Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Bowls and Boxes

Learn advanced techniques for turning bowls, boxes with threaded and push-fit lids, and decorative surface treatments.  5 day class with Bonnie Klein.


Bowls and Boxes:
Intermediate Woodturning



In this 5 day class Bonnie focuses on refining the skills of woodtuners who want to further explore bowl turning and learn the intricacies of turning boxes with either push fit or threaded lids.

Class Description

Bowl Turning

There is something really wonderful about a wooden utilitarian bowl.  You hold the essence of the tree in your hand.  I have a friend who uses his bowl to microwave oatmeal every morning and then puts his bowl into the dishwasher!  Wooden bowls are tough and made to be used.  They can also serve as containers for keys, coins, etc...as well as for food.

During this class we will avoid the use of chucks and learn a variety of alternate (and frugal) ways to mount our workpieces on the lathe.  These bowls will be mounted and remounted 3 times during the turning process.  

We will be using freshly cut (green) wood because it is so much easier to work with while learning the cutting techniques.  The use of green wood reduces sanding dust which is safer in a classroom situation.

Bowl gouge shapes and sharpening, cutting techniques, cutting theory, as well as design and enhancement ideas will be explored.  You will have the opportunity to make several small bowls about 6" diameter and finish them with mineral oil. 

Turned Boxes with friction fit lids and boxes with threaded lids

Making turned boxes could be an addiction once you get started.  Look around you - your life is filled with containers of all kinds.  Containers for toothpicks, paperclips, spices, vitamins, jewelry, coins, sewing needles, medicines, drill bits, beads, etc...

In this class we will learn about wood selection, grain alignment, tool usage and cutting techniques to produce the best surface on the workpiece, several chucking methods, embellishments (including burned lines, small beads and chatterwork), and finishing.

Boxes aren't as simple as they may seem.  Each box is mounted for turning 4 different times -  for the inside and outside of the lid and for the inside and outside of the base of the box.  Join us and learn to make your own unique and special containers to enhance your everyday life.

Bonnie specializes in boxes with threaded lids and has been the pioneer in this field for many years.  She designed a threading jig that is an attachment for the lathe.  

In this class we will concentrate on designing and mastering the techniques for turning boxes with threaded lids.  Chatterwork as well as other decorative surface treatments will be explored.  Bonnie will share with you her techniques and enthusiasm for turning boxes with threaded lids.


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.


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 304 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: $ 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.