November 2008 Program

"Shop critters and natural edge crescent vessels." presented by Larry Roberts


larry06Larry Roberts is a biologist turned real estate broker. He owned and operated a large brokerage firm before retiring in 1995. He served in all offices, including president, of the Arlington Board of Realtors. Larry was a  board of directors member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and has served in numerous other volunteer positions.  

When Texas Turn or Two (now SWAT) was formed Larry was one of the first demonstrators and continued to do so for many years.He has worked tirelessly behind the scenes helping TTT and SWAT  Larry was involved in some of the first organizational meetings (only as a wide eyed observer)  of the American Association of Woodturners. Perhaps he was the first audience.Later he was an AAW symposium demonstrator. Larry Roberts is the founding President of WNTX. Gary Roberts  formed the Central Texas Woodturners Association then in 1989 persuaded Larry to start woodturners group in Ft. Worth. The first meeting was eight fellows, including Clay Foster. Clay encouraged design and form diversity cultivating the individuals talents.The club grew rapidly and ultimately spun off the Dallas group. Now Texas has 19 woodturning clubs. Larry has demoed at many of the Texas clubs. 

At the next WNTX meeting Larry will teach you all you need to know about woodturning by showing you how to make shop critters. Also shown will be how to make natural edge crescent vessels. He may even tell a story or two as he turns. He never lets the facts interfere with the story.
Enjoy your day.
Larry Roberts

October 2008 Program


Turning Christmas Ornaments by Brian Evans 




September 2008 Program

"Making the Most of Your Mini-Lathe" presented by John Horn

 johnhornPeople with only a mini-lathe sometimes feel they are handicapped by the size of their lathe.  Others, who have recently added a larger lathe to their arsenal of power tools, wonder if they should get rid of their smaller lathe now that they have graduated to a machine with much more capabilities.   The demonstration will show the value of owning and using a mini-lathe for a variety of purposes, no matter whether it is the only lathe in the shop or whether it is just one of several lathes that are available.

The demonstration will address the following questions:

What percentage of a turner’s desired projects can be handled by a mini-lathe?

What projects can be turned on the mini-lathe? 

What are the limits of a mini-lathe? 

What are the advantages of a mini-lathe? 

What accessories can be fitted to the mini-lathe to increase it versatility?  What are the sources of extra devices for the mini-lathe?

Those attending the demonstration may learn that the mini-lathe is a valuable asset in the workshop.  With careful thought and assorted accessories, it can possibly be the most important tool in the shop.  A new appreciation of this small tool and it’s capacities is the goal of the demonstration.

Each year since 1998 John has demonstrated for at least three or four monthly chapter meetings a year for various woodturning clubs in Texas and Oklahoma.  To keep the audience from becoming bored with his presentations, he demonstrates on a different topic every year. 

He has demonstrated on the following topics at Texas Turn or Two and SWAT every year since 1998 except 2004. 

“Turning a Birdhouse Christmas Ornament”……………..… 1998

“Turning a Santa Claus Nutcracker” …………………………1999

“Turning a Threaded Lidded Box”    ………………………….2000

“Quick and Easy Turned Toys”      ……………………………2001

“Woodturning Fundamentals for Students and Teachers”… 2002

“Taming the Skew”  ……………………………………………..2003

“The Art of The Peppermill”  ……………………………………2005

“Turning Your Scraps into Wearable Art” ……………………. 2006

“Tools and Techniques for Endgrain Turning” ………………. 2007

Educated as an instructor of high school musicians, John has spent a major portion of his life teaching a variety of subjects from high school band and choir to adult computer applications.  Now he teaches regular classes at the Woodcraft store in Addison and one-on-one sessions on woodturning topics in his shop for beginning to intermediate turners.  When he is not teaching and attending woodturning meetings, he stays busy turning contract jobs for corporations and individuals on one or more of his three wood lathes.

A member of the AAW, he is active in both the Woodturners of North Texas and the Golden Triangle Woodturners.


August 2008 Program

"When Bowls Fly" presented by Craig Timmerman

 The WNT program on August 28, 2008 will be presented by professional woodturner Craig Timmerman of Austin, Texas.

