Gulf Coast Woodturners Association



Club Information




May 2013 - Spring Retreat 17

2013 marked the seventeenth year that the Gulf Coast Woodturners has held a spring retreat.  The original retreat in 1997 was conceived as an opportunity for beginning and intermediate turners to gain lots of hands-on experience from more advanced turners.  Seventeen years later the same format is still in place.  (Says something about the original intent, doesn't it?)

This year, 25 classes (we call them "learning experiences") were offered along with 5 demonstrations and, of course, our famous, and well attended, Beginners Trac.  View the rotation schedule

Turning and learning . . . safely, please!

Club president, Reggie Keith got the 17th annual retreat underway with words of welcome and words about safety.

Although not announced until the second day of the retreat, the results of this year's board of directors election was announced.  From left to right: Rene Gonzales, Treasurer; Reggie Keith, board member/past president; Tommy Joe, board member; George Kabacinski, vice president; Walter Mooney, board member; Shawn Pachlhofer, board member; Tom Irven, board member; Don Fluker, incoming club president.  Not pictured: Lane Bradford, secretary.

Also announced on the second day of the retreat was the recipient of this year's Luna Ford Award--Paul Millo.  Paul is the club's gallery photographer...and a great woodturner to boot!

Member Gallery
While the focus of the retreat is on learning, it's also an opportunity for members to display items that they have already completed.



Learning Sessions (Not all session are covered and the number of pictures vary from one session to another)

Day One - First Rotation

Off-center Goblets
Greg Gonsalves
showed intermediate turners how to turn an off-center goblet using multi-axis techniques.

Janice Levi conducted a hands-on session for intermediate turners on turning



Golf Ball Ornament
George Kabacinski showed intermediate turners how to make a golf ball ornament





Hand Chasing
Tom Enloe helps intermediate participants understand how to chase threads,






Decorative Bowls
Scott Njaa taught a class for intermediate turners on decorative bowls.

Beginner Trac
GCWA prides itself on providing beginning turners with an opportunity to learn from seasoned, advanced turners.  The Beginner Trac has help over 100 new turners grasp woodturning basics.  This year Tom Irven, Paul Millo and Tommy Joe provided hands-on instruction and guidance to the enthusiastic group of new comers.

Tom Irven starts the Beginner Trac with a safety overview.

Tom, with co-instructor Paul Millo, get things started.  There is one instructor for every two to three students.

Paul discusses correct tool orientation with  Sandy Peck

Joy Grise practices making beads and coves.

Tom begins the session on bowl turning with a demonstration.

Tommy Joe demonstrates how to secure a bowl blank.

Safety is the most important aspect of turner shared with beginners.

Impromptu instruction was provided by Luna Ford, one of the club's original members.

Luna shows Sandy Peck how to make the first cut.

By the end of the day, this bowl was almost ready for the judging table!

Demonstration: Making a Full Size Hat
Dennis Ford shared his
experience (and "wowed" his onlookers) by making a full size hat during the first day morning rotation. Dennis says that the preparation work (chain saw and grain orientation to get the blank ready for turning took about an hour and a half.  The pictures below show what Dennis accomplished in approximately two hours of turning during the demo.  The result was a full size hat, which he donated for the raffle.  The wood he used, by the way, was fresh Sycamore.  Nice job, Dennis!
Dennis Ford's turnings always amaze (see his personal Gold Gallery, here). He also amazed those who watched  him demonstrate how to turn a full size hat during his demonstration.   Prior to the demonstration, Dennis shaped the blank.  He works quickly and changes tools, instead of sharpening them, when the one he's using gets dull.  
Grady Widdon and Dave Barziza watch Dennis shape hat's head size. Depending the wood he uses, Dennis adds up to 3/4" to the person's head size to allow for shrinkage. 
Once the top was sized, Dennis began shaping the rim.       Before long, he had a thin-wall hat (about 1/8"-3/16") of  even thickness, throughout.
Ed Peine looks on as Dennis shapes the top of the hat.       Dennis does not follow the standard procedure of reversing the hat to finish the top, as seen here.

After parting the hat off with a razor saw, Dennis used a sharp gouge to remove the stub.

Done . . . almost!

The last step was to shape the hat.
By the way, Dennis not only made a great hat--he made the lathe that he turned it on!

Day One - Second Rotation

Boxes with Tilted Lids
Kai Muenzer
took intermediate class participants through the process of turning boxes with tilted lids.


Air Brushing a Bud Vase
Kendall Westbrook shared his air brushing techniques with participants of his class, but first he had them turn a bud vase. You can  view Kendall's impressive work in his personal Gold Gallery, here.


Natural Edge Bowls
Dennis Ford, after spending the first rotation turning a full-sized hat, instructed intermediate turners on the finer points of turning natural edge bowls.


CA & Metal Leaf Finishes
Dave Mueller showed turners of all levels how to apply metal leaf to create special surface effects.

Dave Barziza took his students through the steps of constructing a simple box

Demonstration: Creating Depth through carving, texturing & surface enhancement
Paula Haymond, is one of the club's most innovative turners.  Many of her turnings incorporate carving, texturing and/or surface treatment.  In this demonstration, Paula shared her techniques as well as the tool and materials she uses in her work.  You can see some of Paula's work by visiting her personal Gold Gallery, here.

Paula Haymond, above, with a large (~20") demonstration piece at the right.

Day Two - First Rotation

Small Platters
Delbert Pond shared his knowledge on making small platters with intermediate turners. 

Banksia Pods
Fog Tanner showed his students how to make a bud vase out of a Banksia Pod

Beal Style Buffing
Ed Peine is one of the club's best turners and he specializes in very large hollow forms.  Ed's pieces are especially noteworth for their surface finishes.  He has adapted the Beal buffing system in a manner that allows him to quickly change wheels by drilling and tapping a wooden adaptor to fit his lathe's spindle.  On the picture at the right below you can see the how this is done.  You can also see some of Ed's impressive hollow forms in his personal Gold Gallery, here.

Dave Greenawalt loves to make scoops and shared his knowledge with his class of intermediate turners.

Euro Pens
Randy Abramson showed his students how to make a Euro Pen

Demonstration: Local Tree and Wood Identification
Derek Turner is the club's resident expert on tree and wood identification.  In an effort to help members labeling their items "FOG" (found on ground), Derek spend several hours discussing local tree identification by their leaves, and, to a lesser extent, their bark.  He also had kiln dried samples of various wood for members to become familiar with.
Left: Derek used a laptop presentation to discuss local trees.

Above: Joe Hall looks on.


Faces in the Crowd
Here are pictures of members just socializing and pictures of sessions that did not have enough photos to construct a gallery like the ones above.



Candid photography by Dale Barrack