1. Responsible Advertising

  • Advertisements for training courses and brochures should be unambiguous and should not claim more than can be delivered.

2. Helpful Response

  • The instructor should respond in a helpful and positive manner to the student’s initial enquiry.
  • Careful attention should be paid to questions about special needs, training targets, etc.
  • A detailed syllabus for each course offered is essential.

3. Students Current Abilities

  • The student should describe accurately his/her experience and current level of ability.
  • The instructor may suggest pre-course reading, so that time-consuming chats about the parts of the lathe, timber characteristics, etc can be avoided.

4. Facilities and Costs

  • There must be a lathe and set of tools for each student.
  • A smock and a full set of personal safety equipment should be provided by the teaching workshop. Students should be clear about other items they may bring, such as prescription reading glasses, personal lathe tools for correct sharpening, etc.
  • A clear statement of inclusive costs/charges should be provided for each course at the time of the enquiry.
  • If, at the student’s request, a modification to the course involves extra expense, an agreed surcharge is acceptable.

5. Training Targets

  • In a two-day course, a novice student should become familiar with the core skills of spindle and faceplate turning.
  • The objective should be to achieve a good surface finish from a basic set of tools.
  • The use of each tool, and its limitations, should be explained and demonstrated.
  • Special attention should be given to the advantages of the correct use of the skew chisel in spindle turning.
  • Students should expect to spend at least 90 per cent of the course-time at their lathes.
  • The following specific processes should be discussed, and whenever appropriate practised by the student:
  • Gaining skills is more important than taking home some impressive artifacts, particularly if the intervention of the instructor is necessary for their completion.


  • The student should be in no doubt that the instructor sees safety as paramount.
  • A ‘bravado’ approach to workshop hazards is totally unacceptable.
  • The stages of any work should be planned with safety in mind.
  • The teaching workshop should be uncluttered, well lit, and with adequate ventilation and dust management.
  • Machines and tools should be in good order.
  • Fire extinguishers, first aid boxes and insurance certificates should be clearly visible, and all exit doors marked prominently.

7. Monitored Progress

  • With courses of limited duration, a brisk pace is to be expected, but the individual student should not feel overloaded at any point, or that they are holding up the progress of others.
  • The work should be planned in easy stages, using diagrams, with recapitulations at frequent intervals.
  • It is reassuring if the student knows that the points being covered will also be found in an accompanying coordinated set of course notes.

8. Focus on Teaching

  • The success of a course depends on the qualities of the instructor, who must have thought out a resilient scheme of teaching.
  • The instructor has an obligation to review and to seek to improve his teaching methods.
  • The instructor should be aware that there is no such thing as a ‘standard student’.
  • It is reasonable for an instructor to ‘establish his credibility’. However, a training course of limited duration is not an opportunity for showing off techniques that would be well beyond the student’s present abilities.

9. Instructors Qualifications

  • An instructor should be willing to describe his background in turning, and how his experience qualifies him to teach others.
  • An instructor should give serious consideration to gaining further insights into the teaching-learning process by attending courses such as C & G 7306.

10. Round-Up

  • On completion of the course, the instructor should give his assessment of the student’s achievements, pointing out any weaknesses requiring special practice.
  • After the student has returned home, it is likely that small problems will arise.
  • The course notes can be used to pin-point the difficulty. If the instructor is willing to accept questions by ‘phone (or fax), it is reasonable that they should be restricted to times convenient to the instructor.