Prep Underway for 39th Utah Woodturning Symposium

Prep Underway for 39th Utah Woodturning Symposium

It’s just about a month away from the 2018 edition of the Utah Woodturning Symposium, which will feature not only traditional woodturning classes, but also classes on carving and piercing – as, according to board of directors member Susan Hendrix, “More and more carvers are turning items and more and more turners and now carving and piercing on their items, so it makes sense.”

The 2018 Utah Woodturning Symposium is the 39th annual edition of the gathering, which got its start in 1979. This year’s event will be held May 10-12 , 2018 at Utah Valley University in Orem.

Demonstrators from the workshops hail from places like France, Jerusalem and the United Kingdom, as well as across the U.S. Their topics cover a variety of techniques, including spindle turning, working with resin, sharpening, segmenting, threading wood for woodturners and more. Project-based demos include boxes, bowls, a walking stick and even a fidget spinner.


The symposium also incorporates special events, with one highlight being the Great Egg Cup Race, in which each contestant is given a 2.25-in. x 2.25-in. x 4-in. piece of hardwood prepared for mounting in a scroll chuck. Two lathes are set up, each with a tool-rest along the length of the wood and across the end. Contestants compete individually or in teams of two for fastest times and best accuracy based on a drawing – with most opting to go for the speed. According to a former Symposium participant, the late Bill Jones, “You can watch heaps of really good wood being totally ruined by the world’s finest turners.”

A swap meet, silent auction, banquet, workshop specifically geared to youth participants, and a pen turner’s rendezvous with literature and pen works on display round out some of the other activities at the Symposium.

Registration price for the Utah Woodturning Symposium goes up at the end of this month, on May 1. Find more information on the website.

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