Latest Woodturning News & Events

Mike Heiser's Globe and Finial Ornament Plans

Mike Heiser's plans for making a beautiful globe and finial Christmas ornament can be found here.  Notes on constructing the ornament can be found in the Nov 2017 newsletter.  


2017 New Mexico State Fair Winning Entries

The winning entries from this year's New Mexico State Fair are now posted!  Congratulations to all entrants and especially to the winners of "Best of Show" and "Judges Choice!"

 Best of Show Michael Alguire  Professional
  Drake Ward Advanced
  Raymond Davis Intermediate
Judges Choice Michael Anderson  

Go to the "Galleries" tab and click on "State Fair Woodturning" to see this year's galleries!

Sanding and Toxic Woods Handouts Now Posted

Handouts provided at the January 2016 club meeting have now been posted.  Click on the "Hands On" tab to find John Ellis' Sanding and Polishing Grits and Particle Sizes table.  You can also click on the "Resources" tab to find the Toxic Woods article and web references.

Ralph Watts on "Basic Boxes"


Before starting: Select wood that is totally dry. If you will be using a traditional slip fit, select wood with a relatively straight grain to better achieve a “matched” fit. Both traditional and ring insert methods are described.

  1. Turn your blank round between centers and cut a chuck tenon on each end.

  2. Select the location for your bottom to top joint. Using the golden ratio is a place to start. For a traditional slip fit, cut a joint groove about 3/16” to 1/4” deep (deeper if you plan to carve) and about 5/16” to 3/8” wide. Make sure this cut leaves a parallel and smooth surface.

    If a slip ring is used, the cut only needs to be about 1/16” wider than your parting tool. By leaving a slight lip on both ends it will be easier to establish the seats for the ring. See step 4.

  3. Part the blank with a narrow parting tool near the top. Leave about 1/64” protruding on the top side for use later as a guide and leave about a 1/2” diameter interior dowel holding the halves together. A Japanese pull saw is great for finishing the cut. Cutting completely through the blank may leave a scar on the mating surfaces as they disengage if the halves grab the parting tool.

  4. For the ring insert method: Use a narrow parting tool to cleave the blank at your selected joint location being careful to not mar the surfaces and to leave an interior dowel. Alternating the parting tool plunge cuts a few degrees to either side will keep the tool from binding. Use the alternating angles till you are past the depth of the future ring. Then make a new center cut in the widened groove to finish the cut to the center dowell. Use the back saw to finish the cut.

  5. Remove from between centers and chuck the top. Use a parting tool to make a shallow plunge cut at exactly the 1/64” mark left previously. If the mating face is marred, smooth now and slightly slope from the outer edge to the lip assuring a tight fit later. A negative rake scraper or a freshly sharpened 1/4” cut off tool is great for this.

  • Traditional: Use the point of your bowl gouge held with the face vertical or a parting tool and make a small starting groove exactly where the 1/64” bump begins on the outside. Finish making this cut square (or parallel to the ways) and you will be assured that the lip on the bottom matches the hole in the top. Use the bottom to do trial fits until you get the fit you want.

  • Ring: You may make this cut with a parting tool but be careful to hold the tool parallel to the ways. Removing some center material will make this cut easier if you are using a parting tool. A better way to make the cut is to use a Fly Cutter (FC). Chuck the FC into your tail stock with a drill chuck. Adjust the FC bit point to the desired width and slowly screw the bit in about 1/4”. The bit can be square on the end but grinding the tip with a taper will leave a small void for excess glue.

  1. Use an appropriate tool or a drill to start and finish the hollowing process for the top.

  2. Use a scraper or the edge of your bowl gouge to square and smooth about 5/16” in from the outside.

  3. Sand the inside being careful not to sand the joint area out of square.

  4. Remove from the chuck and reverse the top. Expand the jaws to lightly grip the top and bring the tail stock up to secure the top in place. Finish turning the top but leave the nub for the tailstock point. Sanding will come later.

  5. Chuck the bottom. Reduce the tenon to match the top. Put a slight taper on the outside edge of the lip to help put the lid in place. For a traditional slip joint use the top to check the fit. Loose fit for a “ladies” box and a pop fit for a “mans” fit.

  6. Use a drill or otherwise hollow the inside leaving the joint lip about 1/8” thick.

  7. Sand the inside.

  8. Place the top on the base and bring up the tail stock to hold it in place.

  9. Finish turning the outside of top using the base as a jam chuck leave just enough wood to sand without worry. Turn the nub to a point that it can be removed easily, finish sanding then back off the tail stock and remove the lid.

  10. Unchuck the bottom and reverse it over the chucks jaws. Bring up the tail stock and finish turning and sanding.

  11. Part off the nub on the bottom. Sand to finish and burn in your data.

  12. Add your favorite finish. Done!!

Check out this gallery showing some of Ralph's amazing turning and carving artistry over the years!

Robert Siegel on Woodturning Safety

The full power point presentation on "Woodturning Safety" given by Robert Siegel at the Jun 2016 club meeting is available here.  This presentation, in .pdf format, is VERY LARGE (168MB) and will require more than a minute to download ...Be patient!  Click here to start the download. 

Post-Millenial Celebrity - Michael Anderson

One of our NMWT members is receiving a lot of notarity lately ... Michael Anderson was recently featured in the Feb 2016 edition of the AAW Magazine - American Woodturner.  Click here to go to the AAW website and review the article (members only) and become more acquainted with Michael's dreams and aspirations.

Michael also voluntered to demonstrate on the open floor at the Desert Turners Roundup, held in Mesa, AZ February 26-28.  Michael drew crowds evey day around the breaks with his turning of woods found in the Mesa area.  The RoundUp drew over 110 people to the program. 

MichaelAnderson DesertTurnersRoundup

Congratulations to Michael!  

