Club Officers

President

David has been woodturning since 2009. His favorite technique is segmented woodturning. He enjoys turning ribbon sculptures, platters, pens, and experimenting with unique embellishment techniques.

David is a charter member of the Flint Hills Woodturners club, currently serving as President. Previously he has served as Program Director and Secretary.

He has been a key demonstrator for FHW.  Some of the the topics he has demonstrated about are: Turning the Small Stuff, Introduction to Segmented Woodturning, Eccentric Turned Christmas Ornaments, Finishing Techniques, Woodturning Design, Pendants, and Chuck it All!

David is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and the AAW Segmented Woodturners Chapter.

Other Information:

David retired after 35 years as a Kansas State University Professor on the Manhattan and Salina campuses. His last position was the Associate Dean of Academics for the Salina campus.

He is also active in local and state 4-H leadership roles, including judging demonstrations and public speaking. Also judging electronics, photography, woodworking, robotics, computer, and rocketry projects at several county fairs and the Kansas State Fair. 

David Delker
Vaughn Graber

Vice President

Vaughn has been turning for 17 years .   When he retired his excuse for getting into wood turning was “It will keep me off the streets and out of the bars.”

He turns mostly segmented pieces however he also turns solid vessels along with figurines, game calls, ect.

Vaughn is a member of the Kansas Association of Woodturners  (KAW) a Topeka club along with a woodworking club (Sawdusters) also of Topeka.   Currently he is the Treasure for the KAW club and past Treasure of the Sawdusters club.  He also belong to The Topeka Bow Hunters (THE) an archery club where he served as President and board member for a number of years.

He has demonstrated for both of the woodturning clubs, FHW and KAW and the woodworking club Sawdusters.  

Secretary

Barbara Drolet turned her first piece in an adult education class in 2004 and was immediately smitten with the lathe.  She found the transformational process of log to bowl absolutely fascinating and extremely gratifying.  Unfortunately, her next opportunity to turn would not come until much later, in December of 2016, when she was given a lathe. In May of 2017 she became a member of the Flint Hills Woodturners Club and became its secretary in December of 2019. She is also the WIT (Women in Turning) representative for the club with the AAW. She is still discovering what all she can create with the lathe and doesn’t get as much time on it as she’d like, but the shop is definitely her happy place.

Barbara Drolet
Ross Hirst

Treasurer

Ross has been working with wood all his life.  He started playing around with tools in his grandpa’s small workshop as a kid.  The source of a lot of the wood he used was cigar boxes from his grandpa’s grocery store.  He took woodshop in the 7th grade and had his first experience with woodturning.  He did mostly flat work until he got his first lathe in the early 90s.  His first lathe was a converted pipe makers lathe that needed new bearings, which he didn’t realize at the time.  He started turning pens and stuck with them for several years until he sold the old lathe and got a new Jet lathe which for him was like moving from a Model T to a Cadi.  

He now has 4 lathes but primarily uses only 2.  One of his lathes is an Oliver that was manufactured in 1930.   

He still does some pens but also does bowls and spindle work.  He is a member of AAW, Kansas Area Woodturners and FHWT. 

Program Director

Steve has been turning for 5 years. He has built furniture for a hobby for many years. When he learned about Flint Hills Woodturners, he became interested in turning, and have been primarily a turner since.
Steve is a member AAW, Kaw Valley Woodturners, Flint Hills Woodturners and the Kansas Quality Woodworkers.  He was previously the operations officer for Flint Hills Woodturners for 3 years and has done several demonstrations for the club on Spindle Turning, Christmas Ornaments, and Hollowing.

Steve Bietau

Operations Director

Tom, now 71, bought his first lathe at age 50.  He has been turning for 21 years, more so since he retired six years ago.  Tom is largely self taught (and books aren’t nearly as good as You Tube) with the exception of a week at craft supply in 2007, three days with Jimmy Clews in 2018, and what he has learned from other Flint hills woodturners.  He has also attended several symposia, including one AAW, a couple at SWAT, and a couple with Rocky Mountain Wood Turners.  His first lathe was a Nova, which he had for 14 years.  It started with pulleys and was upgraded to a direct drive unit along the way.  Seven years ago he decided he was in this for the long term, and needed some low speed torque, so splurged on a Robust American Beauty.  An indulgence for sure. But he loves it.  He now turns about three days a week, somewhat more in the winter, less when the weather is warm.

Tom Shields
Tom Boley

Member at Large

Tom Boley has been a woodturner since about 1994, having been fascinated by a woodturning demonstration at a weekend woodworking show in northern Virginia.  For eleven years, Tom was a hobby woodturner and president of Capital Area Woodturners for two of those years.  In 2005, he moved about 50 miles to the northwest when he purchased a custom architectural woodturning business and, when once established, started Catoctin Area Turners in Leesburg, VA, and was its first president.  He was awarded a lifetime membership for his service to CAT.  Having taught woodturning classes since 2006 at Woodcraft and for five years at the John C. Campbell Folk School in NC and having presented demonstrations and workshops at several clubs in the East and Midwest, soon after moving to the Manhattan area with no woodturning club any closer than Topeka, Tom started Flint Hills Woodturners with the help of two other members and again was its first president.  Tom still does some custom work but being mostly retired now, has shifted his focus back to hobby woodturning and teaching classes for UFM and Kansas State University.   Tom’s favorite part of the craft is standing at the lathe with a student, teaching woodturning safety and skills.   

 

Past President

Ray has been working with wood since he was a young boy. His wife bought him a mini lathe 6 years ago and the woodturning  journey began. He has since sold that lathe and upgraded to a German manufactured Stratos full sized lathe.

He has served on the board for the past almost 5 years in both the vice president’s and president’s position. Ray is currently serving as the clubs newsletter editor and videographer. He has also been a demonstrator on many occasions. He is drawn to turning different and often unusual items. 

Ray Case