Serving Southeastern West Virginia

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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 - June 20

The June meeting will be on the third Saturday of June since several Club members will be attending the AAW Symposium in Pittsburg on the fourth Saturday. The meeting will begin at 9:30 AM on May 16 at The Fort in Lewisburg. Mike Coope will present a workshop on designing and turning finials that will enhance the appearance of a turned vessel. Club members will be challenged to create a turning that incorporates a finial and show it at the September meeting.

Club members were invited to take a section of the mulberry tree that blew down at the Pearl Buck home during a storm in 1992 and turn several items that can be sold to support the Pearl Buck home in Hillsboro. Turnings should be brought to the June meeting so they can be sold at the gift shop this summer.

May 16 Meeting Highlights

Nineteen members and two guests attended the May 16 meeting. Harry Newman and Bob Nickell discussed and demonstrated all the key steps in turning a slimline pen. Harry demonstrated the steps in turning an acryllic pen on a mandrel while Bob showed how he turns a wooden pen betwen centers.

Show and Tell

Gerald Chandler turned this candle holder from the alligator juniper that he bought at the auction last month.

This is the base of the bowl Cliff used last month to demonstrate using a vacuum chuck to finish the base of a turning.

Jim Meadows manufactures these carbide tipped turning tools.

To order any of these tools, you can contact Jim Meadows by calling him at (304) 651-3977; mailing him at PO Box 1171, Craigsville, WV 26205; or sending him and email at

Harry Newman and Bob Nickell: Pen Turning Workshop I

If you turn a lot of pens, you will probably end up having a large assortment of pen components and adhesives

and a lot of materials for blanks, specialized tools, and finishing supplies.

Pens can be any size from miniature to king size.

A Slimline pen consists of a cap, clip, band, tip, 1 or 2 barrels, a transmission, and a cartridge.

Pens can be turned from antlers, coffee beans embedded in acryllic plastic,and various species of wood.

It's important to mark the blanks before they are cut in two so the grain can be aligned properly during the turning and assembly operations.

The blank can be drilled on the lathe

or on a drill press with a suitable vise to keep the blank perpendicular.

A barrel trimmer is used to cleanly trim the barrel to length and a reamer chamfers the inside of the tube to facilitate assembly of the pen.

The blanks can be mounted on a mandrel with bushings to control the diameter of the turned barrel

or they can be mounted between 60 degree rotating and drive centers.

Acryllic can be turned easily using a roughing gouge and a skew chisel.

The wooden barrel can be quickly turned using a carbide scraper,

but calipers are required to check the diameter os the barrel since there is no guide bushing to control the diameter.

The acryllic barrels are wet polished to a high gloss using a series of abrasives from 1500 to 12000 grit.

Linseed oil and thin CA glue produce a very durable high-gloss finish on wooden pen barrels.

A shallow hole aligns the pen transmission in the clamp

and the transmission and end cap are easily pressed onto the barrel.

Pen presses are designed to quickly and accurately press the pen compoents together.

The finished cocobolo slimline pen.

Tips for Pen Turners

Turner's Shop

The Turner's Shop this month featuresGerald Chandler. While we have all visited his shop when he hosted the monthly meetings, his equipment and projects have been relegated to the backgound. With this feature, Gerald shows off his his turnings and his tools.

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) 497-2319.

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