Long Island Woodturners

Fostering the Art of Woodturning on Long Island

New Members

The Long Island Woodturners Association (LIWA) is always welcoming of new members. If you have an interest or think you may have an interest in woodturning you are welcome to join our monthly meeting to learn more. Come early to have a chance to meet with a member to answer any questions you may have.


If you chose to join you can pay the $45 annual dues by cash or check to our treasurer at the meeting. This includes refreshments at meetings, mentoring and group expenses.

Monthly meetings:

Our meetings are typically on the third Saturday of the month. This can be verified from our Meeting dates page. The meeting is held at the Northport High School in the wood shop. The doors open at 8 am for setup and socializing. The official meeting kicks off at or around 9:00am and consist of the following:

1.) An update from the club president on other activities

2.) An optional raffle with prizes of woodturning tools or accessories

3.) A show and tell where people present their work and answer any questions. See the member gallery for examples but don’t be intimidated by the work. All members are encouraged to show their work. Most people started with a basic bowl or other simple piece.

4.) A demonstration by a professional demonstrator or by a group member. In person professional demonstrators sometimes have an additional charge to cover the cost of travel for the demonstrator but include lunch.

We target noon to end the meeting but prefer to take the time the topic needs so it may end early or later. We also broadcast our meetings on zoom for members that can not attend in person.

In July and August we take a break and have picnics which sometimes have demonstrations as well.


The group has a mentoring program for anyone interested. This is done for new members by pairing with a more experienced member whose home is close to facilitate meetings. The mentoring program is not limited to new members if anyone has issues that need support or wishes to learn more about specific techniques. This is typically handled informally but the mentoring chair person can also assist.

Mentoring can cover many topics. Some possible topics: How to setup a shop for woodturning. How to safely mount work pieces to the lathe. How to use various chisels safely. Different types of turnings which can be accomplished.

Setting up a shop

There are many things to consider when setting up a shop for woodturning. Below are some points to consider all of which are best discussed with your mentor and/or other club member’s before purchasing.

Lathe – There are three classifications of lathes. mini, midi and full size. The swing is one critical measure which is the maximum diameter workpiece that can fit on the lathe. It is measured from the center of the spindle to the bed and is doubled to get the maximum diameter. Note the height of the banjo can reduce the effective maximum diameter. The length is defined by the maximum distance between centers on the lathe. These dimensions are often in the part number or description of the lathe. Other important consideration are the motor control which can be variable speed or several fixed speeds and indexing which allows us to perform actions on the piece at specified rotational increments.

Chisels – There are many types of chisels. The main ones are gouges, scrapers, parting tools. Most new chisels are made from high speed steel (HSS) and carbide. Older tools are sometimes made of hardened steel. For starters a small number of chisels is actually needed.

Sharpening – A low speed eight inch grinder is often used for sharpening turning tools. The low speed is desired to minimize heating of the metal during sharpening. A sharpening system such as the wolverine system are often used to improve repeatability of the shape of the sharpening of each tool.

Dust management – A dust collector can be used to pick up debris and dust from woodworking. Dust collectors use a variety of tubes most often 4″ or 2-1/2″. An air filter can also be used to filter the air in the shop.

Safety equipment – Some safety equipment to consider are: full face masks, dust masks (Minimum of N95), steel toed work boots

There are many other tools and areas to consider but this list is the minimum needed to become a turner.

%d bloggers like this: