17th August 2018

We tried a new course this summer, a Machine Carving classe with Simon Clements – with great success.  Here is what the students said:


“I was surprised and delighted how easy was to work with the different machines and able to create my first ever machine carved bowl. Thank you for Simon’s straight forward instructions which made it truly enjoyable to design and follow through my plan. I hope there will be more, similar courses.”

     Judit – 13 July 2018


“Loved the power carving class. Great tutor, Really helpful to complete novice with power tools. Very pleased with the result. Jut got to tidy it up and oil it now. Will Definitely be back!!”

    Brett 10 July 2018.


During one of the hottest periods in the English summer, four students and the tutor, Simon Clements set out to learn how to use machine carving devices to create objects in wood at The Wooburn Craft School. These tools are generally based on the use of an angle grinder and small Dremel type of tools. They include attachments made by Arbortech who helped the event by providing samples to try out including the ball gouge, and the Turboplane In addition we also used the following tools by Arbortech: the wood carver blade, the contour sander, and the mini carver with its various attachments.

The class began by covering safety, PPE safe handling and importantly care of your colleagues, the equipment produces lots of fast moving chips and dust – not to mention the noise and vibration. So everyone donned eye protection, face masks and ear protectors and gloves. We were then shown a number of finished and unfinished power carved products, demonstrating the range of finishes and shapes that can be produced with the equipment available.

The actual project began when all students were given a large piece of lime, approximately 300 x 300 x 100mm and asked to design any thing we would like to carve and draw it on the timber. Simon discussed the designs with each of us and selected a suitable tool for starting carving. As the week progressed the merits of each cutter were discussed and practiced on our designs in such a manner that each of the students used all of the systems. We started by using the Ball Gouge or the Wood carver blade to make the initial shape. Both were amazingly fast and efficient – sending dust and chips into every corner of the workshop!!! As the week progressed, each of the students switched to techniques of refining and smoothing the surfaces using the profile sander or the Turboplane. During the week individual problems and their solution giving us all a deeper insight in to power carving.

As everyone learned, once the power carving was at its end decorative touches were added using more traditional techniques.   Despite everyone having experience carving, Simon was able to add to their knowledge and he demonstrated his approach to sharpening a range of conventional carving chisels . Then we used these freshly well sharpened tools to add the finishing touches to our carvings .


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