Standard, round bowls are great projects, but when you want to take your bowls to another level, try giving them wings! That’s what happens when you take a bowl blank and leave the corners—you get a bowl with wings. Non-round bowls are one of his signature pieces. He likes to throw in a few differences such as wings with beads and coves or interesting shaped pieces such as a rectangle, rhombus, or even star shapes.

In the August program, Craig Timmerman will cover some non-round bowl shapes that can be done and will demonstrate turning a rhombus shaped bowl.

Craig began woodturning ten years ago when he took a weekend turning class at a local store. After that weekend the woodworking equipment in his shop ceased to be used for anything except woodturning.

Craig’s specialties include hollow forms, spheres, multi-axis work, and non-round (e.g. square) turnings. His “Swing” series is an example of combining hollow forms and non-round turnings and his “Alien” vessel series features multi-axis vases and alien faces. Production work includes Craig’s “Flying Bowl” series (a.k.a., square bowls).

Craig works primarily with reclaimed timber—trees that have come down in storms, trees being taken down for construction, and the occasional piece of firewood. Reclaimed timber is often filled with flaws of different kinds, such as cracks, bug holes, or voids. Rather than try to remove the flaws, Craig works to accentuate them by making them the focal point of the piece, filling them with crushed stone, or carving them into other shapes.

The demonstration will cover the following topics:
* Chucking options 
* Turning “air”
* Using non-round and non-squared pieces for turning
* Light tool touch when turning “air”
* Sanding techniques to use with odd shapes
* Safety concerns when turning non-round pieces
* Getting consistent thickness
* Suggestions on shape and form
* Reverse chucking and tenon removal

Craig Timmerman is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and is a firm believer in its mission to provide education and information to those interested in woodturning. As such, he frequently demonstrates his craft. He has demonstrated for many local woodturning clubs and has twice been a demonstrator at the American Association of Woodturners national symposium. Craig was one of the featured lead demonstrators at the 2005 Southwest Association of Woodturners symposium.

As of June 2008, Craig Timmerman has become a full time artist. His work is in several central Texas galleries and can also be found on his website, He also does a few art shows each year. Craig and his wife, Tina, have been married for twenty-four years and live just outside Austin. If life wasn’t busy enough, he also sings with the Heart Of Texas Barbershop Chorus.


July 2008 Program

"Segmented Kitchen Utensils" presented by Delbert Dowdy

 Our demonstrator for July will be Delbert Dowdy who has been turning for over 20 years. He is a charter member of the ArkLaTex Woodturners. Delbert has had two articles published in More Woodturning and  his work appears in two woodturning books. He sells his work at local fairs and at the Quicksilver Gallery in Eureka Springs, AR. He has have demonstrated at four SWAT symposia and will be demonstrating at the SWAT 2008 symposium. His work is primarily pieces that combine segmentation and solid wood that is pierced, burned, and colored.

Wooden kitchen utensils can be made easily and quickly using 3/4 to 1 inch boards of common hardwoods using a few simple tools. A spatula can be made in twenty minutes or less and is then ready to use in the kitchen or put on display. You can use different colored woods to enhance the look. They sell well and make great presents.

June 2008 Program

"Making an M&M Dispenser" presented by Johnny Tolly

  Johnny Tolly of Driftwood Springs, Texas will be our guest demonstrator for the June 2008 monthly club meeting. He will be demonstrating how to make his award winning Peanut M&M candy dispenser. This is a fun project and when completed makes a very nice gift for grandchildren and other members of the family.

During the program, Johnny will show and explain the various steps required to make the individual parts. This includes the dispenser, top, body knob and the base.

Johnny has been an active wood turner for over twenty-five years. He is an active member of the American Association of Woodturners, Southwest Association of Woodturners, Central Texas Woodturners Association of Austin, Texas Mesquite Association and the Artists of Dripping Springs. Johnny is an active woodturning instructor for others wishing to learn new skills in the field of woodturning. He has demonstrated at the Southwest Association of Woodturners symposium numerous times and at many woodturning clubs around Texas. Johnny was instrumental in helping one of those clubs get started. He has also demonstrated at the Woodcraft Store in Austin and has also instructed numerous individuals at his home near Driftwood.

