CHAPTER NEWS: Great Plains Woodturners, Lincoln, Nebraska - Taking a turn at woodturning
Thursday, July 2, 2015
JOURNAL STAR: Great Plains Woodturners, Lincoln, Nebraska - Taking a turn at woodturning (06/27/2015)
How much wood would a woodturner turn if a woodturner could turn wood?
That variation of the woodchuck tongue twister doesn’t have a definitive answer either.
But based on the enthusiasm of the Great Plains Woodturners members, a lot of wood is taking on new shape and uses.
Woodturning, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, is a form of woodworking that uses an electric lathe. The wood, while turning on the lathe, is shaped and defined by a hand-held tool.
That is the simplistic definition. There are all kinds of tools specific to the hobby, skills to be honed (as well as wood), and it is not something a hobbyist just decides to pick up casually.
The local group was officially formed in 2002 by two current club members, Theo Alles and Mike Ferris.
Alles had been turning wood for many years and wanted to meet others in the area with similar interests. He applied for the official “chapter” designation, and the group was up and running with seven members.
The first few years, they met at his house, he recalled. “As we grew, we had to move to a bigger workshop,” he said of the monthly meetings.
Alles is both a commercial and recreational woodturner, he said. Over the years he has had several contracts to make custom items. But when he has some free time in the shop, Alles prefers to make gleaming, beautifully grained bowls from different varieties of wood. “Over the years I’ve made everything," he said, "but bowls are what I love best.”