Alaska Woodturners Association
2017 Woodturning Symposium Event


Hands-On Classes with Master Turners

We call this event "Master Classes". This event occurs the week before our annual symposium and the week immediately following the symposium.

Master classes are available for Intermediate and Advanced turners who are members of the Alaska Woodturners' Association.

The classes will be at Del's shop on the hillside and individuals signed up will receive an email with directions and tools to bring to the classes.  

The classes will be 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM with a one hour break for lunch. Students may bring their own lunch, or go to one of the many restaurants at South Anchorage.

All beginning turners need to have completed the five woodturning classes given by Alaska Woodturners Association, prior to signing up for the Master Classes. This allows the members to obtain a better experience at the Master Classes and not have to struggle to learn.

Class enrollment is handled on a first-come first-served basis. Class tuition is $150.00 per day. Classes are for two days and three days, per master turner. Payment for classes begins September 1. You may mail your check for the tuition to John Lane. Contact John Lane at for additional information.

If you do not sign up for a class before it fills up, you may contact John Lane at and ask to be put on the alternates list. A tuition deposit is not required to be put on this list.

Usually someone will not be able to attend the class they have signed up for. When this happens and an opening becomes available, John will be happy to contact you and let you know. Keep in mind, you may receive a notice only a day or so before the classes.

Keith Gotschall

Intermediate Class: January 23-24, 2017

Spindle Exercises, we will go over the uses of spindle roughing gouge, spindle gouge, skew and parting tool. Making straight cuts, beads and coves, exploring the techniques to make them correctly. Pommel cuts will also be made and perfected. These skills are crucial in wood turning and a complete mastery of them helps in all phases of turning. Wood = 2 ea 2X2X12” long.

Poplar Egg, making an egg is an enjoyable and surprisingly difficult task. Everyone knows what an egg is supposed to look like, so no excess creativity allowed! This is another skill building exercise, and we will be finishing it off with a jamb chuck, a useful technique to know. Wood = 3X3X8” Poplar for jamb chuck + 2X2X6” long Cherry for egg

Secret Shaker, this is a salt or pepper shaker with a unique twist. There is no hole in the top, it has no stopper, incorporates it’s own funnel for filling and until you know it’s secret you might not get anything out of it! A fun project that will encourage interpretation. Wood = 2.5X2.5X8” long Cherry

 Lidded Bowl, think sugar bowl, jewelry bowl etc. You will definitely find many uses for this project. It is a very good project for exploring the uses of the 4 jaw chuck. We will go through the steps necessary to make the overhanging lid fit the bowl, maximizing the design potential. Wood = 2 ea 7X7X2” thick Cherry

Recommended tools to bring to class: Basic assortment of gouges, both spindle and bowl and spindle roughing gouge. parting tools. some round nose and square nose scrapers for hollowing. NOTE: The club will provide the wood for one project per student (plus a few extras for damaged blanks), if you want to bring additional material please feel free to do so. Sizes of blanks are listed above for each project.

Advanced Class: January 25-27, 2017

Closed Form Bowl, this project will help us get the skills honed for the latter project. A simple bowl with return curve, giving a more closed form, with beads on the outside. This should be an easy one for advanced students, but I will be critical of technique and shape. Wood = 8X8x4” thick Cherry or Green Birch

My Signature Decorative Bowl, we will go through the steps to mill the material (on the lathe) and glue up our blanks, making one of my signature pieces. This is a challenging and intensive piece to make, using two different colored woods to produce striking contrast with our decoration. Wood = 6X6X3/4 MDF + 5X5X4/3” thick Cherry + 5X5X3” thick Cherry

Off Center Platter, this is an advanced platter to make, as we will be going off center fairly substantially. Good tool use is a must. The rim will be over hanging on one side by 1.5 inches. There will be plenty of possibility for decoration after the fact on this one. Wood = 12” diameter 2” thick Cherry

Lidded Box, always a challenge to get the perfect fit to a suction fit lid. We will go through the steps to help you end up with a really good fit, and one that will continue to fit correctly. It is a step oriented project with lots of design potential. Wood = 3X3X8” long Cherry

