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 pages designed to offer links to video and other resources regarding a variety of turning projects:

We have created a special page listing 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.

Demonstration Videos

Starting in January 2017, OPCAAW began recording demonstrations during our monthly meetings to make those recordings available on our YouTube channel. These videos help us share programs with members who were not able to attend the meetings. They also serve as video notes for members who attended and would like a reminder about certain techniques or skills that were demonstrated.

  • Brad Stave, Russell Neyman and Ralph Lindberg demonstrate 50 Nifty Tips. Part 1 (27:33); Part 2 (30:59); Part 3 (19:09)
  • January 2017 – Larry Miller: Making Long-Stemmed Goblets. Part 1 (35:36) Part 2 (23:32) Part 3 (25:22)
  • March 2017 – Martha Collins: Small Segmented Turnings. Part 1 (24:39 ) and Part 2 (29:27)
  • June 2017 – Ralph Lindberg on Holding Wood on the Lathe. Part 1 (28:52) and Part 2 (23:25)
  • July 2017 – Kathleen Duncan on Thin Walled Turning, Design and Piercing.  Kathleen’s demo handout. Demo video Part 1 (28:02), Part 2 (40:08) and Part 3 (34:48)
  • September 2017 – David Lutrick demonstrated Sea Urchin Christmas Ornaments. Here’s his American Woodturner article on the same subject.
  • October 2017 – Molly Winton demonstrated Design Principles and Embellishment. Demo video Part 1 (29:47), Part 2 (29:24) and Part 3 (26:48)
  • November 2017 – Jack Wayne demonstrated Turning Bowls as Art. Demo videos Part 1 (29:37) and Part 2 (31:45)
  • February 2018 – Dale Larson demonstrated using a special Vicmarc chuck to turn Oval Bowls.  Demo videos Part 1 (32:12) and Part 2 (16:59)
  • April 2018 – Brad Stave demonstrated use of the bowl gouge. Videos Part 1 (24:38), Part 2 (28:01) and Part 3 (28:47)
  • May 2018 – Scott Overby demonstrated how to use wood grain and unusual features to determine what to make from a piece. Videos Part 1 (30:42) Part 2 (30:43) and Part 3 (33:22)
  • September 2018 – Rick Rich demonstrated building a four-legged stool. Videos Part 1 (32:14) and Part 2 (38:42)
  • October 2018 –  Jim Leary demonstrated turning small musical instruments for children. Videos Part 1 (33:35) and Part 2 (34:51)
  • November 2018 –  Bruce Claiborn demonstrated “Eggs: How to Hold Them and How to Turn Them.” Videos Part 1 (34:38) and Part 2 (37:16)
  • January 2019 – Club member Jimmie Allen demonstrated making boxes and negative rake scrapers. Videos Part 1 (30:22) and Part 2 (35:32)
  • March 2019 – Jay Shepherd demonstrated on finishing, buffing and more. Videos Part 1 (31:11), Part 2 (31:22) and Part 3 (41:48)
  • April 2019 – George Dale demonstrated on casting, turning and finishing resin pieces. Videos Part 1 (30:15), Part 2 (26:13) and Part 3 (23:16)
  • January 2022 – Jimmie Allen demonstrated his method of turning lidded boxes. Video (1:31:04)
  • September 2022 – Dale Larson demonstrated turning and finishing a bowl. Video (1:27:31)

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.

The Dan Marler video tutorials on the OPCAAW Youtube channel

Woodturning – Bevels and Edgesshows the basic approach to cutting wood on the lathe. With narration.
Silent Woodturning – Rough to round
 is the first in the series showing the creation of a hollow form.
Silent Woodturning – Shaping
Silent Woodturning – Hollowing
Silent Woodturning – Inlay and Finishing

Articles and information about wood turning

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

From OPCAAW archives

A collection of very useful tips for all aspects of woodturning in 50 Nifty Shop Tips
Brad Stave’s handout regarding coloring and carving embellishment
“Capt” Jack Wayne’s handout on a Bowl from a Board
Fred Holder’s article on Hand Chasing Threads
Larry Miller’s Tips to Reduce Sanding
Dan Marler’s info on Metal Filling Resources
Norm Hix’s presentation on Segmented Turning Layout
Jimmie Allen’s handout on using the Wolverine jig to sharpen turning tools
Vern West’s Cam Fundamentals With Emphasis on Ornamental Lathe and Rose Engine applications

From our presenters

Brad Stave’s handoutfrom his demonstration on making Christmas ornaments.
Brad Stave’s powerpoint presentation from his “How To Hold ‘Em” demo.
Stephen Hatcher’s handout on Tips and Advice.
Stephen Hatcher’s handout on Materials for Inlays
Don McIvor with Finishing Demythified
Art Liestman Beyond Round – Therming and  his companion article, Beyond Round – the Lost Wood Process, from his July 2015 presentation.
Brad Stave’s Lamp base diagram from the May 2016 presentation on making lamps.

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