Rudy Lopez has left the building

20131110_130744A big thank you to all who attended the demonstration Saturday, November 9th at the Library Center and the “hands-on” workshop at the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch Sunday and Monday, November 10th and 11th.

Our guest turner was Rudy Lopez from Tampa, Florida.  He proved to be an excellent turner and teacher, plus he was very entertaining.  He’s only been turning for 6 years but has a great eye and creates beautiful pieces.   At the demo, he showed us how to turn a very thin winged bowl, a square-to-round vase, and an oblong bowl.  At the hands-on sessions, we all turned winged bowls and for some, time permitting, we turned the vase.

I think everyone will agree…we want him to come back again next year.  If you weren’t able to attend, you missed out.  So, if he comes back, please plan to attend!

See you at the next meeting!
Helen Beeman

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Picture This!

Our July 27th meeting we had a great turn out and we enjoyed a great presentation on documenting aka photographing your work. Nathan Falter, our guest speaker and co-owner of Springfield Pottery, spent the morning explaining how to setup and and take pictures for use when submitting applications for shows and galleries.

Nathan shared with us his background and education along with the basic theory behind good shots.  Additionally he shared how he was taught to take the photos emphasizing that it doesn’t take a lot of money or fancy equipment to take great pictures.  He explained what the components were and how he assembled his light-box and other materials.  Some of the components are PVC utilized to build the light-box frame, simple ordinary white fabric for diffusing light, 2″ x 4″ construction for framing the backdrop, where to find backdrops, the correct type of florescent bulbs and much more.  

After explaining the basic equipment needed he shared his take on aperture settings and the different ways to present light to the piece being photographed.   He said that he spends a lot of time getting “the right shot” and doesn’t expect to just take a quick picture or two and then throw them together and submit for a show.  It takes a lot more time to do it properly but it will pay off the more meticulous you are.

Nathan spent quite a bit of time shooting one of Carl Huser’s hollow forms showing us many different shots using different light placement and varied apertures.  Hot spots proved to be an issue and he shared with us various ways to over come these hot spots. This included using more fabric to diffuse the light as well as different positions for the lights and even turning one light off to demonstrate how it can give depth to the piece.

He then used one of Jim Kramer’s segmented bowls to show us the different ways to present it.  Take a look at these pictures as well as others in the gallery below.

There were many questions along the way and many of our members commented that it was a great demonstration.  Nathan and his wife Jennifer are the owners of Springfield Pottery.  Along with his years of work with clay and other mediums, Nathan has also been a woodturner.  If you have questions or would like more information about taking a pottery class with Nathan, check out their website at Springfield Pottery.

Click “FS” in the lower right corner of the gallery to view it Full Screen.

Nathan Falter Demonstration

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Woodturner’s are TOPS!!!


In preparation for the upcoming Ozark Empire Fair, Karen Kathka asked me to teach her to turn tops.  Since we will be offering these tops at our booth in return for donations to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, she wanted to get a jump on getting some made before the Fair starts!

So this week, she came to my shop and turned her first top.  I remember when Jim Johnston (The Sheriff) taught me to turn my first top.  How fun that was. If you aren’t aware, Karen is very artistic and has already won some club challenges.  So, that being said, her first top looked better than any I’ve ever turned. :)

Congrats, Karen, on learning yet another new woodturning project!”

– Written by, Helen Beeman “The Belle of Bentonville”

Have something you would like to learn to turn?  Check out the Mentoring Program!

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Color Junes Demo Finished and Polished

Les Casteel did a fantastic job of demonstrating for us “Coloring, Finishing & Buffing.” His presentation with his PowerPoint slides gave us a LOT of great detailed information! The Les Casteel “7 Rules of Sanding” was a good discussion about the proper use of sand paper.

The portion of his demo pertaining to dyes was very interesting in how he explained the history and types of dyes available. Setting was of particular interest to many of us and his explanation of this was very well communicated. Then he put a piece on the lathe and walked us through his process of applying aniline dyes and how to blend them together if a single color was not what you wanted.

He broke down for us the various types of finishes (Water Based, Waxes, Oils, Paints, Oil Based Varnishes and Lacquers). Where they come from, how they are mixed and finally how they should be applied from the woodturners perspective. Les shared a lot of pictures of his shop and how he finishes his pieces.

