Past Meetings & Events

Past Meeting Announcements (Newsletters) are located at the DOCUMENTS & DOWNLOADS tab


Sat, Nov 11 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store, 1:00 pm. Jack Rolison demonstrated how he colors wood. Jack is one of our members who’s perfected the art of coloring wood. He uses color to enhance the appeal and value of his turnings. A variety of methods of coloring were shown, including: Air brushing for color in figured woods; Acrylic paints using Dry Brush method; Cloud Platter using iridescent paints. Learning to apply finishes and color to wood is a learned process that requires experimentation and practice. You can find Jack’s wood coloring source list in the “Documents, Downloads & Wearables” section of this website.

Sat, Oct 14 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store, 1:00 pm.
With Festival of Trees and Lights coming up, we had three demonstrations of how to make three ornaments. We demonstrated turning an old fashion shaped finial ornament, a child stack toy ornament and a facially enriched snowman. These can all be painted so you can even turn them out of light weight pine, fir, or poplar glue-ups and use up scrap lumber in the process.

Sat, Sep 9 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store, 1:00 pm.
Roger Nass and Jim Gunning showed us the importance of sanding in finishing that one of a kind piece from the lathe. They demonstrated good techniques to achieve the best surface in preparing your piece for a gallery quality finish. A variety of sanding materials and an explanation of grit selection was discussed.

Sat, May 13 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store. This meeting was an INTRO TO SEGMENTED WOODTURNING. Jim Gunning and Daniel Henderson presented an overview of segmented turning. Included was information on theory, design, cutting, construction, turning and finishing of segmented projects. They showed several cutting sleds and a number of project examples to illustrate how easy it can be. Here are some web sites to help acquaint you with the segmenting process:

Simple segmenting
Segmented vessel
Seg Easy Wedgies

Sat, Apr 8 – This meeting was an all-day seminar/demo by nationally known air-brush instructor Joe Fleming from the San Diego area. Joe Fleming has worked with wood for 40 years & has been turning 15 years. This seminar was geared to applying liquids to wood. It included clear finishes as well as colors. We discovered that we woodturners don’t need to be ‘artistic’ to utilize an air brush in our shop. The equipment investment to air brush is minimal.

Sat, Mar 11 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store. Our March meeting was presented by multiple members who covered the making of the most popular Iowa State Fair sale booth items.  Hints and  techniques were provided for achieving the best results including holding and turning methods, embellishments and coloring, sanding and final finishing. We would like our members to make these items in advance out of Chapter furnished turning stock. Our goal is to make in excess of 1,000 quality gift items in advance of the fair.

Sat, Feb 11 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store. Roger Nass of Ames demonstrated the various aspects of hollowing including the use of homemade tools.  He emphasized how you actually use hollowing techniques for any project that requires scraping such as boxes, vases, urns and various other hollow forms.  Roger also covered how to control a hollowing tool that is prone to wanting to twist.

Thur, Feb 2 – Woodsmith Seminar, Sharpening Lathe Tools by Brian Simmons

Wed, Jan 25, 2017 – Des Moines Woodturners Networking Meeting at the Scout Center. This meeting is an informal gathering where members can purchase harvested wood, pick-up embroidered garments, get woodturning questions answered, drink coffee and more.

Sat, Jan 14, 2017 – “Emerging Bowl” demo at  the Woodsmith Store.
Member Tom Baker opened our eyes on yet another interesting woodturning technique you can learn.


Wed, Dec 28, 2016 – Des Moines Woodturners Networking Meeting at the Scout Center. This meeting is an informal gathering where members can purchase harvested wood, pick-up embroidered garments, get woodturning questions answered, drink coffee and more.

