F A Q
Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the woodturning classes we offer. If you don't find an answer to your question please contact us.
What kind of equipment do the students get to use?
We only use modern, high quality tools and equipment. Each student will enjoy using their own set of tools at their own work station while in class. Currently we are using Jet 12 x 21 midi lathes with electronic variable speed. Every work station is completely outfitted with all the necessary high speed turning tools, measuring and marking tools, lathe accessories, lights and a stool.
Do I have to take Beginner Bowl Turning I before taking Beginner Bowl Turning II?
Do I have to take your Beginner Classes before taking Advanced Bowl Turning?
No, not necessarily. Beginner I is not a prerequisite to Beginner II. Beginner I is a condensed version of Beginner II. You can start with either one.
If you have any previous beginner experience, you can take Advanced Bowl Turning. Please read the class descriptions to determine if you have the necessary experience to take a particular class. Ultimately, only you can decide which class you feel most comfortable taking. If you're not sure, or can't decide, contact us and we will help.
What kind of wood do you use in your classes?
Every bowl we make starts out as a log. This is referred to as "green" wood. It is fresh, wet wood straight from the log. It is also called "unseasoned" wood because the log has not been allowed to dry down like firewood is dried. Most of our wood is sourced locally from storm damaged trees. We only use hardwoods for turning bowls. Species include walnut, maple, elm, cherry, hackberry, ash, box elder, buckthorn, mulberry and others. The species of wood used in class will vary depending on availability.
What if I can't make it to my scheduled class because of an emergency, weather incident, or for other reasons beyond my control?
Our cancellation policy requires that you notify us of a cancellation at least fourteen days prior to the start of a class to eliminate the possibility of forfeiting the registration fee. You are encouraged to find a replacement to fill your spot if you can't attend a class you have registered and paid for. However, circumstances beyond your control, including bad weather, medical emergency, etc. may result in a refund of your registration fee. We are reasonable and will work with you on an individual basis. If for any reason a scheduled class needs to be rescheduled by the instructor, all registration fees for the original class will be applied to the rescheduled class. Every effort will be made to reschedule the class for a time acceptable to the registered students.
Why can't I use my carbide tipped tool for the beginner class?
Students may bring their own turning tools to any class with one exception - tools with carbide cutters will not be used in the beginner class. All the bowl turning classes we teach are based on using the traditional flute style bowl gouge. The reason is simple. Tools with carbide inserts are scraping tools, while bowl gouges are cutting and slicing tools. We believe turning bowls with flute style gouges is a better method. Used correctly, a properly sharpened bowl gouge will provide better roughing and finishing cuts than any scraping tool, making it much more satisfying to use. It takes a little longer to learn how to use a gouge vs a carbide scraper, but the effort is well worth it in the long run. For these reasons, we like to teach new bowl turners how to use bowl gouges. Having said that, if an experienced bowl turner has only used carbide tools in the past, but still wants to take the intermediate or advanced class, they may bring their own tools. But remember, we do not teach any methods using tools with carbide cutters in any class. For more info contact us.
Is your studio shop handicapped accessible?
Unfortunately our equipment and facilities are not handicapped accessible.
What are my options for meals and lodging?
During the day, we will take a mid-morning break, a noon lunch break and a mid-afternoon break. Snacks and refreshments will be provided for morning and afternoon breaks, while noon lunches will be "on your own". Many students bring a lunch and enjoy their noon break at the shop. A microwave and frig are provided. Others choose going to town for a hot meal.
Lodging is made easy with several places to stay within a short driving distance from our shop.
Please see our Accommodations page for info on meals and lodging.
Do you offer classes at locations other than your studio and Milan Village Arts School?
Our main class locations are Milan Village Arts School and our studio shop in rural New Prairie Township, however, at times we may offer classes at other regional venues. These classes will be posted on this website and advertised in that region. If you would like a class offered in your area, please contact us. We are set up to be mobile and are happy to travel!
Will you give demonstrations for groups?
Yes! If your group or organization would like Steve to give a demo, please contact us.
If I register and send a check by mail, could the class fill up before you receive my payment?
Yes it could. Registration for any class can only be guaranteed when we receive your payment. If you register and send a check by mail, you are taking a chance that someone else could register online (guaranteeing their registration) before we receive your check. Students will be registered in the order we receive paid registrations. Please see our Policies page for more info.
Do you offer a group rate? How do we get the discount?
Yes we do! Groups must be registered, paid students that sign up at the same time, filling an empty class. Please see our Policies Page for complete info.