August Membership Meeting – Dave Best

I have been playing with wood since I was 9. As a kid some of us boys in the neighborhood made things to sell to make some spending money. I’m sure these were bought by neighbors out of pity more than skill but encouraged my interest in woodworking.

In the winter of my eighth grade I made a 7 ft hydroplane that used a 10 hp motor. Our winters in Minnesota could start in October and end in March or April so it gave me projects to do. The next winter I built a 12 ft sailboat from 1 page plan out of Boys Life magazine. These projects taught me how to work with bending wood and fiberglassing among many other new skills I was exposed to.

When I got married I suggested to my wife that we could spend the wedding gift money on power tools and I could make things for the house. She said OK!!! The first thing I made was a drop leaf end table. We still have it in our living room. When I finished it I could count 11 or more mistakes. No one ever noticed any of them. I think it taught me not to be too hard on myself.

I became interested in woodturning in the late 1980’s when we gave my wife’s stepdad Dale Nish’s book Creative Woodturning. It was a little used when he opened the gift on Christmas Day. My mind was opened up to the possibilities a lathe had. I’ve never looked back. After a while I became interested in doing changes to the surface of the turned object. Some of these changes are quick and some take lots of extra hours. This will be a pursuit the rest of my life. I have only scratched the surface with the things I have tried. I’m sure I will die with ideas still bouncing around in my head I never got to. You are only limited by your imagination.

July Membership Meeting

Fred AbelesFred Abeles, SPSW President, is a Seattle native, born and raised in the Magnolia area, Graduated from Queen Anne High School, attended University of Washington, attended the Art Center College of Design in Hollywood for professional/commercial photography, operated Kent Photography, a professional portrait/wedding photography studio for 25 years and worked at Microsoft for 18 years, the last 12 years as the technical manager for the Microsoft Visitor Center. He currently works his retirement job at Woodcraft of Seattle as a sales associate and wood turning instructor in their classroom.

Fred began woodturning over 20 years ago by learning pen turning at the Puyallup Fair during a demo there, attended many pen turning demos at Rockler by David Morrison, bought my first lathe and the rest is history. I became addicted to the craft as so many of us do. Fred is now a proud owner of 5 lathes in 3 locations.

Fred has been a member of South Puget Sound Woodturners for at least 15 years, served as the board Secretary for 5 years and now as the club President. He will be demonstrating pen turning from start to finish at the July meeting. He will also attempt to demonstrate laser engraving using a small desktop laser engraver. He will be happy to entertain questions and offer solutions for those of you who are struggling with the fine art of turning writing pens using the wood lathe.

June Membership Meeting

Michael Dresdner is a nationally known finishing, woodworking, and guitar making expert, consultant, lecturer, columnist, and author of five books, seven videos, and over ten thousand articles on woodworking, finishing and guitar making. He is the former head of research and development for Martin Guitar Company, the founding CEO of Tacoma Guitar Company, former owner of Factory 875, and owner of Rainy Day Ukes. He has been a contributing editor or columnist for over half a dozen publications including Fine Woodworking, American Woodworker, and Woodworker’s Journal, was the “answer man” at, and is a former editor of the Woodworker’s Journal eZine. He bought his first lathe in 1979.

“This time around I’ll introduce you to what for many will be a new adhesive, filler, and finish that has some unique properties. With it you can pot inlays, create clear, colored, and glow in the dark void fillers, clear pore filler, and a high gloss finish that goes on in minutes and is both waterproof and durable enough for even daily use objects, like knife handles, goblets, and bowls. As always, I will leave plenty of time for questions on any subject you care to broach.”

April Membership Meeting

It has been over 50 years since Oregon artist Tom Willing created his first woodturning in his father’s woodshop. Since then, he has come to focus on pieces that are sensitive to the interplay between light, form, and material. Working with both native and exotic species of woods, Willing seeks to reveal the visual magic within each piece of timber with which he works. In addition to sculptural display work, he designs pieces that combine the aesthetic and functional – bowls, pepper grinders, platters and more. Willing’s work is elegantly finished on the lathe with walnut oil and wax, then buffed to bring out the natural luster of the wood.

Willing holds his BA degree from the University of Oregon, an MA from the Ohio State University, and a MAT from Lewis and Clark University. He taught middle school in Newberg, Oregon, until retiring in 2013. President and Certified Member of the Pacific Northwest Woodturning Guild, he teaches woodturning workshops, and is an active member of both Northwest Woodturners and the American Association of Woodturners. A founding member and past President, he continues to serve as a Director of Frogwood, a 501(c)(3) Arts Education Organization. Willing lives in the Willamette Valley with his wife, watercolor artist Mary Burgess.

March Membership Meeting

On March 17th, will feature our twice yearly mini-symposium where some great club members setup demonstration tables and you’re welcome to visit those that interest you, stay and watch and interact with the member to ask questions and ask for advice to help you advance in our woodturning adventures. A great learning opportunity.

The members presenting will be:

  • Jimmie Allen showing box turning and he will have his great tools for sale
  • Mike Poirier will show his method for using the Tormec system to sharpen turning tools
  • AlisaBeth Nash will show her Nib Dip Calligraphy pens
  • Kent Horton will show Bow ties
  • Jeff Marshall will cater to beginning turning techniques
  • Eileen Collins will show how to dye your work with Fiber Reactive Dyes
  • Doug Reynolds on signing your work

This is a meeting you will NOT want to

What’s Happening at Other Chapters

This information is compiled from Northwest AAW chapter’s websites and newsletters. You should check with the specific chapter if you plan to attend one of their meetings.

The Inland Northwest Woodturners are meeting March 3rd at Ferris High School. Doug Eaton will present “Log to a Blank”.

The Northwest Woodturners in Beaverton, Oregon are holding their next meeting virtually on March 3rd. Craig Timmerman will be demonstrating turning a torus vase (a doughnut with a hole).

The Woodturners of Olympia are meeting in person on March 8th at the First Baptist Church of Olympia and online. The program has not been announced.

The Portneuf Valley Woodturners in Pocatello, ID, are meeting in-person on March 9th. The program has not been announced.

The Seattle Woodturners are meeting virtually on March 10th. Russ Prior will present turning a sphere 5 ways.

The Willamette Valley Woodturners in Salem, Oregon will be meeting virtually on March 10th. Nick Stagg will demonstrate turning a lidded box.

The Fraser Valley Woodturning Guild is meeting virtually on March 10th. The program has not been announced.

The Cascade Woodturners in Portland, OR are meeting virtually on March 17th. Steve Newberry will demonstrate turning kuksas.

The Oregon Coast Woodturners are meeting on March 19th. The program has not been announced.

The Strait Turners in Sequim will meet virtually on March 19th. John Elliott will be the demonstrator.

The Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild in Vancouver, B.C. are meeting virtually on March 24th. Gary Burns will demonstrate turning a lidded box without rechucking.

The Island Woodturners Guild on Vancouver Island is meeting remotely on March 26th. The program for the evening has not been announced.

The Beaver State Woodturners in Coburg, Oregon, will be meeting on March 27th. The program has not been announced.

The Olympic Peninsula Woodturners will be meeting virtually and in person on March 30th. David Ellsworth will demonstrate hollow forms.