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You can learn to turn wood in 2020. This club will help
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Carolyn Adams, center, looks on as Mike Peace leads a class on texturing tools for the Chattahoochee Woodturners. The club is starting the new year off with a meeting and demonstration on making a bowl out of a block of wood. Photo courtesy Chattahoochee Woodturners.

You know those videos you get sucked into on Facebook without ever meaning to? They start playing automatically and are usually a timelapse of cookies being decorated or a gourmet meal being prepared. Every now and again, you might even see a puzzle being solved or a block of wood being turned into a bowl.

Chattahoochee Woodturners

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14

Where: 3738 Anglin Drive, Gainesville

How much: Free to attend, $35 to join

More info:

If you want to see that hunk of wood transform before your eyes, now is your chance. The Chattahoochee Woodturners in Gainesville are starting the year off with a demonstration of just that at their January meeting.

“Just kind of looking at numbers from month to month, January is always a healthily attended meeting, I guess because of the new year,” said Carolyn Adams, president of the club. “People are like, ‘OK, now we’ve got those holidays behind us, it’s time to do something for myself.’”

The meeting and demonstration from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 3738 Anglin Drive, are open to the public. If you want to join the club, it’s just $35 per person for a year or $40 per family. Dinner is available at 6 p.m. for $5

The club welcomes all skill levels, whether you’ve turned wood before or not. It will teach you everything you need to know about the craft..

“You don't ever have to have been near a lathe to be able to start woodturning,” Adams said. “It's easy to pick up.”

Adams is a hair stylist by trade. She owns Hair Artistry in Gainesville and picked up woodturning a few years ago after her father, Ken Beasley, died. She said he was a “jack of all trades,” so on the anniversary of his death, she and her brother, Michael Beasley, wanted to do something “intentional” in his memory.

“We went up to the John C. Campbell Folk School and took a woodturning class just for the weekend,” Adams said. “Now, my brother and I still turn together. We've got three lathes now and all the tools and saws.”

That’s how it happens for a lot of people in woodturning. She said they sometimes just want to try their hand at it once, but before long, they’re fully immersed.

“The desire to give it a try is the big thing,” Adams said. “We do have people who come that go, ‘Well, I don't have my lathe yet, but my buddy down the street turned some table legs for me and I thought that was pretty cool, so I'd like to do that, too.’ And they just show up and before you know it they've got their first lathe, they're asking about tools, they're building their woodshop.”

Through the club’s monthly meetings and weekly classes, you’ll learn from experienced instructors and woodturners.

The January demonstration, put on by Frank Bowers who’s been at it since 1992, will offer a glimpse into the things you could learn and make in the new year.

“It's just a great time to get together with likeminded people,” Adams said.

The club ended 2019 with upwards of 90 members, with about 50 making it out to the monthly meetings. All ages are welcome, but those who are younger might need to be accompanied by an adult.

Adams said everyone should find something they enjoy doing. For her, it was woodturning and she hopes many others find the same in 2020. 

“We're all busy doing for other people or working jobs or whatever and occasionally, you need to do something for yourself,” Adams said. “So, instead of going to the gym I go to the woodshop.”

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