Sat, Dec. 10 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store, 1:00 pm. The Dizzy or Vortex Bowl demo by Tom Whalley (from initial concept through design and layout to the finished bowl). Tom showed us how to not only design these bowls, but the thought process that goes into the decisions you need to make before you cut your first piece of wood. Because this is a lengthy process from start to finish, it involve a series of detailed drawings that go through the cutting, slicing, gluing, jointing, and clamping processes to end up with something we can finally put on the lathe and turn. Tom shared some tips and tricks as well as the tools and jigs he found useful in building several of these bowls. He also pointed out some ways he builds bowls that are unique from others seen on YouTube and in magazines. Next, he explained and showed how he starts assembling and creating the actual bowl on the lathe. By the end of Tom’s presentation, we had a better understanding of the ‘mysteries’ required for creating a dizzy or vortex bowl.”

Sun, Nov 6 & Mon, Nov 7, 2016 – Stuart Batty hands-on workshop (8:00 am – 4:30 pm) at Prairie Rose Studio

Sat, Nov 5, 2016 – Internationally known Stuart Batty Seminar at Woodsmith Store seminar room from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.  Attendees were able to learn from a world class woodturner up close and personal.

Sat., Oct 8 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store, Program was professional Brian Simmons speaking about and demonstrating “Reproducing Architectural Spindles”. Brian covered drawing, dimensioning, layout, stock preparation and replicating along with turning beads, coves and pommels. This past summer Brian demonstrated at the AAW national symposium in Atlanta, GA.

Sat., Sep 10 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store.  Program was Turning Wooden Hats by Jack Rolison.  Jack demonstrated the techniques he uses to create wooden hats that he sells in galleries. Jack suggests the following if you’d like to learn more about making wooden hats: Go to YouTube and search “turned wood hats”.  While there, search for “Johannes Michelsen hat”. He was the pioneer of wooden hat makers. Then search for “Chris Ramsey turned hat”. He’s another well known wooden hat maker. These videos will give you a wealth of information.

Wed., Aug 17 – Iowa Public Television Video from the Des Moines Woodturners booth at the 2016 Iowa State Fair. Click HERE.

Sat., May 14 – Chapter meeting & demonstration at Woodsmith Store,  Program was Daniel Henderson demonstrating techniques he’s used to construct woodturning blanks that can take ordinary, plain wood and turn it into a WOW factor before you even start turning. Here’s how Daniel explains things: “Wood is a beautiful material and woodturning brings out this beauty in many ways. But you may not always have figure or color, or interesting grain in the piece. There may also be times when you wish to exhibit your own creativity. What can you do?” Daniel goes on to say, “With a few simple steps and materials such as veneer, dowels and other materials, you can enhance your turnings into a truly unique piece. We also discussed planning your turning to get the most from your creative efforts.” We showed how you can spice up the look of your projects by starting out with a pre-embellished turning blank.

Saturday, Apr. 16, 2016 – Monthly chapter meeting at Woodsmith Store.
We had our 15th Anniversary/Birthday recognition with two of the four founding officers. Pictured are Keith Sawyers (L) and Jerry Selover (R) with Tad Tadlock showing them the cake he had made in honor of the event. Other founding officers Mike Nieters and John Hetherington were unable to attend but sent best wishes.
Program: From Bowling Pin to Coffee Mug by Jamie Retzinger.
Jamie demonstrated how he made a handled coffee mug from used bowling pins. In addition he explained how he personalized the mugs with scrolled letters & graphics using an appliqué process. Jamie also left some partially turned pins for members to take and turn.

Saturday, Mar. 12, 2016 – Monthly chapter meeting at Woodsmith Store.
Roger Nass demonstrated one quadrant style shared tips he’s learned along the way. Once understood, multi-axis turnings can become predictable and repeatable. Thank You Roger! See the two part article, by Barbara Dill, in both the Fall and Winter 2007 issues of AAW’s American Woodturner. AAW members have access to all back issues at the AAW web site. (Publications – American Woodturner – Archives).

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 – Monthly chapter meeting at Woodsmith Store.
Rob Wallace presented a variety of different Gizmos and Gadgets that creative woodturners have made from re-purposed items, as well as several “built-from-scratch” accessories to help with different woodturning techniques. These ideas were gleaned from woodturners located all across the country over a period of several years, and were compiled into a presentation which provides lots of great solutions and examples how these aids to woodturning can be made for little or no cost.

Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 – Monthly chapter meeting at Woodsmith Store.
Rob Beattie and Dave Yearian
teamed up to show how you can make your wooden projects look like rusted iron, copper, brass or aged copper or brass using metallic paints and aging patinas. They saw demonstrations of these by Mark Baker at the Utah Woodturning Symposium this past May near Provo, UT. The demonstration took us through the various steps necessary to get the aged patina effects. Thanks to Rob and Dave for their work to create the many examples for this informative demonstration. Thanks to Rick Hutcheson for donating the bowls too.

Final day for 2016 dues renewal at renewal price.


Jan 17 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo.  Roger Nass will demonstrate and discuss various woodturning embellishment methods, tools and techniques.

January 31, 2015 – “An Introduction to Woodturning” – our Chapter will host a public event at Woodsmith on Saturday, January 31st, to introduce the public and any Chapter members who are new to the world of woodturning. It will cover the essential equipment, tools and supplies to get started off on the right foot. To aid in accommodating busy weekend schedules, we’ll hold two identical sessions. One from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and a second from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. There will be discussions on the various lathe types and sizes available and features to look for. Basic lathe tool types will be covered along with quality of steel recommended. Sharpening systems will we discussed and various grinders and grinding wheel types and sizes will be explained.   Green wood harvesting and other sources of turning wood will be touched upon along with basic safety issues and equipment. A general indication of costs involved will also be summarized. Time will be given for attendees to view an assortment of equipment, tools and supplies in the room and to interact with several Chapter members and training instructors who will be available to answer questions.

Feb 5 – Thursday evening, 6:30 – 7:30.  Woodsmith Seminar on Woodturning by Andy Klindt.  Cost is $8 but comes with a $5 coupon to spend at the store. 

Feb 14 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo,
Rob Wallace is scheduled to demonstrate proper tool control for a variety of woodturning tools.  Rob is an accomplished woodturner and President of the Ames Area Woodturners and a member of AAW’s national board of directors.

Mar 14 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo, Will Zitterich will be demonstrating turning plates and platters.  This is an excellent way to start doing cross grain woodturning.  It allows the use of easily obtained dimensional lumber from local retailers like Woodsmith.

Apr 18 – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Special Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & seminar – Tom Steyer of JT Turning Tools in Omaha will be demonstrating their unique line of woodturning accessories including vacuum chuck system, “Gizmo” hollowing system, unique bowl steady, CutterVision, Down ‘n’ Out tailstock manager, specialized tool rests and more.

May 16 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo, Donna Byers will be demonstrating how to turn pens/pencils and providing tips on turning other kit projects.

Sept 12, 2015 – Monthly Chapter meeting at Woodsmith,
Sorby representative Jeff Farris presented tool selection, sharpening and proper tool use.

Oct 17, 2015 – Monthly Chapter meeting at Woodsmith,
Tom Baker and Dick Meuler demonstrated making Christmas Tree ornaments.

Nov. 14, 2015 – Monthly Chapter meeting at Woodsmith,
Tom Baker and Craig Wyckoff demonstrated ideas for Christmas gifts. Tom demonstrated using the Joyner Offset-center Jig Chuck. Craig followed by showing how he creates wooden Mason jar tops using what he learned from a Ron Brown demonstration on YouTube. Chapter officer and board election.

Dec. 12, 2015 – December Chapter meeting at Woodsmith Store, 1:00 pm, Program: Elements of Woodturning Design by Rob Wallace. Rob will present a general review of turned vessel design, which will include bowls, platters, open and closed vessels, and hollow forms. This presentation will help woodturners gain a better understanding of various important aspects of proportion, scale, and other characteristics of design having to do with producing visually-pleasing forms. The concepts of using faired curves, “lift”, rim and foot treatments, and interpretation of overall form with a focus on learning how to improve your turnings. Being able to critique your work as you are turning, with an eye to achieving an aesthetically-satisfying piece is a skill all woodturners should develop. Examples of differently shaped forms will be used to develop basic skills for evaluating turned objects. In addition to learning to critique your in-progress work, by using a few pre-turned pieces mounted on the lathe, we will “fix” several common problems encountered by beginning and established woodturners, and show how these forms can be easily improved. This demonstration will allow you to get a different perspective on how to assess and critique your woodturned items, and enhance your turning skills and sense of design. Pay 2016 dues renewal of $20 to insure having your 2016 card before it expires.


