2013 Programs

2012 Programs

January 31
"Favorite Jigs"

Lyle Solem Moderating

In spite of the below-zero weather, the meeting was well attended. A large number of interesting Show and Tell items took much of the meeting time. However, Lyle was able to efficiently run us through the favorite jigs presentations that followed, and everybody who brought a favorite jig had an opportunity to describe theirs and answer questions.

Jigs varied from very simple angle aids for quickly and accurately setting a grinder's tool rest, to a rather elaborate router mechanism for fluting turned mushrooms.

John Demonatrating fixtures for reverse turning a bowl bottom

John Thorson demonstrated simple friction-fit wooden discs for reverse-turning bowl bottoms. A headstock-mounted disc grips a bowl from either the inside or the outside of the bowl's lip, depending on the lip's shape. This is a simple, inexpensive solution compared to a purchased adjustable holder that takes as long to adjust as it does to make a simple disc jig.

Wayne VanEvery demonstrating home made headstock and tailstock fixtures

Wayne VanEvery epoxies nuts into wooden blanks, and then turns the blanks to make headstock and tailstock fixtures that custom fit his projects. A 3/4"x10 tpi nut will screw onto most live centers. Using such a nut for tailstock fixtures greatly expands the versatility of the live center beyond the cup and the cones that come with it.

The above are just a sample of the jigs discussed.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the January 31st meeting.

February 28
"Introductory Airbrushing"

Wayne at the artist's easel

Wayne VanEvery Presenting

A skilled and imaginative airbrush painter can add a whole new world of artistry to turned forms as show in the example below.

An example of airbrush painting on a turned hollow form

However, airbrush painting skill, like woodturning skill, comes with learning, practice, and of course with the proper materials, equipment and techniques.

Wayne gave us a quick course on the basics. He described the materials he prefers: pre-reduced water based acrylic paints, opaque and transparent; where to get them; how much they cost; and how to clean up equipment and spills.

He described various gravity feed and siphon feed airbrushes, their advantages, their cost, how they are hooked up to an air supply, and the types of air supplies that can be used.

Finally he demonstrated simple basic operations with his a gravity feed airbrush: dots, lines, and shading, explaining control of the air, paint, arm motion, and distance from the object being painted. The pictures below show a gravity feed airbrush and the basic operations.

Gravity feed airbrush

This gravity feed airbrush has a single control for air and paint: Push forward for air and downward for paint. This takes skill, but provides a lot of control.

Painting a dot

First start with dots. Then go to lines. Practice, practice, practice.

Creating a shaded circle using a mask

Shading with a mask begins to be more fun.

The shaded circle after the mask is removed

The result after the mask is removed.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the February 28th meeting.

ZVW Displays and Demonstrates at the Rochester Woodcarvers Show on March 23rd and 24th.

While Wayne VanEvery was demonstrating turning tops or John Thorson was demonstrating turning bowls, other club members were eagerly explaining how the various items on display were turned and finished.

Todd VanDeWalker and John Thorson manning the table of large bowls.

The demonstration of how a bowl is made from a section of a tree was a popular stop for those curious about how bowls are turned.

Here Jim VanDeWalker is playing with a bowl full of tops made by Wayne Van Every, a turner who prefers to use a skew chisel, a tool that is avoided by many skilled turners .

Lyle Solem is one of the anchor men participating in the show and always has a variety of interesting items to display.

Bob Post's huge multi-wood "waste basket" was perhaps the star of the ZVW display. Visitors stood in line to find out how it was created.

The Rochester Woodcarvers charge no admission for their show, and do not charge their club members to participate. The expenses to produce the show are covered by club-member-donated items which are raffled off at the show. Click here for the 2013 Woodcarvers Show raffle items donated by ZVW.

March 28
"Basic Turning with a Few Common Tools"

The major part of this meeting was taken up with Show and Tell and with a collaborative 2 x 4 competition. During the final minutes of the meeting, Chuck Grimm explained and demonstrated the use of 2 bowl gouges, and answered questions from the audience.

At the January meeting, several members volunteered to participate in a paired-member collaborative competition in which they were to take a 2-foot-long stud-grade 2 x 4, turn it into something, and bring the result to the March meeting.

Although several 2 x 4s were handed out in January, only 4 were returned as entries. All of the entries were well done. Click here to see all 4.

2 x 4 Champions Todd and Jim VanDeWalker

This years winners of a traveling trophy, created expressly for spring 2 x 4 competition, were a father and son team, Todd and Jim VanDeWalker.

Click here to read about John Thorson's experience with collaboration, and how rewarding it can be.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the March 28th meeting.

ZVW Displays at the Zumbrota, MN Library March and April, 2013

The Zumbrota library again this year hosted a display of our turnings. Bill Beckman collected turnings from club members and put together an attractive display in the library entrance hallway.

April 25th
"Spindle Turning"

In an attempt to bring better educational opportunities to club members, the program committee is trying out two-part meetings. Prior to the formal meeting, the club held a one-hour a hands-on session on the spindle-turning tools and techniques that were then demonstrated in the formal meeting. Club members are encouraged to bring their own tools, giving them an opportunity to learn how to sharpen them, and how to use them.

For this April meeting, three lathe stations were set up, each manned by a club member specializing in one tool type: Roughing manned by John Thorson, Skew manned by Wayne VanEvery, and Gouge manned by Chuck Grimm. Wearing a full face shield was mandatory for both teacher and student.

The formal presentation was given by Irv Miller.

