Ray Hari

Introduction to Sawdust Sessions

Ray Hari

February 2019

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Our club is very active throughout the year. Apart from the regular monthly meetings and the quarterly board meetings we meet on a regular basis twice every month for sawdust sessions. Before I say anything else, I want to say a big Thank You to our hosts Jeanne & Mike Lanahan and Barbara Jones for opening their doors and welcoming us into their homes every month and hosting the sawdust sessions. They make this club so much fun to be a part of.


Sawdust sessions help us to share, collaborate, mentor, get advice, show off, listen, watch, and learn anything and everything about wood turning.


What happens at a sawdust session?


The sawdust sessions are very informal. There is no set agenda other than have fun and share what you’ve been doing with your lathe. The sessions start at 7:00pm on the 3rd and 4thWednesdays of the month and lasts about 2 hrs. We sit around in a circle in the living room. Then the host will ask who goes first. Someone who is eager to show what they’ve brought will usually raise their hand and will go first. He or she will talk about what they have brought that night (usually a bowl, platter, tool or even a piece of log. I think you can bring almost anything that you can place on a lathe except loaded firearms) and pass that item around for everyone to touch, feel, critique and admire. Once that person is done the person to his/her left or right will go next. This goes on until everyone is done. You are not really required to bring something to share every time. So, there is no pressure.


Why you should attend?


The average attendance at any given sawdust session is between 5 and 10 people.  Though it is not practical to have a large crowd in a living room for a sawdust session the benefits of attending a sawdust session are many especially if you are new to wood turning. As Paul would say what he sees as the top 2 main objectives of the club namely having fun, teach, learn and improve, Sawdust sessions are all about having fun, sharing ideas, and learning from others. When you are new to wood turning you walk away with a wealth of ideas, and wisdom from fellow wood turners from a sawdust session. Many of you who are new to the club and haven’t attended a sawdust session or are not aware of the benefits of attending one are encouraged to take the time to attend at least a couple of sawdust sessions.


Need for a new volunteer


As I was writing this article, I learned from Mike Lanahan that Barbara is ‘temporarily’ relinquishing the honor of hosting the 4thWednesday sawdust sessions until further notice. I always looked forward to going to her house for the sawdust sessions. It was always fun. Once again, a big Thank You to Barbara for hosting the sessions all these years and the club salutes you for your hospitality.


Our club is all about sharing and having fun. It would be a tremendous benefit to the club if someone would step up and volunteer to host the 4th Wednesday Sawdust sessions.



~ Hari ~

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