hourly instruction at $35 per hour per person and $25 per hour for the second person($60 per hour for two persons).

My specialty is in doing creative woodturning. I can help you not only to develop your tool-handling skills but to come up with interesting, creative turnings.

Prior to your coming to my studio I need to know your skill level and what you wish to accomplish in your class with me. Please CONTACT ME so we can discuss your needs. 


Dust control
Face and body protection
Wood toxicity

Locating and utilizing sources of wood. You found wood, now what do you do with it?
Preventing checking and cracking in wood. Or, if you get cracks, what to do about them.
How to locate or produce your own spaulted wood.
Turning green wood vs. dry wood: advantages and disadvantages of each.
Advantages of air-dried wood vs. kiln dried.
Drying wood.

Keep your lathe clean and the ways lubricated every day.
Sharpening techniques. Sharpening jigs and how to use them.
Tools and how to use them- Skew chisel, gouges, scrapers, parting, etc.

Wood holding tools:
Vacuum chucks (including how to make your own system for very little money), jaw chucks, friction holding, jam chucks, various centers, faceplates, etc.

Various types of turning:
Hollow forms
Spheres, etc.

Various types of glue-- yellow glue, cyanoacrylate (thick and thin), wood stabilizing with CA
Sanding- Including how to avoid most sanding and, if necessary to sand, using the proper sanding scheme-including Sia Soft and Abranet
Various wood finishes with advantages and problems of each.
Surface enhancements- dyeing, ebonizing, buffing, abrading, carving, patterning tools, etc.


I supply all of the lathes, chucks, hand-tools, wood and sanding materials that you will need in class.

Please bring a face-shield or safety glasses.

We will generally use green wood in my classes so dust isn't an issue but, if you have a dust-control unit (mask, etc), bring it along. By the way, I use the Resp-O-Rator for dust control as it is very convenient, works very well, and has a HEPA filter for excellent dust control.

I use a fingerless leather glove on my left hand and highly recommend this to you for hand protection.

Please bring any lathe chisels with you that you normally use. We can talk about how to best use each of them and sharpening techniques for each.

Wear comfortable shoes and no baggy clothes (we don't want you spinning on the lathe).  I keep my studio heated so a short-sleeved shirt is adequate on top.




Contact me by e-mail or phone to enquire about classes.