Slightly Skewed Newsletter

Most Recent Slightly Skewed Newsletter
Volume 27, Number 10 – October 2018
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President’s Message


Last month I wrote about challenging myself and taking on new tasks. I've done plenty of that in the last month by practicing the basics of beads and coves (which has been more challenging than I had imagined), spending time with other turners, and reading in magazines and websites to learn new things. My adventures have been eventful and prosperous. I spent a day with Craig Sobel and Joanie Cole learning about segmented turning, and I spent the day with Bill Loitz making and modifying my own tools on the metal lathe. I was reading an old issue of American Woodturner, Circa 2004 I think, and ran across an article that was memorializing a wood turner who had died from complications of injuries incurred while woodturning. The article wasn't specific on what happened so I got nosy and looked it up on the internet. I found many write ups about it but nothing specific about her injuries. I did find that her family chose not to provide the cause in order to maintain privacy. I am somewhat disappointed that they didn't say why because I want to make sure I don't do that. But what they did do was emphasize re-familiarization with the AAW safety rules. I read what they wrote and was reminded of a few things that I do that are not safe. One big one is moving my rest when the lathe is still turning. I see demonstrators do this all the time, I do it all the time, and just in the last week or so I nicked the chuck with the end of my tool rest. The incident was minor although, I had to do a little bit of filing on my chuck because I raised a bur. The potential catastrophe that I averted is easy to shrug off but, when I think of Joan Gilmer and whatever might have happened to her, I figure maybe I should just take the time to turn off my lathe, reposition the tool rest, and turn the lathe back on. A very small price to pay! In researching the safety rules on the AAW website I ran across an article by Lynne Yamaguchi who, quite literally, had her face smashed in by a project flying off the lathe. The write up was a wakeup call and is a must read at


Also a must read both free to AAW members:

Safety for Woodturners at


The Safety Guidebook for Woodturners at


I really wanted to put some of the guidelines on this page but I found them too extensive and too important to summarize. I hope you will take the time.

No matter how long or little we have been turning, a reminder is definitely worth the click and keeping safe, keeps us turning.








(Excerpt) AAW policy initiative on fractal burning (also known as "Lichtenberg Burning"), which advocates safety and helps to protect lives.



The AAW has always been a faithful advocate for woodturning safety.  Recently, the subject of fractal burning has been in the news because of another tragic death.  The AAW Safety Committee has studied the issue and concluded there may be a distinct influencing benefit in adopting a policy against the use of Fractal Burning and publicizing it immediately to chapters and members.  As a result, it was recommended that the AAW Board adopt a new policy against the practice, which was unanimously approved on May 17, 2017.  The new policy is as follows:


It is the policy of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) that the process known as Fractal Burning is prohibited from being used in any AAW-sponsored events, including regional and national symposia, and that AAW-chartered chapters are strongly urged to refrain from demonstrating or featuring the process in chapter events. Further, the process of Fractal Burning shall not be featured in any written or online AAW publication, except for within articles that warn against its use. AAW publications will not accept advertisements for any products or supplies directly related to the process.


Additionally, the Safety Committee recommended that an article be published in the August 2017 issue of American Woodturner to highlight the dangers of the practice and publicize the new AAW policy.


AAW Membership




 Meeting Dates for 2018


November 11, 2018

December 9, 2018


GWG Bylaws
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