Johnny lives near Driftwood outside Austin, Texas with his lovely wife Marcia. They have five children, Janita, Johnny, Jimmy, Melissa and Michael. Marcia is Johnny’s’ main inspiration and supporter of his creative woodturning endeavors.

  Johnny Tolly has created numerous masterpiece turnings. He is very creative and has a keen eye for form and design elements. In addition to bowls, vases and unusual things like his Texas Sized Big Bug, he has stretched his imagination and made closed and opened segmented items as well. They range from vases, bowls, a football, a globe, table lamps, a floor lamp and bowls with open segments on the top.

At the Woodworkers show of Austin, Johnny’s globe titled Johnny’s World Full of Holes placed second and his Texas Mesquite Floor Lamp placed second the following year.

Johnny has written several HOW TO articles on the web at and has had articles published in the American Woodturner magazine and Woodturning Design magazine. Some of his work may be seen at in the gallery, at and at


May 2008 Program

"Building a Vacuum Chuck System"

presented by John Solberg & Pete Tkacs (The Bruised Brothers)


  The "Bruised Brothers", John Solberg and Pete Tkacs became interested in vacuum chucks a couple of years ago, but were turned off by the expense of purchasing one. They were determined to build a system and reduce the cost significantly. After researching other avenues of parts and supplies, they came up with a system that functions as well as the catalog versions and was considerably less expensive. 

Their demonstration, "Building a Vacuum Chuck System" will show how to put a system together with parts and supplies that can be purchased locally or on the web at very low prices. They will show a variety of pumps that can be used to supply the vacuum, and will discuss the pros and cons of each. Several techniques using a vacuum system will be demonstrated. They will also talk about adapting this system to most any lathe. And, most importantly, will provide a list of resources where additional information and supplies can be found.


March 2008 Program

"Turning and Decorating a Platter" presented by Al Stirt

  Our demonstrator for the March meeting will be the “world famous” Al Stirt from Enosburg Falls, Vermont. He has given woodturning demonstrations all over the US as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, and New Zealand. He has taught hands-on classes at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Appalachian Center for Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Brookfield Craft Center, Marc Adams School of Woodworking, Ernie Conover Workshops and many other places. The weekend after our meeting, March 28th-31st, he will be teaching hands-on classes at Gene Colley’s Canyon Studios in Copper Canyon near Lewisville.

I consider myself a “bowl maker” more than a wood turner because, although the turning process fascinates me, it is the resulting bowl that commands my interest. From the earliest times bowls have had meanings for people beyond the purely utilitarian. The bowl as vessel has a resonance deep within the human psyche. I have always thought of each piece that I make as a composition utilizing elements of pattern, line, weight, texture and form. Even in the most simple pieces I try to find a harmony of grain and shape. I seek a balance in my work between the dynamic and the serene. By playing with the tension created by combining the circle’s perfection with the energy of pattern I am trying to make pieces that have life. I use patterns, whether created by grain structure or organic fluting and carving or repeated geometric shapes, to develop harmony in each of my pieces. I find myself always looking for a new means of expression within the turned form. --- Al Stirt

For the March demonstration, Al Stirt will make one of his sgraffito (Italian for “scratched”) platters, where he will turn a platter with a wide rim. He will paint the rim and draw and carve a pattern through the paint into the wood. The demo will incorporate turned beads and coves (which require no sanding) as well as turning, painting and carving.


February 2008 Program

"Making Wooden Jewelry on the Lathe" presented by Joel Crabbe

 Until 15 years ago, my life was a vagabond existence; two foreign countries and 13 schools before I graduated from high school. I was born a military brat, married a military brat and had three military brats of my own. I retired from the U.S. Navy in 1992 and realized that I had the opportunity to pursue my woodworking hobby with gusto. I discovered the lathe four years ago and soon the building of square things yielded to the turning of round things.

Our featured demonstrator for February, Joel Crabbe, said that he turned his first pair of earrings about a year ago and, “the ladies in my life: wife and daughters gushed over this miserable pair of earrings and wanted more”.

