aaw logo CAPITAL AREA WOODTURNERS aaw logo
A Proud Chapter
of the AAW
Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  I’m interested in woodturning and would like to visit your club before joining.  Is that okay?
A:  Yes.  Please come and be our guest during one of our regular meetings.  First-time visitors enjoy free admission for demonstrations.  Come by and see us, enjoy some coffee and donuts, and see what we’re all about. Capital Area Woodturners meet at the Bryant Center, 2709 Popkins Lane, Alexandria, VA on the second Saturday of each month at 8:00 am.  Gathering and setup before the official meeting starts begins at 8:00 am.  Half day sessions finish at 1:00 PM and full day sessions, 3:00 PM.  Meeting schedule.

Q: How do I join?
A:  Please print and fill out an application available on our website.  Mailing instructions are found on the application itself.  You can also fill out an application at one of our meetings when you come to visit us.  Our treasurer can accept your application, as well as any member of the board.  Also availble is using PAYPAL from the secure website.  (click the application link above)

Q: How much does it cost to join CAW?

A: Annual membership dues for CAW are $30, payable by January first of each year.  Dues are prorated for memberships starting after the first of the year.  Click here to see the dues schedule.   

Q: Do I need to be a member of AAW to join the Capital Area Woodturners?
A: The CAW strongly encourages (but does not require) members to join the American Association of Woodturners (AAW). CAW/AAW members are encouraged to attend the annual AAW Symposium, and to volunteer time at the Symposium to assist demonstrators.

Q:  I am new to woodturning.  Are there any classes I can take to gain woodturning skills?
A:  Our Newsletter contains information on some educational opportunities each month in our newsletter.  It provides the type of turning taught along with contact information for local and out of state programs. 

Q: What do I need to do to participate in the workshops or demonstrations?
A: AAW membership is required (due to liability insurance requirements) for a CAW member to participate in “hands-on” at any CAW-sponsored functions, demonstrations and/or skill-enhancement workshops.  You do not have to be an AAW member if you just want to watch.

Q: Does attending the demonstrations cost extra?
A:  Most regular meetings have woodturning demonstrations.  Demonstrations by members of our club are free.  The club typically sponsors several demonstrations by professional woodturners each year.  We collect a demonstration fee of $10 for these full-day sessions. Non-member guests may attend the first demonstration and meeting for free. 

Q: I really like one of the demonstrators that is visiting us soon.  Will the club be having a small class workshop with him/her?
A: Sometimes, professional woodturners hold special workshops that are not part of a regular CAW meeting.  These may be held on a weekday before or after our regular meeting.  The cost for attending these workshops will be split up among the attendees.  Fees typically vary around $75 - $125 for a full day session and there are generally only six to 10 slots available.  These opportunities will be announced at regular meetings and in the newsletter.  Check with our Programs Officer for more details.  Workshop Schedule

Q: I have wood or equipment that I’d like to get rid of.  Can the club use them?
A:  Generally, yes.  Our club sponsors a silent auction of donated wood, tools and other items at each club meeting.  Members are encouraged to donate items of interest to the silent auction.  Income from the silent auction goes to the general treasury fund of the CAW.

Q:  Can the club help me get woodturning supplies at a discount?
A:  The club often finds vendor discounts for members by buying popular items in bulk, coordinated by our group buy volunteer.  CAW does not maintain inventory for this program, so members are encouraged to pick up their items when they arrive or have someone pick their purchases up for them. Sometimes, we may also have live auctions for wood or tools at considerable savings.

Q:  I have tools and supplies I’d like to sell.  Can I try to sell these through the club?
A: Members can offer to sell surplus items through classified ads offered on our website.  See the classified page under Resources for contact information.  Members may also sell or trade woodturning supplies at meetings on a space available basis.  The sales of these items cannot interfere with the meeting or demonstration. 

Q:  I can’t make any of the classes.  Are there other ways to get help with my turning?
A:  Members are invited to join us for the skills enhancement workshops offered twice monthly.  Generally scheduled on the 2nd Wednesday and the last Tuesday of every month, unless otherwise stated in the newsletter.  See the WORKSHOPS page for more details.   All participants must be current members of the AAW and CAW.

Q: I’d like to explore different woodturning techniques, but can’t make the skill enhancement workshops.  Are there any other opportunities for one-on-one help?
A:  Our club also sponsors a Mentor program to assist members in a variety of woodturning techniques.  Our Mentor Program Coordinator maintains a list of experienced mentors and their specialties willing to help out less experienced members.  Members wanting mentoring help should contact the program coordinator for mentor contact information.

Q:  I’d like to rent a video, but am worried I may not make it to the next meeting.  Can I go ahead and rent it?
A:  Yes.  The rental fee for videos is generally $3 per month, with late charge of $3 for each month the videos are late.  If you know you won’t be able to make the meeting, you can also send the video to Video Librarian via US Priority Mail.  Make sure you send it early enough to get there before the meeting so not to incur a late fee.

Q: The CAW Newsletter really impresses me.  Can anyone write an article for it?
A:  Articles written by members are welcomed and encouraged! We endeavor to help others learn by our own trials of what works and what doesn’t.  If you have projects that have worked well or some things you think others should know, write it up and offer it to our newsletter editor.

Q: I really appreciate the club and all it has to offer.  What can I do to help out?
A: There are a variety of ways members can help the club.  Officers of the club are nominated and elected each October.  Any member may seek nomination.  Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization through giving of their time and effort on a regular and ongoing basis.  These programs benefit by have more than one person working each program.  See our contacts page for each program:

Photos of Show and Tell
Website Maintenance
Group Purchase Program
Video Library
Mentor Program
Name Tags
Newsletter Proofreader
Audio Visual Committee
CAW Clothing
Peer Recognition
Coffee Setup
Meeting/Event Setup Committee
Demonstration Fee Collection
Meeting Raffle

Q:  I noticed that one of our members does an outstanding service for the club, but seems to go unnoticed.  Is there any way we can recognize their efforts?
A:  The club supports a Peer Recognition Award.  Any member can nominate any other member who has been unusually helpful to the club.  Nominations must be in writing, include the nominee’s name, the reason that special recognition is appropriate, along with the nominator’s name. Nominations may be submitted to any CAW officer. At the next board meeting, the officers will discuss and vote on the nomination.  Upon a positive majority vote, we will prepare a Peer Recognition Certificate and present it to the recipient at the next regular meeting.

Q: I like the club, but just don’t understand why we do things a certain way.  Who can I ask about it or offer suggestions?
A: Any member that has questions about procedures not laid out in our Standard Operating Procedures can ask any CAW board member.  That board member will bring it up for consideration to the board to answer the member and the membership in general.

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