Chapter: North Coast Woodturners (NCWT)
Founded: December 30, 1986
Chapter Anniversary Profiles:
North Coast Woodturners (NCWT)
Chapter Name: North Coast Woodturners (NCWT)
Area Served: Brecksville, OH
First President: Dave Hout
Current President: Michael Nathal
Founded: December 30, 1986
What motivated the founders to start a chapter?
North Coast Woodturners (“NCWT”) started in the spring of 1986 only a few months after the formation of the American Association of Woodturners.
How many joined the new chapter?
The very first meeting attracted 23 members. The group now has over 140 members.
Who were the founders?
Dave Hout and Ernie Conover were the primary founders.
Where did the first group meet?
The group first met at members’ woodshops and tool stores but settled into the Coventry High School near Akron, OH. In 1991, the membership distribution and size demanded a bigger, more central venue, and the meetings shifted to the Rockler Woodworking and Hardware store in Parma, OH. In 2009, the North Coast Woodturners club moved to its present location in the Blossom Hill Community Center in the city of Brecksville.
How much were the dues?
The dues were nominal at $10 or $15 dollars per year. Income generation was not a big concern back then since professional turner appearances and the related fees were not as frequent as they are today. In addition, early meetings were held in members’ workshops and tool stores so there was no money needed for facility rental. Basically, the major expenses back then were for the coffee and donuts, and for newsletter materials and stamps.
Are there any original members still involved with the chapter?
Both of our founders are still members and continue to help the club. Dave Hout did two demos for the club in 2015 and donated the demo pieces for our main fundraiser – the annual auction. Ernie Conover has hosted the annual ice cream social on many occasions and helps raise money for the club by offering woodturning lessons to successful bidders at the club’s annual auction.
What are some of the favorite memories of the chapter?
Members have fond memories of Christmas parties where turned items were displayed in the home of the host and then exchanged among members. Ice cream socials are also remembered not only for the vast amount of ice cream and other sugary snacks ingested but also for the chance to get to know other members better and to enjoy some diversions such as croquet. Some of the more competitive members have enjoyed the tops spin-off competitions and the bocce ball (make your own) contests. Finally, many members have great satisfaction in donating their turned pieces for a sick child to enjoy (Beads of Courage), for children across the world to have their own toy (Tops to Tots), for local children to paint holiday ornaments, and for our brave troops (Turn for the Troops).
What are some of the milestones of the chapter?
A major milestone has been the decision of the club to support many charities.
Another milestone involved the purchase of lathes and turning tools which have been used for years to conduct classes for lesser experienced club members. Classes are normally held four to five times throughout the year after club member demos to teach these lesser experienced turners the skills to complete pieces within their skill set and beyond. There are eight lathes and normally eight students taught by the more experienced club members. Turning can quite often be a solitary hobby. These classes foster fellowship and hands on instruction.
How has the AAW affiliation affected the chapter?
The AAW helps North Coast Woodturners in many ways.
The AAW helps growth in club membership since some new members find out about the AAW before they are aware of the local club.
The AAW helps educate and improve the skills of members through publications such as the American Woodturner journal, the online publications, and the many teaching aids available. In addition, the AAW Symposiums offer great learning experiences from the best turners in the world.
The AAW helps in the selection process for professional turners chosen for demos. Many times our choices are based on the professionals affiliated with AAW and the literature or demonstrations seen at the annual AAW Symposium.
The AAW has provided excellent sources of charitable opportunities, such as Tops to Tots and Beads of Courage for the club to support. In addition, the club supports local nonprofit groups and causes, such as the Empty Bowls Project to address world hunger. Lastly, once a year the members turn pens at a local Woodcraft store for our troops in an initiative called “Turn for the Troops.”
Listings of all chapters by the AAW allow members to view other club websites and to attend other club meetings when they are in the area.
Grants given by the AAW to NCWT have provided critical funding to make technological improvements and improve the overall operations of the club.
~ Submitted by Daniel Maloney
In the thirty weeks leading up to AAW's 30th Anniversary Symposium in Atlanta, we will be sharing the stories of members and chapters who joined in 1986 and are still with us today. We hope you enjoy their memories and insights!
- Click here to view profiles online.
American Association of Woodturners