Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Green Woodturning: Bowls and Boxes


Green Woodturning: Bowls and Boxes


Level 2



 Wood turners with a basic knowledge can now refine their vision and techniques. This 5 day class will help deepen your knowledge of wood, tools, and our mental approach to turning. Even experienced craftsmen struggle with technique. Learn how subtle changes in tool use can reduce the stress of turning, making our conversation with wood calmer and more rewarding.

Class Description

  • Selecting and Preparing Material

Working primarily with freshly cut material, Tom will demonstrate how to harvest, and prepare wood for the lathe. Learn to anticipate wood movement, and grain character. 

  • Turning Green Bowls

Nothing can teach you more about wood than turning green. The class will cover cut rim bowls and live edge bowls up to about 6” in diameter. Tom can provide instruction for those who want to practice undercutting and hollowing techniques as well.

  • Turning Boxes

Many students will focus on bowls and vessels, but in the process of gathering wood, many small off cuts, too precious for the fireplace, will amass. These are perfect for turned boxes. Learn to rough out, and season these gems, then turn to completion boxes from pre seasoned  materials.

  • Tool Sharpening, Modification, and Geometry: How to get the sweetest cut     

Half the fun in turning is the great tools we get to use, but which tools? Tool selection can be so confusing. Tom can help sort out which tools are essential, which are gimmicks. Learn to sharpen, and to modify the grinding to “sweeten” the cutting. Tom will demonstrate some simple modifications to tools to perform unique functions, and will show easy to make tools for undercuts and hollowing. Some of these specialty tools will be on hand for students to try.

  • Surface Decoration Methods and Unusual Finishes

 Your beautiful turnings deserve an equally amazing finish, turning the common into extraordinary.. While many objects benefit from a simple oil finish, some warrant something special. Tom will share his vast palette of nontoxic food-safe finishes including: oxidizers, rusts, natural blackening, and burnished milk paints. 


This is a 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.


Students should have some experience with woodturning. This would be a great class for students who have taken Bonnie Klein's Foundations of Woodturning introductory course. Woodturners with prior experience or training are welcomed.

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
This class takes place in Building 203 at Fort Worden - not the School Building. Map
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $750
Materials Charge: $75

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.