Not only useful for sowing seeds, these potting shed tools are great for green fingered gardeners, and woodturners looking for something different to turn.

Join Colwin in this Woodworking Wisdom as he takes you through the process of making your very own set of garden tools, including a dibber, a tamper and a line marker. These useful wood turned garden tools will help any gardener with sowing seeds is a great project to practice your spindle turning.

Watch our video guide or read our blog below.

Tips for turning

These potting shed tools are really simple to turn and are great for practising spindle work and spindle tools.

For turning these you will mainly need your skew and spindle gouge, but other turning tools, such as a parting tool and bowl gouge, will come in handy too.

The Axminster Woodturning Tool Set is the perfect beginner's tool kit for woodturners, offering value for money for the essential chisels required for most turning projects.

Turning the Dibber

Start by roughing your blank down to round and then tapering toward the tailstock end and clean the finish with a skew chisel or light cuts from the spindle roughing gouge.

Shape the point with a radiused profile and not a sharp one. The skew is the tool for this job. Rotate the skew as if you're rolling a bead.

Do the same to the handle end, but this time the diameter is much larger, so the skew or spindle gouge can be used. Mark in your divisions with a pencil. I used one inch as convenient position. This helps when making your hole for planting. Now you’ve marked where the divisions are to be, you can cut them in with a skew chisel to make them permanent.

Using a spindle or bowl gouge, start shaping the handle, to make it comfortable in the hand. Clean either end as close as you can to the centres. A parting tool works well for this.

Using a wire line burner, highlight the one inch divisions to make them easier to spot when in use and then sand to a good finish.

Part either end down in preparation to remove from the lathe and using a fine pull saw, trim off the waste area and remove from the lathe.

Tidy up both ends using a disc sander held in the lathe.

Turning the Tamper

Start by roughing down to a cylinder and cleaning up both ends with a parting tool.  Using a spindle roughing gouge, take away the bulk waste timber to form the handle.

Shape in a concave area above the flat tamper face. This will help with sighting when in use and makes the tool lighter.

You can now start to shape the handle and add any features you want.

Round over the top of the handle leaving enough of a waste area to clean away any marks of the centres that are left behind and finish shaping the handle.

Tidy up and tweak any areas in prep for sanding. We have added some burn lines. To prepare these, put in some skew cuts and using a parting tool, take as much end waste as possible.

Add the decoration with a burning wire and sand to a good finish.

As with the dabber, use a fine pull saw cut the handle off from the waste area and remove from the lathe. Sand both ends to a good finish and remove any signs of being held with a disc sander mounted on your lathe.

Turning the Marker

To make our markers, we have started with 16mm preformed beech dowel, however, you can turn this down from square stock. Mark the length you want to store your line marker string onto.  We're going to fit a stop to prevent the string falling through the line marker so use a 12mm drill to set your callipers to.

Measure and cut with a parting tool to the diameter set on your callipers for the stop to fit over and using a skew, clean this area up to a good finish.

Shape or round over the top of the marker to your preferred design. Then, shape the tip of the line marker, not forgetting to taper to a soft point to make the marker push into the ground easy.

Sand to a good finish and part off with a skew chisel. Then sand either end on the disc sander.

Potting Shed Tools

Make the stops

To make the stops, rough down your blank to 30mm and drill through with a 12mm drill bit.

Tidy up the end face with a skew on its side and using a parting tool, part toward the central hole, but not all the way through just yet.

Bead the stop over using a spindle gouge. Tidy up and sand to a good finish, then part of using a parting tool.

Finally, fit the stop by sliding it over the reduced area.

Potting Shed Tools

Made these potting shed tools? Share it!

If you have had a go at making these potting shed tools, then we would love to see it. Share with us your images on social media by tagging @axminstertools on Instagram or Facebook. Or email us at

Enjoyed making these, then have a go at turning your own seed pot makers - watch the video or read our step by step guide.