Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Spindle Turning - Bonnie Klein

Designed for furniture makers, you'll learn to accurately and quickly produce legs for chairs and stools.  5 day class with Bonnie Klein.


Spindle Turning

Bonnie Klein



In this 5 day class Bonnie focuses on refining the skills of woodturners who want to learn how to quickly and efficiently creates legs and stretchers for chairs and stools. This class is the perfect complement to Peter Galbert's Windsor Chair class.

Class Description

Spindle turning is where turning meets furniture making and can lead you into architectural elements like newel posts or balusters.

Spindle turning is a traditional method of turning. Turners in the UK, used to turn out hundreds spindles a day (on a pole lathe no less). This is the place to learn turning -  cutting theory, tool control, consistency, and speed. All essential skills for a turner.

In this class Bonnie helps you learn the techniques of duplication making a small wooden stool.  You will also turn the seat.   There will be many photographs available of stools from previous classes for design ideas.

With proper sharpening and cutting techniques, along with an understanding of wood selection and grain alignment, you should be able to produce a surface on the workpiece needing little or no finish sanding - ready for assembly.

Each student will design two stools (approx. 11” & 15” in height) , determining the correct angles for the legs and the lengths of the stretchers.  The height is established, but you will design the shape of the legs and stretchers.   

Drilling of the holes (mortices) for legs into the seat and the stretchers between the legs. Sizing the tenons for a snug fit. These skills scale up to construction of chairs - like the traditional windsor chairs.

At the end of the first part of the course you'll have a wonderful heirloom gift for a grandchild or young person in your family. The second project will be a chair height stool. A number of small fun projects will challenge your new found skills and develop your eye for fair curves.


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. That way you will learn how to shape and sharpen your tools.

  • 3/4" roughing gouge
  • 3/8" spindle (shallow fluted) gouge
  • 1/8" parting tool
  • Skew (3/4” or 1”)
  • Sandpaper (80,120,220,400,600)
  • Shop lamp or gooseneck lamp for extra light
  • Jewelers magnifiers for sharpening

You will need to bring:

  • Paper, pencil,
  • 12" ruler

We do require that you bring your own safety gear:

  • Eye, hearing, and respiratory protection. We require that you bring eye protection, hearing protection and a dust mask. Please note we will be using poplar and doing some light sanding.
    Check our FAQ for more details.


This intermediate level class is for graduates of Bonnie's Foundations of Woodturning or her earlier Beginning Woodturning and Beginning Bowl Turning courses. 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 306 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: 8
Cost: $ 775
Materials Charge: $ 85

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.