Group Beginners Day Course: From £125 per person

1 Day – Spindle basics including which tool to use and how they are sharpened. A simple project such as a garden dibber or a pen followed by a basic bowl with use of chucks and finishing techniques.
2 Day- same as above with a lidded box including end grain hollowing and jam chucking. The conversion of timber for your own project.
No turning experience is necessary on this course.

1-1 Improvers Hollowed Forms: £250 per day

Side grain and end grain hollowing from dry or wet wood. The use of commercially available hollowing tools such as the woodcut, crown revolution and the Rolly Munro. The use of lids and finials to enhance the turning.

1-1 Basic Course on Colouring and Texturing Bowls: £250 per day

Texturing on bowls and platters, Sorby texturing tool, Arbotech, Proxxon, carving tools and airbrush available, course tailored to your own expectations. Some bowl turning experience is necessary for this course.

1-1 Improvers Natural Edge Bowls: £250 per day

End Grain and side grain natural edge , thin turning, judging wall thickness using various methods, finishing wet and dry wood. Some bowl turning experience is needed for this course.

1-1 Pepper and Salt Mills: £250 per day

Make a couple of salt/pepper mills using crush grind mechanisms, precision drilling will be covered and a pair of plain or textured mills should be able to be produced during the day. The mechanisms are supplied as will be reasonably priced timber for the projects.
Some turning experience is necessary for this course.


The Les Thorne Experience: Price on Application (Max 5)

Book up as a group of like minded individuals, you could be friends or fellow woodturning club members. I have a workshop full of all the latest tools for you to use. You do need ideally to come along with your own timber and projects but I do have a limited amount of materials for purchase.

Five to One Days: Price on Application

These are my most popular events, once you have attended one of the other one to one courses you will be invited to attend on of my shared workshop days, periodically I send out emails listing which dates these are available and you just let me know which you would like to attend. Bring your own tools, wood and ideas and share the day with like minded individuals 9.15am to 4.30pm

Night School

Periodically I run a series of evening lessons, always a good social time in the workshop and perfect for the workers amongst you. Normally I would have like to have taught you for a day before you would be eligible for the evenings. Like the 4 to 1 days you go onto my email list and I contact you when the dates become available.

Course Information and Requirements

Workshop Details

The No Turning Back workshop in Hampshire is an ideal environment for teaching, quality lathes, easy parking and a great setting all add to the experience. You are learning in a professional environment with central heating with an office and eating area available. I made a decision many years ago to move my workshop a couple of miles away from my house and now rent my premises from my brother Stephen Thorne Cabinet Maker.

The workshop

I currently have 5 lathes in the workshop including 2 Oneways and 2 quality Axminster machines, dust extraction is by Camvac and the air is filtered by a Microlene. I have 3 grinding stations for sharpening and all the tools you would ever want including hollowing and texturing tools.Timings

The days will normally run from 9.15 am until 4.30pm, these times are flexible to account for unfinished projects etc.


I have a full insurance package including employer’s liability.


All safety wear such as eye protection, dust masks and smocks can be supplied if needed, but you are encouraged to wear your own if possible. You are expected to wear sensible workshop clothes with no loose parts that could get caught up. Ideally you should remove items of jewellery such as watches and large rings. There will be a talk on safety at the beginning of the day outlining what are the obvious dangers of the workshop environment.


On many of the courses the timber, finishes, abrasives etc are supplied. Some of the more specialist courses may incur an extra cost for the timber, which will be made clear before the booking is taken.


You are most welcome to bring along your own tools if you have some, this is always the best scenario as we can look at how they have been sharpened. If you do not own any yet, not a problem I do have enough to go around!! I do give unbiased information on tools and sharpening systems but of course I do have my favourites.

Food and Drink

Copious amounts of tea and coffee will be served through out the day, I expect all students to bring there own lunch and I do have a fridge in the office for storage. I am sorry but I do not have any facilities for heating or cooking food.