Hot Off the Press: "High Desert Turning" Newsletter

Download NMWT's latest edition of High Desert Turning for more news, announcements, program reviews, for-sale items, and listings of current local workshops and exhibits of interest to woodturners and woodworkers.

New Mexico Woodturners Is Now a Federal Non-profit Organization

We are pleased to announce that as of November 10, 2014, New Mexico Woodturners (NMWT) is now a Federal Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization. Thanks to the hard work of our Secretary, Larry Linford, the application and other documentation was submitted this year, and we were notified on November 25, 2014, of the approval, effective on November 10. Further action is now underway to apply for New Mexico State Non-Profit status, and an exemption from New Mexico Gross Receipts tax on purchases made by NMWT. Those applications require Federal Non-profit approval and can now proceed.

What does this mean to NMWT and its members? Effective November 10, members and non-members can contribute goods and monetary contributions to NMWT and they will be considered Federal tax free contributions when filling out Federal tax returns. Due to the relatively small size of our organization, the filings and annual paperwork are relatively uncomplicated, and will not be a burden to the organization in the future.

How will contributors be able to declare these deductions? There are two general categories of contributions, monetary and goods. Each is described below:

Monetary Contributions are any cash, check, or other means of transferring actual cash value to the club, where there is no direct value received in return. Annual membership dues, for example, are NOT considered contributions, since members reasonably expect value in return, such as attendance at meetings and workshops, use of club property (lathes and equipment, library DVD’s, etc.), free attendance at the visiting professional demonstrations the club pays for, and other benefits of membership. The basic fee for attending guest professional workshops (generally 1⁄2 the professional’s fee) is also NOT deductible, but any contribution beyond the basic attendance fee IS. Other examples of monetary contributions include periodic cash contributions such as annual gifts and one-time contributions, waiving the $100 fee paid to meeting demonstrators, and other waiving of reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of NMWT. The club Treasurer will keep track of these monetary contributions and issue an acknowledgment letter to the contributor at the end of the tax year (December 31). This letter will serve as proof when individuals file their taxes. It is critically important to let the Treasurer know of your intention each time a contribution is made, so none are omitted at the end of the year. NMWT will issue only one letter per year listing all monetary contributions from any single individual.

Non-cash or Goods contributed include all other items or services provided to NMWT. Also broken into two general categories, they are Goods and Services. Since the contributor establishes the value of any non-monetary contribution, it is up to the contributor to keep records sufficient for their own personal tax filing. NMWT will issue a written acknowledgement of a contribution for the contributors’ convenience, if requested, but cannot place any value on the items received. The written acknowledgement is similar to that issued by Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army, and other non- profit charities that accept donations. By Federal Tax Law, the contributor is responsible for seeking professional tax advice on their own. The topic of goods donations are listed in the various Federal 1040 forms, and information is provided with those forms to assist tax payers in listing these contributions, classification of used or new items, methods of determining value, and other related topics.

Some Examples of Goods that may be important to members are: New or used items, tools, wood, books, equipment, supplies, etc., that are donated at each meeting for the Silent Auction that benefits the Red Hollenbach Scholarship Fund. When sold, the proceeds from these monthly auctions are, in effect, donated to the club, and the amount of sale proceeds MAY be one way to determine their value. Tax law provides several ways of determining value besides a sale amount. In addition, any items, new and used, that are donated to the raffle are also considered contributions with the raffle proceeds being income to the club. For these and other contributions of new or used items, as noted above, a letter of acknowledgment will be provided to the contributor, if requested at the time of donation. Unfortunately, the purchase of raffle tickets is not a deductible contribution.

Services Donated are not discussed in this announcement as they can be fairly complicated. If such donations are anticipated by anyone, we recommend they consult a tax professional directly.

The Very Good News to the club with our becoming a Non-profit organization is that we are now able to solicit contributions from other businesses and individuals to support the educational services and activities we provide that benefit our community. In addition, members now have added incentive to contribute new and used goods to the Silent Auctions and Raffles, knowing that they can receive at least some tax benefit in return.

Questions on any issues related to this new tax-exempt status should be directed to Larry Linford. Having spent a bit of time working on this issue with Larry, I know how much time and effort he put into

the process during the past year. Please join me in thanking and congratulating him! John Ellis 

Mocho's Hand Chased Threads Now Posted

The promised handout from Michael Mocho's excellent presentation is now available for reading and downloading.  Find it under "Hands-On" along with many other terrific how-to's.

Or, just click here to jump right in: Michael Mocho's Extensive Instructions for Creating Hand Chased Threads

Jim McClain's Stone Wave Hollow Forms Now Posted

Jim McClains instructions on how to make Stone Wave Hollow Forms are now available.  You can navigate to the "Hands-On" tab and click on the "Stone Wave Hollow Forms" entry or just click here to jump right in: Jim McClain's Stone Wave Hollow Form.

JimMcClain StoneWaveHollowForms

Jason Clark's Saturn Bowls Now Posted

Jason Clark's instructions on how to make a Saturn Bowl are now available.  You can navigate to the "Hands-On" tab and click on the "Saturn Bowl's" entry or just click here to jump right in: Jason Clark's Saturn Bowls.  Jason provided multiple "hands-on" workshops for the club on how to make not only Saturn Bowls, but also twisted, lidded boxes. Thanks Jason for an exhilarting workshop!

JasonClark TwistedBoxesAndSaturnBowls

Dyeing & Airbrushing - Complete Review now posted

If you were there for Bob Stauch's excellent presentation on adding color to woodturnings, and especially if you missed it, you can now get the whole story in John Ellis' excellent review. Find it under "Hands-On" along with many other terrific how-to's.

Or, just click here to jump right in: Dyeing & Airbrushing with Bob Stauch