History of the Central Ohio Woodturners

 In July of 1992, 12 individuals came together and this was what became the beginning of the Central Ohio Woodturners. At that first meeting, everyone agreed to meet again on the 2nd Tuesday of August in 1992. A decision was made to meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM so the date would not interfere with Freddy's pastoral duties. Everyone agreed to meet monthly from September through May. The 12 members present at that first club meeting were Freddy Dutton, Walt Betley, Chad Brubaker, Ron Daehler, Marvin Dountz, Lou Gatch, Bill Harsh, Fred Kimes, Charles Stevens, Mike Thornton, Glen Trimble, and Joe Vano.

Those charter members met in Freddy's basement for the next five years (1992 to 1997). The original club officers were Freddy Dutton, President; Walt Betley, Vice President; Bill Harsh, Treasurer, and Dave Hoerle, Secretary. The club grew quickly from 12 to 15, to 25, to 30, and to 45 members. They outgrew Freddy's basement with 45 individuals attending and began looking for a new meeting site.

During those early years in Freddy's basement, Freddy would do the setup for the meetings by using 30 or 40 chairs from the church next door where he was the pastor. After the meeting adjourned the chairs would be returned to the church. Freddy (and his wife) also provided all the refreshments. The club grew very quickly to 30 members and each person would participate in different meeting activities. One specific area of participation was the show and tell segment. Each participant would always bring one of their pieces for the monthly assignment and display it on the pool table in Freddy's basement. This was one of the more enjoyable times of the meeting. Also, another enjoyable session was with five lathes setup and the members would do rotation time on the lathes.

During this five year span, the COW logo was designed by Dave Hoerle, and Jean Hock did extensive sewing for this. Dave Hoerle also did the setup for the first website for the club. During the early years, a newsletter was produced and mailed from Freddy's home. The printing and mailing was handled by Jack Hock, Jean Hock, Ed Robold, and Freddy. The club has also participated in providing toys at Christmas time for underprivileged children. One year the club participated in the Festival of Trees at Christmas and won 1st place. Several newspaper articles were also written about our club.

The club voted to become a local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners on April 9, 1996, and to adhere to the constitution and by-laws of AAW. The Chapter organizer was Freddy and the annual membership fee for the local chapter was set at $15.00. The Chapter's purposes are to provide a meeting place for the local woodturners; to share ideas and techniques regarding this craft; to trade woods; and to exchange ideas about tools, etc. During the early years a notice was sent through the newsletter to each member seven days before each scheduled meeting. The terms of each elected officer would be elected annually by a majority vote of the Chapter. Each officer would hold the elected office for one year. At the end of that year, an announced election would be held for the new officers for the following year.

In l997 the club voted to relocate to another meeting site. During this time span, the membership grew to approximately 45 members and a larger meeting site became necessary. During one of the earlier years, the club met for one session at Walt Betley's home in his basement. Other meeting sites were Paxtons in Hilliard, Home Quarters (HQ) on Wilson Road, and Woodwerks on Taylor Station Road. Our current meeting site was secured by Walt Betley at the Industrial Arts Complex of The Ohio State University on Kinnear Road in Columbus.