End Grain Bowl, This is a quickie, a bowl that can be used for salt etc. Smaller in scale, but a fun project nonetheless. I will be looking for nice curves, pleasing shapes from the class. Wood = 3X3X4” long Cherry

Spoon, this will be a spoon form that will be turned as a spindle, then put in a jamb chuck to hollow. Making a jamb chuck will be part of the exercise. Think measuring spoon for coffee. Wood = 1.5X1.5X7” long Cherry

Recommended tools to bring to class: Basic assortment of gouges, both spindle and bowl and spindle roughing gouge. parting tools. some round nose and square nose scrapers for hollowing. NOTE: The club will provide the wood for one project per student (plus a few extras for damaged blanks), if you want to bring additional material please feel free to do so. Sizes of blanks are listed above for each project.

Molly Winton

2 Day Pyrography Class: February 2 - February 3, 2017

This class will focus upon learning tips and techniques for effective use of commercial woodburning units and pens, as well as learning to make home-made brands. I will supply 20 and 22 gauge nichrome wire; pattern books; reference books; and graphite paper. I will have my set of tools, a Burnmaster, and few commercial pens, home-made pens for use with brands, and a variety of home-made brands. We will begin practicing on a practice board with an image of your choosing (either from one of my pattern books, or one you’ve brought in), and then move on to making homemade brands using the nichrome wire. If time allows, students may apply skills learned, to a turned piece brought with them.

You will need to bring the following:

• Woodburning unit such as a Burnmaster, DetailMaster, Razer-Tip, or similar. **If you are purchasing one prior to the class, I recommend the Burnmaster. If you want to do branding or frequent high temperature burning the Razertip machines are not recommended.

• Commercially made skew woodburning pen tip (with little to no gap between the wires at the tip of the pen). It should look like a scalpel/knife. Looks like this:


The one pictured is made by Detail Master, however all pen manufacturers have tips with similar profiles. You can buy just the tip at a significant price break as compared to tips that come fixed to a pen body. A tip-only will be able to be used in the Burnmaster Replaceable Tip Pen.

• Burnmaster Replaceable Tip Pen, (available from and/or; or a home-made woodburning pen to be used with the brands you will be making in class.

• Needle nose pliers.

• Wire cutters.

• Small pair of vise grips (I will have a couple of these if you don’t).

Optional items you are welcome to bring include: Finish turned, or practice turned pieces to burn/brand i.e. bowl/platter with wide rim, or hollow form. Do not bring pieces that have a finish (oil/lacquer/etc.) already applied. These will be used if time allows.

****If you are sensitive to smoke PLEASE bring appropriate respiratory protection, such as a respirator. (I’ve had folks with COPD attend classes and not be prepared for the amount of smoke we can generate as a group.*****


3 Day Pyrography plus Mini Hollow Vessels Class

January 30 - February 1, 2017

3 Day class includes everything in the 2 day class plus  

Making Mini Hollow Vessels This class will focus upon turning miniature hollow vessels approximately two inches diameter and 2-3” tall. We will make miniature hollowing tools out of allen wrenches, and then turn the vessels. I will discuss design elements and lay-out techniques, and show techniques that will help prevent blowing through the vessel when hollowing. Given time and interest I will also cover various surface enhancement techniques using various carving tools (reciprocating and rotary), as well as an engraver, and woodburner. A couple faux finishes will also be reviewed. I will bring miniature hollowing tools to be used in class; one reciprocating carver, rotary carver (dremel), engraver, and woodburner, along with various bits and burning pens/brands, and faux finish supplies.

You will need to bring the following:

• Woodturning tools (1/4” spindle gouge; 3/8” spindle or bowl gouge, parting tool, skew or 3 point tool to make grooves).

Optional items you are welcome to bring include:

• Reciprocating carver and gouges

• Rotary carver and bits • Dremel engraver

• Woodburner/burning pens

****Be sure to bring appropriate safety equipment i.e. eye and respiratory protection.*****