Irv Miller Presenting

In 2007, Irv had given a 2 session course on "Spindle Turning for Furniture." Narratives of these session were published in newsletters that preceded our switch to reporting club activity directly on our web home page. For a reprint of these narratives, click here.

Irv's presentation started out with defining what spindle turning is and showing some of the items that can be created.

Various Small Spindle-Turned Items

Irv then roughed out a cylinder using 3 different tools (roughing gouge, skew chisel, spindle gouge), sized it (using calipers) to exactly one inch. Then, using a parting tool, turned a 3/4" long tenon 7/8" in diameter on one end to exactly fit a hole that had been cut by forstner bit.

Then, using another cylinder, Irv proceeded to cut a series of grooves 3/4" apart using 3 tools: skew, gouge, and scraper. His intention was to then roll a series of identical beads into these grooves using 3 tools: skew, gouge, and beading tool. Irv turned one bead with the skew and his presentation time was over.

The main point of the demonstration was to impress on the club members the importance of repetition using one tool (say the gouge) on one technique (say bead rolling), carefully analyzing, adjusting, and refining the technique until the turner feels comfortable and confident. This takes dozens, maybe hundreds, of bead rolls over several session. This concept is key to becoming a confident turner. Tuning several real projects is no way to learn anything other than ways to protect your precious creation to its completion.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the April 25th meeting.

May 30th
"End Grain Boxes"

Various Small Boxes

Again, this month, the formal meeting was preceded by a one-hour hands-on session. Three lathes and a sharpening station were manned by the clubs more experienced woodturners.

Irv Miller gave the formal presentation as a continuation of last month's spindle turning presentation. The most stable boxes are turned as short, hollowed spindles from dry (6% to 10% moisture content) wood.

Our savvy cameraman, Joe Gyura was able to capture and display, with our modern video equipment, the details of Irv's box hollowing and lid fitting.

Irv concentrated on various methods of end-grain hollowing and on lid fitting. Box anatomy was described along with a 22-step order for creating, fixing, turning, sanding, and finishing the blanks for the base and lid. For a printable file of this information, please click here.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the May 30th meeting.

June 27th
"Hollow Forms"

Chuck Grimm Presents

Chuck demonstrated end-grain hollowing with his Sorby hollowing system. Chuck had replaced the standard Sorby cutter with a retrofit round carbide cutter purchased from Hunter Tool Systems.

In the above photo, the ZVW librarian, Bob Post, is getting some tips from Chuck on hollowing tips.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the June 27th meeting.

July 25th
"Plates and Platters"

John Thorson Presents

John Thorson opened up the 5:30 hands-on instruction session on plates and platters and closed the main program demonstration with a finished plate.

It was an all John evening with excellent instruction to the early group of about a dozen eager turners, and a very informative presentation later to the whole group, with a Show and Tell and coffee break sandwiched in between.

John concentrated on side-grain turning with the bowl gouge on relatively flat surfaces. The techniques are similar to bowl turning, but the shallow cuts and flat bottoms require a slightly different discipline.

With the relatively small early group (above photo), an observer could easily stop John in his lathe's tracks to ask a question about the relationship of the cutting edge of the tool to the blank, and then peer right at the answer on the stopped lathe. And, of course, hands-on to try a particular cut is the real way to get the feel of it.

In the above photo, John is holding his finished plate.

Click here for Show and Tell Items from the July 25th meeting.

December 19th
"Holiday Party"

The Zumbro Valley Woodturners' holiday meeting was held December 19th, 2013 at the New Haven Township Hall.

Club member's spouse, friends and family were all welcomed to this event.

Visitation was from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM with the meal starting at 6:00 PM followed by Show and Tell and the White Elephant raffle.

Everyone brought a dish to share with the group; Cookies, Candy, Meat Balls, Lefse for the Norwegians, etc. The club furnished coffee, water, plates, napkins and plastic ware.

Photo from 2012 event

The main agenda for this meeting was our White Elephant raffle. We had a wide variety of times including tools, turnings and other treasures.
Tickets for the raffle were $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. The winning ticket was drawn by an impartial party again this year.

This was a great event. Next year everyone is encouraged to bring recipes for their dishes!

Summaries of earlier programs can be found in the ZVW Repository

ZVW Mentors Program

One of our club's objectives is to enhance our members' woodturning knowledge and skills. To further this objective, the Zumbro Valley Woodturners has a mentors program. This program encourages a ZVW member to have a one-on-one learning experience with a ZVW woodturner who may have considerable skill in a particular area.

The ZVW members in the following table have volunteered to assist other members in learning more about specific woodturning techniques. Any ZVW member who feels confident in any particular woodturning area is welcome to volunteer to be a mentor.

Bill Beckman
Zumbrota, MN


Duff Bement
Pine Island, MN

Bowls, Bowl Coring

Dave Dunn
Rochester, MN

Small Items, Surface Enhancements

Irv Miller
Pine Island, MN

Turning Fundamentals, Skew, Spindle Turning, Multiples

Lyle Solem
Rochester MN

All Areas of Turning, Jigs & Fixtures, Small Items

Mel Turcanik
Dodge Center, MN

All Areas of Turning, Finishing

Todd VanDeWalker
Rochester, MN


A member who desires assistance in improving a skill, or help with a project, contacts one of the above individuals. A mutually convenient time and place is then arranged for one or more discussion and instruction sessions. This might be in the member's shop with the member using his own lathe and tools, or at the mentor's shop. More than one member may participate in a session if it is agreeable with the mentor.