Welcome to the web presence of the Western New York Woodturners. We operate this website with two major purposes.
It is used as a timely communications tool for our memberships providing the latest status on events,
the library contents, an archive of the clubs past events, and the electronic disemination of our newsletters. The other
major purpose is to share our clubs and their events with both clubs members as well as turning enthusiasts
around the world. To that end, we post our members work in their galleries, their workshops, our meeting and other event photos, and
information for prospective members. Please enjoy your visit to our website. Everything is available for your viewing except
our member info. If you have comments, suggestions for improvements, or questions, feel free to contact us
via the feedback form, our contacts page, or an email to the
Webmaster - WNYWoodturners 1 & 2
The Western New York Woodturners is really two separate turning clubs. These are the "Western New York Woodturners 1" and "Western New York Woodturners 2", both related in their origins. While the two clubs are separate and independent chapters of the AAW, they are closely knit through a common heritage and members who belong to both organizations.
The Western New York Woodturners, ultimately to become Western New York Woodturners 1, started with four members during the late 1980s. At first, the club met in a basement room of a church or at the members' homes or workshops. In the early 1990s, the club moved to a local high school woodshop and membership grew rapidly. It grew so rapidly, in fact, that membership had to be limited to 80 people, due to space limitations. The membership cap ultimately led to the formation of "Turners 2" club. Presently, the Turners 1 meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month, at Maryvale High School in Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. The current President is Joe Wiesnet.
The Western New York Woodturners #1 has two major goals. Our major mission is to promote the joy of the craft of woodturning, to all who are interested. To that end, we demonstrate at our meetings and public events, hold hands-on workshops several times each year, distribute relevant literature, sponsor nationally and internationally known woodturners for local demonstrations and workshops, and participate in community shows and fairs.
Another goal is to help raise funds for local charities. Turned items, produced at our demonstrations and workshops, are sold to the public throughout the year. Our members donate their time and materials so that 100% of the funds raised are contributed to charity. In the past 10 years, we have donated over $31,000 in cash to Buffalo-area charitable organizations. The club also sponsors an annual Christmas toy making campaign for Aspire, formerly the United Cerebral Palsy Association. We have produced and contributed over 2000 toys to our local Buffalo chapter.
In the Fall of 1995, the original WNY Woodturners had a waiting list of about 25 people. Due to the space limitations of the Technology shop at Maryvale High School, a membership cap of 80 was placed on the roster. With a turn over of only 1- 5 members a year, it would have taken years for many of these applicants to join.
At that time Lyle Foell, Tom Flamino and Jim Hilburger decided to form another local woodturners club. The first meeting was held at Dave Elberson's business, Buffalo Hardwoods. The newly formed group consisted of 20 people and was the foundation of the new woodturning club. At that meeting, Walt Tanski was elected as the first president, presiding until 1999.
The Turners 2 meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. The club meets at the Hamburg Middle School. The meeting site has allowed for expanding the membership roster to accommodate the growing interest in woodturning in the local area. It also provides a large auditorium for holding larger demonstrations for both WNY Woodturners 1 & 2. The clubs annually host a world renowned guest demonstrator. There is a one or two day hands on activity as well as a demonstration in the schools auditorium. These events are open to members and non-members alike.
By doing demonstrations and participating at the wood working shows, the club has created a lot of interest from people all over Western New York. WNY Woodturners 2 has grown steadily over the past few years. While there is a membership cap of 80, there is currently room for a few new members.
In July of 1997 WNY Woodturners 2 became an affiliated chapter of the American Association Of Woodturners. Many members belong to this organization and go to the national symposium. The current President is John Lilley.
The primary purpose of Turners 2 has always been to help each other to enjoy the art & craft of woodturning. To this extent, each meeting consists of three main phases; business, show & tell, and a monthly demonstration. The business meeting is to update the membership of the clubs activities. Show & Tell encourages members to bring in pieces they have recently worked on. This has two benefits, one to help inspire others and to gain the critique of ones peers. There is a demonstration each month. It can be a member demonstrating a new technique or having a guest from outside the club give a presentation. There is always something new to be seen and learned. Members come away with some new insight to their interest in woodturning.
The club produces a monthly newsletter and maintains a video library for the members to borrow from. The library contains videos of various club demonstrations as well as commercially produced tapes by professional turners. Both clubs, Turners 1 and Turners 2, hold many hands on workshops, at no cost to the members, throughout the year at "Barb's Barn".