The final portion of his demo was talking about buffing. He showed us the Beall Buffing system and how he has modified it for his larger pieces. This involved a longer steel rod allowing the buffing wheels to work farther apart which gave a little wider access when buffing bigger items. Along with the Beall system he also uses a set of Milwaukee drills and buffing wheels for his more difficult to buff pieces.

It was obvious he has had a lot of influences in his woodworking career as he was very open and obviously appreciative of those that have mentored him along the way. (e.g. Sam Maloof, Ed Moulthrop and others)  There were many of his techniques and processes that he attributed to these folks all through his demonstration.  Great demo Les!

For those that aren’t aware, our own Les Casteel is going to be one of the Regional Demonstrators at SWAT (Southwest Association of Turners) which is a great symposium August 23 – 25.   Les will be demonstrating his, “Speed Techniques for Segmented Turning” in the rotation schedule.  This is the same demo he did for us last year where he demystified many of the things involved with segmented turning.  I am certain that those at SWAT will be as appreciative of his willingness to share the information and techniques he has developed over the years.

Les welcomes your questions and comments.  You can connect with him through his website at  You can also view his Presentation Slides below or click on the link in the lower left to Download it as a PDF for viewing on your own computer.

– Larry Randolph 

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June 2013 Meeting

Our regular monthly meeting will be June 22nd at the Library Center at 4653 S. Campbell. As we always do, we’ll start to gather at 9:30am and get the official meeting started at 10am.

We will be discussing the Ozark Empire Fair scheduling and logistics.   Be sure to go enter the Fair in the art exhibition contests.  You can find more information by clicking this link.

Our club demonstration this month is going to be on “Coloring, Finishing and Polishing.”  Les Casteel will be our demonstrator and he will walk us through the methods he uses for his turnings.

Les will teach us how he applies dyes to his turnings. He will then share with us how he prepares a piece for finishing and how he applies it.  Then to finish his demonstration he will demonstrate how he buffs and waxes his turnings.

More than likely there will be some discussion about the materials he uses, Stronghold chucks and Arkansas.

The Club Challenge is “Turning a Cutting Board” so don’t forget to bring in your cutting boards!  As always we’ll have our club co-op (Anchor Seal is in), Raffle and Club Library available for your use.

Ben Alexander and the Education Team will have a hands on after the meeting in the afternoon after lunch.  We have room for 10 students, the charge will only be $25.

Don’t miss it!

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Club Picnic 2013

The club meet on a B-E-A-Utiful Saturday in June this year for a great picnic at Springfield Lake.  We setup 6 lathes and got ready to turn!

With 56 members in attendance we had great food with the club providing pulled pork and smoked sausage.  In addition to the clubs offerings we had a fantastic honey ham, salads, vegies and a bunch of sweet offerings from strawberry cake to brownies and everything in between.  It was a great time of sharing the buffet and visiting among the members and spouses.

As in the past years, there was an “Iron Turners Challenge” where teams were combined of experienced and beginning turners.  They were presented their secret ingredient:  a 4 inch jawbreaker that we secured from the the Sweet Maple Candies company of Toronto Canada.  Then they were given just south of 2 hours to turn the jawbreaker and any other wood/media of their choice to create a “Piece of Art.”  Face shields were an absolute requirement for this medium as we didn’t want anyone going to the emergency room with part of North America’s largest confection needing retraction from their nasal passages.

For those that missed it… YOU missed it!  Take a look at some of the pictures from the event below in the slide show.  You’ll see what looks like powdered sugar on a bunch of folks.  It looks like it because… that’s what it was!  Sweet shavings.

To view them FULL SCREEN Click F5 in the lower right corner.  Click on SL and it will display as a Slideshow.

Sweet Picnic 2013

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May 2013 Club Meeting

Our regular monthly meeting will be May 25th at the Library Center at 4653 S. Campbell. As we always do, we’ll start to gather at 9:30am and get the official meeting started at 10am.

As always, we’ll have the raffle, library, coop and show & tell.  This month we have the Anchor Seal in and will be distributing it to those that have ordered it.

We’ll be discussing the Club Picnic on June 8th and the Ozark Empire Fair.

For the May Meeting our Guest Demonstrator will be Dave Endres from St. Louis, MO.  Click on his picture and enjoy the story that KSDK Channel 5 in St. Louis did on him.

Dave will be demonstrating how to turn a cutting board and a wooden knife to go with it.  He say’s that he will be teaching techniques that will be applicable for the new turner as well as the experienced.  As part of this demo, he will show us how to finish off the bottom of the cutting board without using bowl jaws or any of the normal methods we are familiar with.

