Jim will be providing hands on instruction on turning Christmas Trees from mesquite wood. He will share his techniques, tools used and jigs. He uses mesquite because it has great attributes including the bark, sap ring, and forgiveness in turning uphill, downhill or across the hill.

Skill Requirements: Intermediate and up


Students will need a 3/8” spindle gouge with 20° grind, 1” or larger spindle roughing gouge, and a cutoff tool. Optional tools ¾” skew, and diamond shaped carbide tool. Limited quantities of loaner tools will be available for sharing. Tools will also be available to purchase.


Jim began woodturning in 9th grade woodshop. All he can remember is they laminated maple and mahogany together to turn a lamp and his mom loved it. He didn’t turn again until 1995 when he turned some 6” diameter white oak legs for a dining room table on a light weight lathe. The experience was dreadful not knowing which tools to use and having a lathe with a lot of vibration. Jim decided to stick with flat work until 2005. A friend at work showed him a pen that he had made and said all you have to do is buy a kit from Rockler or Woodcraft and start making his own. As you know it was not that easy, he ended up buying a Jet Mini Lathe, gouges, etc. His first pen cost north of a $1000. He was making pens in no time after attending a few club meetings and getting some tips from the old timers. It wasn’t long until he was getting bored with just turning pens and started turning bowls. He graduated from the mini lathe to a used Nova 3000 lathe with 16” capacity and within a few years sold it and purchased a new Powermatic 3520B with 20” capacity. Today Jim has the Powermatic and a Robust American Beauty. The first day he got the Powermatic 3520B he turned the biggest log he could find, a piece of Sycamore approximately 18” by 12”.

Jim has demonstrated at SWAT and the Dallas, Golden Triangle, and WNT Clubs. He is a member of AAW and has attended SWAT since 2005. Jim has enhanced his wood turning skills by taking classes over the years with Larry Roberts, Stuart Batty, Trent Bosch, Jimmy Clewes, Todd Hoyer, Nick Cook, Mike Mahoney, Bob Rosand, and Cindy Drozda.