Serving Southeastern West Virginia

West Virginia Woodturners Association

The West Virginia Woodturners Association provides woodturners in southeastern West Virginia and western Virginia with an opportunity to meet other turners, enhance their skills, and share their skills and interests in woodturning. Send an email to to request additional information about the club and its activities.

Next Meeting - October 25

The October meeting will begin at 9:30 AM at Gerald Chandler's shop in Crawley. This will be the Club's semi-annual Wood and Tool Auction. Bring your excess wood and tools for the auction and bring home materials for your next projects. Larry Weiss will be demonstrating how he lays out a pyrography design, transfers it to a turned piece, and burns the design.

September Meeting Highlights

Fifteen members and six guests attended the meeting. In addition to the door prize and raffle drawinigs, Show & Tell featured a dozen turnings that members had recently completed. Members submitted seven thin walled natural edge bowls for judging in the Club Challenge which Mike Cope announced at the June meeting. Mark St.Leger, a professional turner from Pearisburg presented a very informative demonstration on how to safely and confidently use the skew chisel. After the demonstration, many members stayed participated in a hands-on workshop so Mark could help them improve their technique and become more comfortable while using the skew.

Thin-Walled Bowl Challenge

MIke demonstrated how he turns thin natural edge bowls and challenged members to show examples at the September meeting. Seven turnings were submitted and three were selected for special recognition.

First Recognition: Red Melee Burl, Harry Newman

Second Recognition: Black Ash Burl, Harry Newman

Third Recognition: Black Cherry with Pith, David Vehrs

Demonstration: Mark St. Leger

Mark St.Leger, a professional woodturner from Pearisburg Virginia, demostrated how he sharpens and uses the skew chisel by turning a toothpick and an acorn box. Mark's website, , illlustrates many of his turned works of art. Mark offered these and many words of wisdom during the course of his demonstrations:

Mark demonstrated how he uses the skew chisel by turning several small projects. Small projects are excellent for teaching because they require little wood and and a good skills. To turn a toothpick, you must be able to sharpen your skew properly and control the tool at all times. The acorn box emphasizes accurate sizing, smooth hollowing cuts, and attention to shape and form.

Mark St.Leger


Acorn Box

skew shape

Mark grinds a skew chisel with a 45 degree included angle and a 30 degree skew angle. The edge is shaped to a slight arc to minimize the chance for the toe or heel to "catch". Once the chisel has been shaped, he hones it with a 600 grit diamond hone to give a narrow facet on both sides of the hollow grind.


With a well-sharpened chisel, large, thin chips or thin spiral chips are produced dependng on the cut that is made.


Peeling cuts are made by anchoring the chisel on the tool rest, letting the bevel rub on the corners of the stock, and raisinig the handle until the chisel begins to cut. The handle is raised and the chisel is advanced into the wood using the toe portion of the edge to achieve the approximate diameter.


Planing cuts using the heel of the skew bring the piece to the final size. Having the bevel rub produces a burnished surface that only needs sanding with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper.


When the skew is used to finish the end of a turning, the toolrest should be lowered so the center of the skew is at the center of the workpiece.


Mark turns the acorn box from a blank glued from two species. He primes the end grain with Titebond glue diluted 50-50 with water and lets it dry for 15 minutes. He then applies Titebond to both surfaces and rubs them together until they stick, no clamps or pressure is needed.

Empty Bowls Project

AAW national meetings always include an "Empty Bowls" fundraiser to support local food lockers. This fall, WVWA Club members are invited to turn and donate one or more small bowls that will be sold at the Lewisburg Farmers Market in late October. All bowls will be sold for $40 and the entire amount will be donated to the eight Greenbrier County food lockers. Last year, the project raised over $450 and the goal this year is to raise at least $500. Bowls should be turned in at the October meeting or dropped off at the Open Book in Lewisburg.

Lathes and Lasagna

Lathes and Lasagna sessions are temporarily suspended since Bill is in the process of moving his shop.

General Club Information

For further information about any WVWA activity, call Bill Sproul at (304) 645-5332.

Supporting Companies

We would like to thank these companies for the support they have provided to the Club during the past year. Check out their websites when you are ready to purchase products that they stock.

Craft Supplies USA is a one-stop shopping site for everything a wood turner might need or want - lathes, tools, accessories, project supplies, materials, and more.

Woodcraft offers a 10% discount at the Roanoke store to WVWA members when they show a current membership card.

by WVWA, a chapter of the American Association of Woodturners