Gulf Coast Woodturners Association



Club Information




May 2006 - Spring Retreat

The 2006 Spring Retreat is now history and it will go down as a good one with 101 members attending!  There were opportunities for turners of all levels to improve their skills and learn new techniques.  The following pictures represent a cross section of the weekend events, the courses offered and, where available, links to session
notes.  You can view a list of the courses offered, their instructors and participants, here.

New Lathe Introduced at Retreat! (. . . just kidding)
Dennis Weber (at the lathe in the three pictures to the right) brought his hand made spring pole lathe to the Retreat for everyone to try. 

Dennis not only built the lathe, but also used it to make a beautiful four-poster bed.

The lathe was a real hit!

The Mentor Area was busy throughout the two day retreat (...lots of lathes and lots of mentors)

Practice, practice, practice . . . then practice some more.  One of the reasons our Retreat is so successful is because of the generous time and talent offered by our mentors.

Here's a quiz: What's the most popular activity at the retreat?

The raffle, of course!

Again this year, Bill Berry assembled a fine collection of desirable items for the raffle including TWO mini-lathes!

Bill's favorite line: "But you have to buy tickets to win!"

Quiz, part two: What's the second most popular activity at the retreat?
Eating, of course! Bill Pottorf did a great job arranging catering services. The food was tasty and plentiful. Everyone stuffed themselves.  The only complaint we heard was that there were no cots for naps after lunch!  

Session: Reverse Chucking  
Bill Berry not only coordinated a fine raffle, he also demonstrated several different techniques to turn the bottoms of differently shaped pieces.    

Session: Making Power Sanding Disks
Mack DeBose presented a very thorough session on making power sanding disks and making sand paper disks to fit them.  He's generously shared his session notes for all to access.   Links to Mack's Session Notes:
   - Bowl Sanding Tool
   - Making Sanding Disks

Natural Edge Bowls
Tom Orton, not pictured (sorry Tom), hosted two sessions on turning natural edge bowls...and even supplied the blanks! 

Here's a link to Tom's Session Notes:

 - Natural Edge Bowls


Session: Turning a Peppermill
Bill "Pepper" Pottorf took a group of interested turners through his process to create a 10" peppermill.  If you'd like to try this yourself, here's a link to Bill's very thorough Session Notes, which include information and ideas also formulated by others, including Nick Cook, whose contributions are acknowledged:
   - Turning a 10" Peppermill

Session: Bowl Turning

Don Fluker (far right, with Jennifer DeBose) offered a couple of well attended sessions on basic bowl turning.  (Our apologies to the many others who took this class but Todd Clare's intensity captured our lens.)  Don recommends Brian Laing's "Guide to Bowl Making" as a reference resource.

Session: Turning Finials
(anyone ever wonder why they aren't called "finals?")
Brian Laing offered two sessions on turning finials. Bill Tilson, Fog Tanner and Mack DeBose all seemed to catch on pretty quickly.

Session: Carving
Janice Levi shared many of the carving techniques she uses to produce her elaborate pieces with a group of highly interested turners.  Janice supplied Tupelo wood for class participants to create a "leaf" an example of which is shown to the right.

Offset Spindle Turning
Stacy Hager, led a group of advanced turners (at least most of them thought they were advanced turners before taking the class!) through the complicated process of creating a three-sided, twisted box.  We noticed several who took the course muttering to themselves after it was over.  We're not going to guess what they were muttering about, however.

If you're brave enough to try this, here are Stacy's Session Notes:
   - Three-sided, Twisted Box


Bill Lewis reviewed a number of techniques to texture a piece, including use of an item he said was a "needle scaler."  Sure, Bill.  We all know that the thing was Medieval torture device used to extract confessions from unwilling prisoners. 

On a more benign note, he also showed participants how to use the Sorby Texturing Tool and the chatter tool. 

Good session, Bill! 

A Special Note
At this session on texturing, Bill Lewis substituted for Jeff Schrader, whose job required that he and his wife, Colette, suddenly move to Alaska.  Jeff is a highly talented turner and  GCWA's loss is Alaska's gain--we'll miss you both!

Show and Tell  
Lots of Show, some Tell--mostly bragging--but no Awards, as there was no formal judging.      

Additional Session Notes
Here are additional session notes that are worth checking out!
     * "Bread and Butter" Items by Bill Tilson
     * Buffing by Jack Hanley
     * Stamp Holder by Tom Sayre
     * Turning Spheres and Balls by Bill Tilson
     * Wine Bottle Stoppers by Larry Brown
     * Woodturning-What You Need by Marty Kaminsky

Luna Ford Award         New '06-'07 Board
With the words . . . "in recognition of unending dedication for sharing knowledge of woodturning skill with club membership" . . . Tom Enloe, GCWA president, presented the 2006 Luna Ford Award to Janice Levi.

Janice will be profiled in an upcoming Gulf Coast Treasures vignette in the near future.

L-R: Mac DeBose, Lane Bradford, George Kabacinski, Tom Enloe, Reggie Keith, Jay Ebner, Ben Ball & Barbara Gaynor.  Not shown: Bill Lewis, Bill Pottorf and Robert Frost.


Errata (a Retreat picture collection)

photography by Dale Barrack