How an 18-year-old Ullapool boy taught himself how to turn a woodturning machine and became an entrepreneur

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Daniel Stewart is a young entrepreneur from Westeros.Daniel Stewart is a young entrepreneur from Westeros.
Daniel Stewart is a young entrepreneur from Westeros.

Meet the 18-year-old teenager from Wester Ross who taught himself how to use a wood turning machine and now runs his own business.

Former Ullapool High School pupil Daniel Stewart took up wood turning at the age of 14 after being given a lathe as a gift by his grandmother and now runs his own business. Daniel Stewart WoodturningIt was founded in 2020.

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Entirely self-taught, he learned this traditional craft from online videos and has worked hard to perfect his abilities.

Unlike other types of woodworking, wood turning is the process of using a lathe to shape wood into functional and decorative items. A skilled craftsman uses hand tools to turn the wood to carve and shape it.

A wooden bowl made by Daniel. Photo: Daniel Stewart Woodturning.A wooden bowl made by Daniel. Photo: Daniel Stewart Woodturning.
A wooden bowl made by Daniel. Photo: Daniel Stewart Woodturning.

Daniel sells bowls and platters made from wood he finds on his farm in Garve, which he then finishes with food-safe Danish oils and beeswax, allowing his customers to personalise them. The Wester Ross entrepreneur also takes bespoke orders and offers French polishing and furniture restoration services.

Despite his steady sales, Daniel was facing limitations due to the equipment he was using and couldn’t afford to upgrade to better tools to improve efficiency.

He sought advice from Business Gateway Highland and was guided towards receiving a Highland Council start-up grant, which enabled him to purchase upgraded equipment.

Daniel's stall in Poole Market. Photo: Daniel Stewart Woodturning.Daniel's stall in Poole Market. Photo: Daniel Stewart Woodturning.
Daniel’s stall in Poole Market. Photo: Daniel Stewart Woodturning.

Daniel said: “The support from Business Gateway Highland has enabled us to purchase equipment that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

“It has enabled us to work more efficiently and create new products, as well as produce existing products more quickly. The Business Gateway team has been really supportive.”

For more information about Business Gateway, visit https://bgateway.com.


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