West Bay Woodturners

Club Description


Club Charter:

The purpose of the West Bay Area Woodturners Society is to promote woodturning education of the membership and the general public and to generate a broader understanding of woodturning as an art form.


The specific purpose of this club is to promote woodturning education of the membership and the general public, and to generate a broader understanding of woodturning as an art form through:

  • Regular meetings at which information is exchanged among members,

  • Demonstrations conducted by experts in woodturning techniques, safety and equipment,

  • Workshops, where members can practice their techniques under the supervision of experts,

  • Publication of an electronic and/or hardcopy newsletter and/or web site, and

  • Public exhibition of members' work and demonstration of their skills.


What are the member benefits?

  • Social:  December Pot Luck and Gift Exchange, Summer Ice Cream Social, Summer BBQ,  each meeting

  • Learning:  Access to our club library, A mentoring program, Basic Skills Classes, Professional Demonstrators

  • Access to wood: Wood Raffle,

  • Club discounts: on orders from Craft Supply, Discounts on bulk items bought by members and offered to members, Club T-shirts and hats.


When do we meet?

Our club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month @ 7PM. Our normal meeting location is currently in Los Altos at the Bridge Church. The maps and directions are under Information on this website:  Link.


How does our meeting operate?

Each meeting is started with a short biz meeting, where we cover officer reports, up coming events, and any open subjects that members may have. We follow this up with a President’s Challenge and Show and Tell. Following this is a short break, with coffee and cookies. Please drop a donation in the coffee can to help pay the expenses. After the break we have our main program.


How do I become a member? What do I need to do?

Joining is easy. Please ask any member to point you to the club treasurer and he will give you a short form to fill in. This will give us the information that we need to keep you informed of club activities. Dues are currently $30/calendar year. Joining in Oct-Dec will cover the following year. Please turn a badge. Badges are the easiest way for everyone to learn your name.


How do I get a newsletter?

Our electronic newsletter can be found on our club web site. Joining the yahoo group is important. Last minute notices, notice of the newsletter availability, and a complete membership roster are available in this password protected site. Join the group. Paper newsletters are mailed out to those without electronic access, but note that if you are not part of the Yahoo group, you will not be informed of some activities. You are automatically added to this group once you have paid your dues.


What is the President’s Challenge and Show and Tell?

Each month the president challenges members to demonstrate a different skill. All members are encouraged to participate. Examples of past challenges have been Christmas ornaments, finials, boxes, etc. The upcoming president’s challenge will be given in the newsletter. Show and Tell is an opportunity for members to share experiences with others in the club. This might include an unfortunate problem that we all have from time to time, some new piece of wood that you have turned, a new finish that you have tried, a new skill that you’ve developed or tried, a problem that you want advice on, or an experiment that you have been working on. Please sign in your piece when you place in on the table as either a president’s challenge or a show and tell piece. The president will then ask you to come up and say a few things about your entrée. Each member will receive a raffle ticket for participating. At the end, we will have a raffle for the president’s challenge and a raffle for show and tell.


December Pot Luck and Gift Exchange

Our December meeting is held at a location that will be announced in the newsletter. Members are encouraged to bring a guest (spouse, significant other, friend, etc). We start arriving at 6:30PM to help set up for the meeting and begin socializing with other members and guests. Name tags are provided. The club provides soda, water, plates, napkins, silverware, turkey, ham, gravy, and stuffing. Members sign up to bring a food item to share with others. The club coordinator will organize this and answer any questions that you may have about what to bring. We start eating at 7PM. After dinner we have a raffle for Christmas ornaments that are donated by members. Tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20. We also collect $5 for each participant to donate to the site provider for our meeting. The meeting concludes with a gift exchange. All members and guests are invited to participate by bringing a gift. This gift should be a self turned item, turned to the best of their ability. If help is requested, advanced turners are available. Members can turn the gift for their guest to participate. Please obtain a ticket for each gift that you bring. You are not required to participate in the exchange and will still have a good time. By participating, you will get an opportunity to get a turning from another member.


