Since 2010, the East Herts Club has been organising hands-on woodturning taster sessions to raise awareness of woodturning amongst young people. We understand that, subsequently, a few of these youngsters have attended clubs around the country. Following on from a successful taster session for about 30 scouts last year it was agreed to host a teaching day under the AWGB/Worshipful Company of Turners Youth Training Programme. Four professional turners were invited to take part in the day at the East Herts Club venue. These were Andy Coates, Paul Howard, Peter Nicholls and Tony Walton. 8 young people, who had previously experienced woodturning at a taster session, applied to take part.
Eight small Axminster/Jet lathes were set up so that each student had a lathe to work on for the day and used tools provided by Henry Taylor / Hamlet Tools.
The woodturning teaching was led by the AWGB Chairman, Andy Coates. Andy talked to the group about woodturning and safety and demonstrated the first stage of bowl making before the young people went to their lathes and carried out this under the guidance of a tutor – one for each pair of attendees. When the first stage was completed by each participant, Andy demonstrated the next stage which the students replicated. By lunchtime, each participant had produced their first bowl.
After lunch the students each made a second bowl with the minimum of intervention from the watchful tutors. In the final session of the afternoon, the participants produced an item between centres.
At the end of the day, watched by their parents, each student proudly showed their handiwork and was presented with a certificate, Junior Membership of the AWGB and a copy of Woodturning magazine.
Having thanked the tutors and the East Herts Club, the young people went home with 3 wooden items they had produced.
The East Herts Club thanks the tutors, Henry Taylor Tools, Woodturning Magazine, Nicholls Brothers Ltd, the AWGB and The Worshipful Company of Turners, for their support of the event.
John Leach – East Herts Woodturners