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 and began looking for a new meeting site.
During those early years in Freddy's basement, he would do the setup for the meetings by using 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. One of their favorite activities was the Show and Tell segment. Each participant would bring one of his or her pieces and display it on the pool table in Freddy's basement. Also, another enjoyable session was with five lathes set up, and the members would do a rotation 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. A newsletter was produced and mailed from Freddy's home. The printing and mailing were handled by Jack Hock, Jean Hock, Ed Robold, and Freddy. Before email and the internet became widespread, a notice was sent via the newsletter to members seven days before each scheduled meeting.
The club 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. Some newspaper articles were 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 was set at $15.00. Members gathered to learn more about the craft and art of woodturning and enjoy fellowship of like-minded enthusiasts. Officers were elected by the membership in May and served for one 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. Some of the early meeting sites were at Walt Betley's home in his basement, Paxtons in Hilliard, Home Quarters (HQ) on Wilson Road, and Wood Werks on Taylor Station Road. A meeting site at the Ohio State University’s Industrial Arts Complex was secured by Walt Betley and was used for several years. We currently meet at the Holy Spirit Church at 4383 E. Broad Street, Columbus, thanks to Mike Trucco.