Skill Centre tutor Craig Steele


We meet Woodworking Tutor and our Head of Staff Training, Craig Steele. Craig has been a tutor for four years and has been working in the woodworking industry for over 30 years. He discusses who has inspired him and what he enjoys outside of the Skill Centre. 

Skill Centre tutor Craig Steele

We asked…

What courses do you teach?

My background is with machines and I teach wood machining, using a bandsaw, power tool use, routing, and the Windsor chair course. I also look after staff training across the company.

How did you get started out in woodworking?

I suppose it was at school, but my dad was a carpenter too, so working with wood was all around me growing up.

How long have you been a woodworking tutor?

I’ve been a tutor for four years. However, I’ve always enjoyed sharing my knowledge that I’ve gained from the 30 plus years I’ve been working in the industry.

What do you enjoy making the most?

All sorts really, everything from small tables and dovetail boxes to outdoor construction projects. I’ve just started building a summer house and plan to make all the furniture to go in it.

What are your favourite tools?

Definitely the bandsaw and router. It still amazes me what you can do with these tools.

What, or who has inspired you?

Genuinely, it’s our customers, some of their work is amazing. I meet a lot of people that come through the Skill Centre doors and watching them learn is truly inspiring. Also, I work with some hugely talented tutors (don’t tell them). Colwin and Jason are incredible turners and have inspired me to take up turning, which might surprise some of my colleagues.

I meet a lot of people that come through the Skill Centre doors and watching them learn is truly inspiring.

Craig Steele

What do you do when you’re not teaching?

I love to watch and play rugby, although the body is getting a bit old to play! I’m lucky enough to live by the sea and I love beach walks with my pooch, Dexter. But, I really enjoy my workshop time!

What is the best advice you have ever been given and by who?

If you’re not quite sure it’s safe to use the machine like that, stop and think, is there a safer way to do this?  Stopping and thinking has certainly helped me keep all my digits!

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Meet woodturning tutor Colwin Way.

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Norman Little
Norman Little

Hi, New to this forum, and would like some advice if possible about modifying riving knife on my table saw. I have a Makita MLT100 table saw and I am making a cross cut sled. The riving knife extends beyond the height of the blade, to allow the guard attachment, this would impair the use of the sled. I was thinking of purchasing a second riving knife and cutting the riving knife so it is the same height as the saw blade. Using this only when using the sled and reverting back to the other knife when the guard attachment… Read more »

Dave Cain
Dave Cain

Hi Craig, I’m a Carpentry and Joinery Lecturer in an FE College and wondered if you could help with a virtual contact to a group of Learners to help with Employer engagement. My background is all aspects of the trade, starting out as a Woodcutting Machinist and working onwards into Training and Development of Apprentices.
Thanks in Anticipation,
Dave Cain.

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