Summer Ice Cream Social

The July or August meeting is an ice cream social along with an opportunity to “show off”. The club will provide everything you need to enjoy ice cream, toppings, and brownies. Members are encouraged to “show off” their favorite turnings, including items that you may have collected. The location of this meeting will be announced in the newsletter. Members are encouraged to bring a spouse/significant other/guest.


Summer BBQ meeting

Another summer meeting, July or August, is held at Jim Laflin’s home, 18582 Allendale Av. Saratoga, CA 95070 (408)379-2347. The club will provide everything that you need to enjoy a BBQ of hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Please bring a chair and plan to come early. Our normal meeting agenda will follow the BBQ and wood raffle.


Access to our club library

Our club maintains a library of DVD’s and books. Members can check the items out for $1 per item for the first month, and $2 for each additional month. Check out the library during the break at the club meeting.


Mentoring program

Our club has always tried to help newcomers experience the joys of making the shavings fly. One way of doing it has been to pair a beginner one-on-one with a more experienced turner from the same geographic area. They can meet when and where it suits them.   We’d like to expand the program, keeping the old system of helping with start-up problems and also offering a higher level of advice and hands-on help for those who want to attempt more advanced methods, such as these listed below: MENTORING SPECIALITIES a) Selecting and Cutting trees
b) Rough turning/ finishing
c) Natural Edge
d) Segmented
e) Hollowing
f) Pens
g) Boxes
h) Finials
i) Between centers (skew, beads, coves, balls, eggs,….)
j) Ornamental
k) Miniature
l) Sharpening
m) Tooling

Contact the Club to be involved as either a mentor or to work with a mentor.



Basic Skills Classes


What are the Basic Skills Classes?

The club is currently offering a series of classes to any of its members given by other members covering the basic skills required to turn. We focus on as much hands-on training as is possible given the number of members that attend in the time permitted. The classes provide an opportunity to ask questions about a particular problem that you might be having and to see up close a demonstration of how a tool, grind, chuck, etc are used. They do not replace other classes offered by full time instructors, and we encourage members to take advantage of any and all learning opportunities.


What classes have been offered?

We started these classes in 2006 and have offered 6 or 7 classes each year. Our series has included:
Chainsaw safety, How to cut a log into blanks, Wood drying effects, Tool sharpening, Mounting a block of wood, Skew tool work, Turning Eggs and Balls, Turning a Pen, Rough turning a bowl from green wood and drying, Finish turning a dry blank, Finishing the bottom of a bowl, Turning a Natural Edge Bowl, Home made tools for turning.


When, Where, How?

These classes are offered on the 3rd Saturday of the month starting at 9AM and running till roughly Noon. Due to schedule conflicts, they are not offered every month. Watch the newsletter for announcements of upcoming classes. Classes are offered at Jim Laflin’s shop, 18582 Allendale Av. Saratoga, CA 95070 (408)379-2347. In general there is no cost for these classes, except to refund the cost of materials used. No reservations are required. Bring your own eye protection, and hearing protection (for the chainsaw class). Bring your tools for feedback and better practice at home.


Professional Demonstrators

Two or three times a year we try to bring in professional demonstrators for an all day session, 9AM to 4-5PM. The cost is only $10-20 for a member, and $35-45 for a non-member (includes the membership fee). Locations for these meetings vary, so check on them at the club meetings and for yahoo group email messages. Most require you to bring a chair. You will be glad you brought your camera and some paper to take notes. These are unique learning opportunities at a substantially reduced rate.


Wood Raffle

A few times a year we hold a wood raffle at a club meeting. Buy your tickets for an opportunity to get some turning wood.


Club discounts on orders from Craft Supply

Our club receives ~10% discount and free shipping on orders that we place over $1,000. To participate, you pay full price for the item, and provide the information with the coordinator. When the order reaches $1k, it is sent into Craft Supply. When the order arrives, you will receive your order along with the discount that we are given.


Discounts on bulk items bought by members and offered to members

Currently we have two items that are available, Anchorseal and CA glue. These items are generally available at every meeting.


Club T-shirts and hats

The club pre-ordered some shirts and hats with the club logo. They are high quality and available for purchase at club meetings. Polo shirts are $25, T-shirts are $15, and hats are $10. They come in two colors, so check them out.