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Will Woodturning Tuition Benefit me?

Updated: Jun 4

I'm sure there are many people out there who wonder if there is any value at all in attending a Woodturning Course or Tuition session. I myself was one of those procrastinators or avoiders when I first started Turning and it cost me dearly long term by not reaching out sooner to a professional.

So what are the reasons to go for Woodturning Tuition and how will Woodturning Tuition benefit you? I will deal with a few points here that should lead you in the right direction in making your decision. As a professional Woodturner and Woodturning Teacher I have insights into the pros and cons of taking Tuition classes from my own background and as an experienced Woodturning Teacher. There are plenty of pros and no cons that I can see other than parting with a small sum of money without having a Tool or Machine in its place. Read on!

Learning fine Woodturning Skills in Tralee Co Kerry
Starting to Turn an Ash Ornament

Many People Choose to go it Alone

I was one of those people that thought I knew it all in the beginning, I didn't! I struggled at everything, from buying the wrong Lathe, bad grinder without decent attachments, cheap Turning Tools, loads of tearout issues, bad finishing etc. etc. The thing was, I didn't know any better and there was nobody to show me the way. YouTube did not exist when I started and the internet was only in its infancy. I was advised to go and get a Woodturner to give me some lessons but that advice was not followed. I struggled unnecessarily for years as a result.

Woodturning Tuition is Expensive

It is true that Woodturning Tuition costs money. In some cases the amount is higher than some people are comfortable parting with. The end result is they don't go and limp on for another year or so wasting their valuable time and money in the process. I made a lot of mistakes buying Tools & Equipment down through the years that ended up not being used or underutilised because there no real need to buy them. I ended up spending thousands of Euro that I could have used elsewhere. I use that hard earned knowledge these days to show my Students what not to buy and why. I stear Students in the right direction buying Lathes and Tools that will still be used for many years into the future.

Many of my Students are already heading down the path of buying the wrong gear when they come to me. If they follow my advice they end up saving a lot of money and progressing as Woodturners much faster than going it alone. If a single private Tuition Session is too expensive for you, you can always book a 2 person Tuition Session and split the cost with a friend.

Advancing Your Abilities

This is one that many Students don't consider at all. By attending a Woodturning Tuition session you can lay a good foundation for going forward and cut your learning curve considerably. Had I taken a lesson or three back in the day, who knows how much further I could have gone in the Woodturning World. Maybe I could have been internationally renowned, who knows. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us when it comes to knowledge and experience so there is no need to go it alone. Reach out to a Woodturner and just go for that first lesson. Everything is easier after that. Once that is over you will see the benefits immediately and it won't be long before you are booking your second session.

YouTube is not a Great Teacher

Watching YouTube videos can be great for new Woodturners and you may pick up some great advice along the way but they are definitely not the same as attending a live Tuition session. Videos need to be properly laid out so nothing is missed along the way in explaining processes. I have tried to make YouTube videos myself but I don't have the patience to plan and execute them into propper teaching tools. I personally find my videos to be lacking and I hate rewatching them once uploaded. As soon as the camera starts recording I forget bits of what I need to say and I can gloss over or miss some important points. In my Tuition sessions, I can go into more detail on certain points and the Student can ask questions related to any subject that peaks their interest. You can ask questions in the comments of a YouTube video but you may not get an answer. These videos can also contain a lot of 'fluff' too in the form of chats, segways and shout outs instead of cutting to the quick and dealing with the topic in hand. This always annoyed me when I was learning which is why my own videos are almost always quick and to the point.

So will Woodturning Tuition Benefit me?

Absolutely!! The paragraphs above should have explained several great reasons for taking a Woodturning Class but I will bullet point them here for you.

  • You will Save Money

  • You will Save Time

  • You will Advance faster

  • You will buy the right gear

  • You will be Turning longer into the Future

  • You will be Safer Turning as a result!

How Many Classes do I Need?

For my own Teaching Classes I recommend students take between 1 and 3 sessions at 3 Hours each. I advise buying your own Lathe after the second session if you don't have one already and then go away for a month or two to experiment and apply what you have learned in my classes. Book the third one and come back to me with your questions and problems in your own time. You will have them, I know this from experience. This roughly translates to between €100 and €300 for weekday sessions and more if you choose the Saturday sessions option. I guarantee you will save about 3 times that amount in your first year alone. I do have some that come back to me more than 3 times but that is entirely up to the individual and Students are welcome back anytime for refreshers or more advanced work.


Don't procrastinate. Don't worry about the cost of Tuition. Don't be shy when it comes time to book. Just go for it and be happy with the fact that it will be of great benefit to you going forward as a Woodturner.

I specialise in low Teacher to Student ratio Sessions of short duration where I cram as much as possible into 3 hours instead of you having to attend full day courses with groups of strangers as with other Woodturners. If 3 Hours is too short, you can extend to 4 and 5 Hour sessions if you wish.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in my Workshop in Tralee real soon! David

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