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Nittany Valley Woodturners  

President's Corner

December 5, 2016

Welcome to the Nittany Valley Woodturners web site!  We are group of people interested in the hobby of turning wood on a lathe to produce both functional and artistic objects.  Our membership has a very wide ranging level of experience in wood turning, from those of us who have just barely started to learn about the hobby, to those who have been turning wood for over 30 years.  The main purpose of our club is to encourage people to explore the possibilities of wood turning in a completely safe manner.  We emphasize the use of safety equipment (eye protection, face protection) and safe procedures (no loose clothing, sharp tools, turning off the lathe when making even the smallest adjustments, proper use of chisels and gouges, avoid reaching over the body of the lathe).  We exchange information about new turning techniques, new tools and equipment, and new things that can be produced on the lathe.

Our club has about 35 members and at a typical monthly meeting we will have 20-30 members in attendance.  Our meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of the month at the Mount Nittany Middle School wood shop, 656 Brandywine Dr., in State College.  Weather and the school district calendar can cause us to reschedule our meetings to the second Thursday of the month.  Our meetings run from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.  For the first 20-30 minutes we conduct typical club business and then the rest of the meeting is devoted to a specific demonstration or participation program, often with an opportunity for members to get hands-on participation in the program.  Recent program topics have included sharpening tools, turning spheres, use of carbide tools, turning Christmas ornaments, turning pens for local charities, wood sculptures, hollow forms, and turning pepper mills.  We also hold a “show-and-tell” each meeting for members to display their latest work, and a wood auction of wood blanks donated by the club members to raise funds for the club’s purchases of supplies and equipment.  We welcome to our meetings anyone interested in wood turning, any age, and any level of experience.  Our members are more than happy to exchange with your any knowledge they have.  Come as often as you like to decide if wood turning is or is not something you want to pursue.   

Our club sponsors two wood turning courses held at the SCASD Wood Shop under their Community Education Program.  The winter Adult Introduction to Wood Turning course is held from February to April for 8 weeks, on class each Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.  The summer course is an Introduction to Wood Turning for middle school students, held in late July for one week, 9:00-Noon each day.  If you are interested in these courses, the course listing is at www.scasd.com .   These courses are conducted on equipment (lathes and chisels) that the club owns and instruction is provided by club members, often in a one-on-one student to teacher environment.  The course teach basic spindle turning and students will be turning a variety of items, such as bottle stoppers, honey dippers, pens, spinning tops, and stool legs.  Students are encouraged to take home the items they turned in class so they can show off their work.  Many of our new members joined the club after taking these courses.

The Nittany Valley Woodturners has a demonstration booth at the Boalsburg People’s Choice Art Festival.  Our members volunteer to turn items during the festival, allowing visitors to see some lovely pieces created and to see how some pieces change during the turning process to account for voids and defects in the wood.  Some of our members had their first introduction to woodturning, watching us at the Art Festival, so come by our booth and check us out.

Thank you for your interest in Nittany Valley Woodturners, a member Chapter of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) http://www.woodturner.org/ .

 

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