Located in a family owned garden centre business in the village of Four Marks in Hampshire, The Black Dog Workshop provides a purpose built and welcoming creative space for woodturners. The goal is to promote turning to a wider audience, both young and old and encourage a sense of achievement and confidence through the art of turning.
When you come to the workshop to learn about turning or even to give it a try, you can be assured of a first class day of skill-learning in an informal atmosphere with an energetic, knowledgeable and patient tutor. Look over the courses available and make a booking for the one that suits your needs or curiosity. Contact the workshop if you have any queries and we’ll be happy to help.
The Black Dog Workshop is founded on a basis of promoting woodturning and encouraging self confidence and a sense of achievement through woodturning and is fully equipped for beginners through to experienced turners.
Bathed in natural light from five, one metre high windows to the north-east and a large window to the south-east over looking the Hampshire country side, The Black Dog workshop is a haven for woodturning creatives.
The main workshop lathe is an Axminster 2030 Trade lathe. It is a beast of a machine and allows pieces to be turned up to 20″ over the bed and up to a whopping 39″ using the bed extention. This is where I do my own turning as well as make the videos enjoyed on YouTube. It is also the demonstration lathe used during lessons..
For open days and larger demonstrations, a good view is important when learning to turn, so this lathe has four HD cameras pointing to it with the images displayed in real time on a screen next to the lathe to allow students an unprecedented view of what is actually happening to the piece and the tools during every aspect of the demonstration
Four Lathe Stations
There are five lathe stations available for visitor’s and student’s use. Four brand new Nova Comet II lathes and a Nova Galaxi are used for lessons. Each station is fully equipped with Robert Sorby turning tools and everything a beginner and intermediate would need for a lesson or a day’s turning, complete with personal protection equipment.
With a 570W electronic variable speed motor (forward and reverse), the Comet is the perfect lathe for turning bowls up to 300mm (12″) in diameter and spindles up to 420mm (16.5″) between centres.
The headstock of each of the comet lathes faces the natural light coming through the windows, enabling good visibility of the work-piece.
The workshop features an extraction system with each lathe having it’s own port for dust and shavings. The whole system inside, leads to an externally housed monster Jet extractor unit, to keep the workshop as quiet as possible. Also, the air in the workshop is completely filtered up to 12 times an hour when sanding with a ceiling mounted Jet filtration system.
In the warmer months, there is a seating area overlooking a glorious south-east aspect of Hampshire, across fields and to the hills and trees beyond.
There is also be a Jet band saw for cutting of blanks as well as chainsaw and saw-horse outside for the the preparation of raw timber, ready for drying out in the log store.
Oh….and the workshop is heated as much as possible, too – to keep the edge off winter turning temperatures.
Also On Site
In the garden centre where the Black Dog Workshop is situated, there is a popular coffee shop serving incredible coffee and hot food from 9am till 4.00pm Monday to Saturday and 10am – 3pm on Sundays. This is where students will meet at the beginning of the day and have lunch if booked onto a full day’s turning course. Here also, are the toilet facilities.
Creative pass-times can act as a form of therapy to those suffering with depression, PTSD and other related mental health problems. The Black Dog Workshop works towards helping sufferers discover the benefits of using creativity to help deal with their ‘inner demons’.
- Promote woodturning to a wide audience through contact with local agencies and groups;
- Provide turning workshops designed to develop and encourage self-confidence for those with anxiety, depression and PTSD;
- Foster a sense of achievement for all;
- Provide workshops and turning experiences for all ages over 16 years either in the workshop or ‘on location’;
- Provide and promote regular wood turning demonstrations;
- Provide coaching sessions for beginners and intermediate turners in a variety of disciplines;
- Provide access to lathes and equipment for those without regular access to one through a membership scheme*;
- Make the workshop lathes available for use to local groups and agencies.*;
*Subject to completing a competency test.
The inspiration for the name of the Black Dog Workshop comes from one of my heroes, Sir Winston Churchill who said that his own depression followed him round like an old black dog. Whilst this particular black dog won’t follow you round, you can be sure that it will be there to help, to teach and spread the word about woodturning.