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The American Association of Woodturners is the world's leading organization devoted to work produced at the lathe. Membership costs $68 per year. Click here for more information and to join. Here's a taste of the member benefits:

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American Woodturner Published six times per year, this is the world's best publication about woodturning. Each issue contains intriguing projects, profiles of leading turners, club news, tips, and more.


This ever-growing collection of digital articles is geared to the needs of beginning turners. AAW members receive at least two new articles each month in their email inbox.


AAW members have access to more than 200 videos that have been screened for safety and quality, plus every article from American Woodturner and Woodturning Fundamentals.


As a member, you get discounted hotel and admission rates for the annual live symposium, which features turjning demonstrations, a trade show, and the world's largest exhibit of lathe-turned works..

Demo Calendar

This is a continually updated listing of online demonstrations on all aspects of woodturning. The fees for these events are reasonable—typically $10 to $12 per person if you belong to the AAW.


The Voices 16-video series invites you into intimate conversations with successful studio and production turners, as they discuss big concepts and small details. Learn about cultivating creativity, aesthetics, originality, design principles from form to finish, as well as developing the business mindset, with information about business skills, marketing, photography, and pricing.  Click on the image at the right to read more and watch the videos.

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  • Use a full face shield when ever the lathe is turned on.

  • Tie back long hair, do not wear gloves, and avoid loose clothing objects that may catch on rotating parts or accessories.

  • Always check the speed of the lathe before turning it on. Use slower speeds for larger diameters or rough pieces, and higher speeds for smaller diameters and pieces that are balanced. Always start a piece at a slower speed until the work piece is balanced. If the lathe is shaking or vibrating, lower the speed.  If the workpiece vibrates, always stop the machine to check the reason.

  • Check that all locking devices on the tailstock and tool rest assembly are tight before operating the lathe. 

  • Position the tool rest close to work, almost touching the wood. Check tool rest position often and as wood is removed, turn off the lathe and re-position the rest. 

  • Rotate your workpiece by hand to make sure it clears the toolrest and bed before turning the lathe “on.” Be certain that the workpiece turns freely and is firmly mounted. . 

  • Be aware of what turners call the “red zone” or “firing zone.” This is the area directly behind and in front of the workpiece - the areas most likely for a piece to travel as it comes off the lathe. A good safety habit is to step out of this zone when switching the lathe to the “on” position. When observing others turn, stay out of the area.

  • Hold turning tools securely on the tool rest, holding the tool in a controlled and comfortable manner. Always contact the tool rest with the tool before contacting the wood.

  • It is safest to turn the lathe “off” before adjusting the tool rest or tool rest base (banjo).

  • Remove the tool rest before sanding or polishing operations.

  • Never leave the lathe running unattended. Turn the power off. Don’t leave that lathe until it comes to a complete stop.

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