“Well, I’m not one to disappoint my ladies and I began to explore the world of jewelry design using my lathe to create basic shapes to be combined with other items to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry”.

Now days, Joel often finds himself at the costume jewelry display at Wal-Mart getting ideas on what designs are currently popular and collecting baubles that have interesting elements that could be cannibalized for his turnings. “I sure get more than a few quizzical stares from other guys as they make their way to the tool and automotive sections,” he says.

As he will show in his demonstration, Joel says that from a technique point of view, making jewelry on the lathe is not difficult and when you examine the procedure closely, it consists of simple spindle work and face plate techniques. The creativity aspect is in the combination of simple turned shapes and other elements to create a pleasing piece of jewelry that is unique and a creative process for him. He describes the process as the lathe creating the bones while his application of creativity and imagination fleshes out the wearable art. His guidelines for turning jewelry on the lathe are simple ... there is only one rule in the creation of jewelry: THERE ARE NO RULES.

Joel Crabbe’s demonstration will introduce some of his design concepts as he creates a simple earring and pendant set in mesquite and sterling silver. The completed set will be donated to the club as a bring-back or raffle prize.


January 2008 Program
"Ornamental Lathe Turning" presented by John Herber

Our January 2008 program will be presented by John Herber, one of our long-time members and will feature the ornamental lathe that he designed and built. The program will include historical information on the subject; information on ornamental turning organizations; pictures of some pieces of ornamental turnings (both current and eighteenth and 19th century); pictures of John’s lathe and work; and a demonstration of John Herber’s lathe in action.

John retired in 1999 after working as a electromechanical design engineer in the aircraft industry for over thirty years. His interest in woodworking started at an early age when he built a Soap Box Derby racer in 1951. The car was built using laminated construction and won the “Best Constructed Car” award in the 1951 San Antonio Soap Box Derby. There were approximately two hundred entries and the prize was a fifty dollar set of Stanley hand tools, most of which he still has and uses.

John is an avowed “thing maker” because he is frugal (cheap). Most of the materials used on projects have come from the scrap yard or have been salvaged from junk either given or found. Purchased materials are the choice of last resort. The ornamental lathe that he built exemplifies this attribute. Among the many things or disciplines He has done over the years are: lapidary work (both cabochon and faceted); jewelry making (both fabricated and cast); furniture making; house construction; auto mechanic and construction; and machine shop work. It was when he was into lapidary, and a member of The Arlington Gem and Mineral Club, that he first met two the future WNT members, Randy and Keith Johnson, who, along with his own kids were junior members of the club (early seventies).

The Spring 2007 issue of American Woodturner had three articles that are ornamental turning related. You can find these articles beginning on page 40 and continuing through page 53. These three articles are what inspired John to build an ornamental lathe. After construction of his ornamental lathe, he bought books on the subject and has recently joined Ornamental Turners International (OTI). This is somewhat the reverse of the order in which this should be done. OTI is an international chapter of AAW and has less than 200 members. They meet once every two years alternating between the East coast and West coast. The next OTI meeting will be in the fall of 2008 near Saint Louis, Missouri. The OTI web site can be found at: This web site is very interesting and can consume you for hours if you are not careful. Another organization dealing with ornamental turning is the Society of Ornamental Turners (SOT). This is a primarily British organization. Their web site is:

After John’s decision to make an ornamental lathe, his wife, Lynne, has been a widow of the project. Most of his time has been spent modifying, adding to, or learning how to drive (operate) his ornamental turning lathe.

John’s woodturning experience started in high school industrial arts shop where his instructor was primarily a basketball coach. He briefly owned a Shop Smith in the early seventies where he scraped out some candle holders. In 2002, a friend of his said “hey, John, Harbor Freight has a neat wood lathe for $179. Let’s each get one”. After that purchase, he had to figure out what to do with that silly thing. He attended the Woodworking Show in Arlington where WNT had a demo booth and shortly thereafter was a member of WNT. He has studied under Stuart Batty, David Ellsworth, Nick Cook, and Larry Roberts; all renowned and world wide recognized turners. He has done bowl turning, deep hollow vessels, spindle turning, and pen turning. Much of his equipment is home built. (in keeping with his general philosophy).