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Shop Class in Nixa, MO

David demonstrating roughing out a bowl

On Monday, April 15th, David Van Giesen and Ben Alexander were invited to Nixa High School to Demo “roughing out a bowl”, by instructor Mark Colburn.  Mark is a club member of WTOSWMO and a teacher at Nixa High School.  His woodworking class has had some lathe experience turning pens and small spindles on a 10″ mini lathe.  Each year they enter a contest with other schools in woodworking skills, Mark wants to do bowls next year and is sure that will be a winner.

Ben talking safety while demonstrating

David took first and second periods and Ben took the third period.  We roughed out a greenwood blank during each class.  We also brought show & tell items, primarily bowls and platters, to share with the students.  As we went through our demos we also discussed the types of tools we were using, tool differences in use, safety, and how to then dry wood for final turning.  Ben brought a copy of the handout “bowl orientation in raw wood” and a handout from the Beginners Class for Mark.

We found the students (15-18 years old) very attentive and interested in learning.  Good questions were asked and several students expressed interest in attending our meeting.  Mark will be able to come to the April meeting and encouraged his students to attend.  One of the attendees to the third class was John Wiggins, an instructor from Missouri State University who was there to evaluate the student teacher in class.  John spoke to me after the meeting and said he was very impressed with the presentation that David & I did.

At the end of the meeting one student told me he would be moving to Illinois and wanted to know how to get in touch with woodturners there.  I referred him to the AAW web site for clubs in that state. Another student, Luke, showed us a model 18 wheeler he was building from wood.  Luke did a nice job on the flatwork and also turned the wheels, axles, and exhaust pipes on their lathe.  He did excellent lathe work!

written by, Ben Alexander

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Helen’s got a whole NEW Lathe!

On Thursday, January 17th, Helen got her new 1.5 HP Jet 1642 lathe! So we had a lathe raising party!

Larry Randolph, Larry Ludke, David Van Giesen, Ben Alexander, Helen and Dan worked together to set the lathe up in her basement shop. Well, Larry Randolph mostly supervised but we needed that. It took about half an hour to set the lathe up and get it running. A small problem with a ground fault circuit slowed us down a bit. After a few minutes searching we found a regular circuit and the lathe operated as expected. Helen and Dan then suggested that we go out to lunch “on them” as a thank you for helping set it up. Didn’t need to twist any arms and off we went to the Neighborhood Pizza, located at 3550 N Hwy H (north Glenstone). They sure have great pizzas!

After lunch Larry R & David VG had other plans and took off. Ben & Larry Ludke went back to Helen’s and built a “weight box” between the legs of the base. The box is 17″ x 48″ by 14″ high. The box holds 12 concrete block “cap” blocks and adds about 400 pounds to the lathe. This will help hold it steady when roughing out blanks. It went quickly except for Ben having trouble with his measuring tape (darn thing was off an inch for a while!).

Now Helen is ready to go! Well, except she realized she has no chuck adapter which would allow her to put her chuck on the 1 1/4 x 8 tpi spindle on the new lathe. I’m sure that issue will be resolved soon! Helen purchased her lathe from Ballew Tools on S. Kimbrough in Springfield.

Congratulations on your new lathe Helen, enjoy!

Remember, any club member who wants help setting up your new lathe just contact Ben, David, or Larry.
Written by:  Ben Alexander

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Susan’s Great Turnout!

April 8th was an exciting day for Susan Dollar, her new Jet 1642 was delivered!

Larry Ludke, Ryan Ludke, David Van Giesen, Ben & Char Alexander all converged on Susan’s house to set up the lathe.  Susan is “building” a shop inside her two car garage by using one bay for her woodturning.  As usual it took us about 20 minutes to set the lathe up and do a test run.  Her floor was level which simplified the project.

Once the lathe was set up, Larry, David and Ben worked on building a “weight box” between the legs.  The box is made from 2×6’s and half inch plywood.  The box is loaded with 12 cement “cap” blocks that weigh about 32 pounds apiece.  This will dampen any vibration created when turning rough blanks.

Susan served faux Champagne and hors d’oeuvres to her work crew.  A great time was had by all!  David and Ben brought lathe warming presents of bowl blanks for Susan.

Later that evening Mike Ilkiw came over to Susan’s and had a mentoring session to get her started working!

written by, Ben Alexander
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