Before you start turning, we encourage you to open, print and post in your shop this safety document with tips on what to do for various kinds of injuries that might occur while woodworking.

Resource Pages for Turners

OPCAAW has created a series of web pages designed to offer links to video and other resources regarding a variety of turning projects:

See links to videos of demonstrations and handouts from presenters.

We have created a special page of resources for novice woodturners that covers how to select your lathe and tools, safety in woodturning, sharpening tools, descriptions of various tools and their uses, and basic cuts and skill practice for key tools.

Just about any lathe can turn a bowl, and just about every turner eventually tries turning at least one bowl. Our page of resources about bowl turning gives you the basics of attaching bowl blanks to the lath, bowl design considerations, turning a bowl, twice turning green bowl blanks, natural edge bowls and even hints about some specialty bowls.

Pens can be anything from basic to incredibly involved, created using just about any lathe, using blanks cut from simple wood boards all the way to colorful acrylic creations. Once you equip your shop with a few basic tools and accessories for pen making, you are well on your way to creating beautiful and functional items you can either sell or gift to family and friends. Check out our resource page for pen making.

Turners interested in understanding the process for creating lidded boxes can find links to videos on that topic on our resource page for lidded boxes.

Check out this page for resources on sanding, embellishing and finishing.


Sources for woodturning videos

Tim Yoder, host of PBS Woodturning Workshop channel
Sam Angelo, the Wyoming Woodturner channel
Carl Jacobson’s woodturning for beginners through advanced turners channel
Reed Gray’s Robo Hippy woodturning channel
Mike Waldt’s woodturning projects and tips channel
OPCAAW member and mentor George Kromka has a YouTube channel 

Online forums

The American Association of Woodworkers manages an online forum for woodturners which includes a main forum, a forum for beginners, a forum for tutorials and tips, a woodturning marketplace forum and a forum for turners with disabilities. You can sign up for the forum even if you are not an AAW member, but members have broader privileges in posting than non-members.

Sawmill Creek is an information-packed online community for woodworkers that includes an active woodturners forum: Be sure to sign up for this community to be able to post questions about woodturning. There are hundreds of threads answering woodturning questions.

Not a forum, but a good online resource for all kinds of woodworking, Woodezine.

Articles and information about wood turning

Alan Lacer’s articles & class handouts
William Noble’s articles on turning and technology
Segmented Ring calculator


Basic Information About Woods

Beginners guide to wood types and characteristics.
A database of wood types.
65 different types of wood and their best uses.

Abrasives and finishing

Abrasive Grit Sizes
Vince’s WoodnWonders abrasives for turners
Finishing for Woodturners article from the American Association of Woodturners
Six Finishes for Woodturners, article from Woodcraft Magazine
Five Quick and Easy Woodturning Finishes from Woodworkers Journal

National and regional woodturners organizations

American Association of Woodturners, national turners group, parent of OPCAAW
Strait Turners, Sequim, WA
Northwest Washington Woodturners, Mount Vernon, WA
Woodturners of Olympia, Olympia, WA
Seattle Chapter-AAW, Seattle, WA
South Puget Sound Chapter, Fife/Tacoma, WA
Cascade Woodturners Association, Portland, Ore.
Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Pacific Northwest Woodturning Guild, Portland, Ore.

Our sponsors

These area and national businesses support our club. We encourage you to patronize them:
D-Way Tools
Cook Woods
Packard Woodworks
Ruth Niles
Wane + Flitch
The Board Hoarder
Bell Forest Products