Jan 18 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo,
Member Roger Nass on harvesting turning stock from tree logs with Rob Wallace assisting and discussing AAW Membership benefits.  This will be an extremely informative demonstration for those that want free, green woodturning stock.

Feb 15 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting.
Brian Simmons cross-grain and end-grain bowl turning demonstrations.

Mar 15 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo,
Jimmy Lewis will be challenging your brain and your woodturning skills by turning a box with lattice inlaid lid and a sphere.

Apr 12 – Saturday, 1:00 to 4:30 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners Meeting, SPECIAL FREE SEMINAR – Hollowing, Embellishing and Finishing Seminar
by member Will Zitterich.

May 15 – 17 – Utah Woodturning Symposium, Orem, Utah
Famous event known for attracting top demonstrators each year.
Check out details and register at

May 17 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo, Chuck Dowler will be demonstrating and training on how to make double-headed natural edge thin stemmed goblets from small branch crotch wood.  Don’t miss it.  Last woodturning meeting before summer break.

June through August – SUMMER RECESS – No Regular Monthly Chapter Meetings but watch your e-mails for information of interest.

June 13 – 15, AAW Annual Symposium, Phoenix Convention Center
100 North 3rd St.,  Phoenix, AZ  84004, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. 340 North 3rd St., Phoenix AZ 85004, Call-in number 866-837-4213 or website registration. Reference “AAW” or “American Association of Woodturners.” The group rate of $129/night will be available until May 19, 2014. An early departure fee of $75 will apply if a guest departs before their confirmed checkout date. Estimated state and local tax = 13.5%.

July 1, 2014 – Deadline for Iowa State Fair entry tag purchases – Download Rules and Woodturning categories here: 2014-State_Fair Rules .
To Register your entries, go to
Entries and entry category selection not needed until the August 2nd submission deadline.

August 2, 2014 – Entry submission deadline for Iowa State Fair.  Entries may be hand delivered to the 2nd floor (North end) of the Cultural Building on the Iowa State Fair grounds.

August 7 – 17 – Iowa State Fair in Des Moines
where we’ll be demonstrating from 9 to 9 on the 2nd floor of the Cultural Center.

View IPTV demonstration video at this link:

August 15 to17 – Turn On Chicago Symposium – Mundelein, Illinois

August 22 to 24 – Southwest Assoc. of Woodturners – Waco, Texas

Sep 13 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo, member Jack Rolison will show us some tricks he learned at the AAW Symposium in Phoenix this summer.  He’ll demonstrate how he dyes wood and finishes projects with extra pure CA glue.

Sept. 12 to 14 – Rocky Mountain Woodturning. Symposium. – Loveland, CO

Oct 18 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo,
Daniel Henderson will demonstrate a unique double turning using slats of wood held in a home-made frame and mounted with a faceplate.  You’ll have to see it to understand it and believe what it can produce.

Oct 18 – 21 – Segmented Woodturners Bi_Annual Symposium in San Antonio, TX. Join segmenters worldwide as they gather in San Antonio, Texas in October 2014 for what promises to be another great event.  Download the full 8-page brochure, and share the first page with your local clubs as a stand-alone flyer.

Nov 15 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo, Paul Miller, Rob Beattie & Dick Meuler will show how to turn a variety of Christmas Tree ornaments such as icicle snowman, laminated penguins, bell with clapper all from a solid piece of wood, and a spinning top ornament.

Dec 13 – Saturday, 1:00 pm.  Monthly Des Moines Woodturners meeting & demo, Rick Hutcheson will be doing a woodturning demonstration.