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.

Summer Barbecue August 27 July 23

The Summer Barbecue will be on August 27 at The Fort at Montwell Park from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Bob Nickell will be the Grillmaster and the Club will provide the main course. Members are encouraged to bring a vegetable, salad, or desert to share.

July 23 Meeting Highlights

Fifteen members and two guests attended the July meeting. After enjoying coffee and donuts and the door prize and raffle drawings, seven Club members displayed twelve of their recent turnings during the Show and Tell period. Mark Soukup was the guest demonstrator and he showed how he turns Windsor chair spindles using a roughing gouge, a detail gouge, and a skew chisel.

Club Challenge

Practice your spindle turning skills - turn three identical spindles that include a pommel, a 4" taper, a shoulder, a bead, and a cove. They can be raw wood and do not need to be sanded or finished. The Challenge spindles will be judged at the September meeting.

Show and Tell

Anna Stables: mimosa knot hole bowl, 10"

Mike Cope: three bowls from one cherry burl ,14-18"

Wayne Aliff: cherry burl bowl, 4"

Jerry Carter: spalted birch and mimosa bowls, walnut and olive wood hollow forms

Bob Nickell: electronic circuit board pen

Charlie Hall: spalted maple hurricane lamp

Bill Sproul: acryllic pen turned at Artisan Gallery demonstration

Mark Soukup: Spindle Turning and the Skew

Mark Soukup is a professional Windsor chair maker from Gap Mills and has been making chairs for 39 years. His chairs can be seen at Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Poplar Forest. Visit Mark's website to see examples of the Windsor chairs and period case goods that he makes.

He showed how he prefers to grind his skew chisels and how he uses the roughing gouge, detail gouge, and skew chisel to turn the elements characteristic of the Windsor chair style.

Mark has been making Windsor chairs and period case goods for thirty years.

His chairs are on display at Monticello and Poplar Forest and are sold at galleries, through his website, and his shop.

He grinds the skew to a 25-30 degree angle and shapes the chisel. (see below)

Honing gouges with a rubberized abrasive wheel gives a much sharper cutting edge. (see below)

Mark uses small diameter spur and live centers to mount and align the blank with the grain.

After roughing the blank, he marks the elements using a story pole and the long tip of the skew to open the marks to the full depth.

He quickly removes the bulk of the waste material with a roughing gouge,

shapes most of the elements with the detail gouge using his left hand to support the spindle,

and uses the skew to refine the shape and surface of each element.

Mark uses an underhand grip with his left hand to control the skew when he "rolls" a bead and uses his right hand to rotate the chisel.

He uses the long point of the skew to mark the elements and cut clean shoulders.

The short point is used to cut beads

and quickly remove waste wood.

The center portion of the skew is used to make planing cuts.

During the course of his demonstration, Mark made a number of comments and suggestions regarding woodturning.

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