Canadian Woodworking

Durham Woodworking Club

Author: Rob Brown
Photos: Tom Loftus
Published: October November 2010
Turned Bowl
Turned Bowl

Sharing Knowledge is Just the Beginning.


The Durham Woodworking Club has been serving woodworking mem-bers in the Durham region for over 20 years. Initially, Durham Woodworking Club members struggled with the fact that they didn’t have a facility but they soon developed a relationship with the Eastview Boys and Girls Club to mentor their kids’ woodworking program. This allowed the Woodworking Club to outfit the shop with tools and machinery and develop a learning program to educate and challenge their members. The club has around 100 hardworking members who regularly share skills on numerous woodworking topics during meetings.

Turned Bowl
Another project by a D.W.C. member

Turned Bowl

Christmas Ornament
A Christmas turning by Denis Lalonde

Christmas ornament

The club has a well-developed education program where woodworking experts are invited to educate members on all aspects of woodworking. Many tool, equipment and material manufacturers have made presentations, teaching members how to use their products safely and properly. Similarly, many professional woodworkers have introduced members to the skills and techniques they have learned over the years. Some of the topics have included carving, canoe- and boat-building, and studio furniture making. These programs are offered at regular weekly meetings.

The club organizes a number of programs, which the members volunteer their time to assist with: kids’ scroll-sawing, teen woodturning, toy building and working with local charities.

Offered to preteens, the kids’ scroll-sawing program provides them with an introduction to woodworking. Experienced woodworkers mentor the youngsters and allow the students to safely progress at their own speed. Woodturning Teens progress from spindle turning through pen, bowl and box turning projects. Often this is the only opportunity for kids and teens to learn about the joys of woodworking.

Something the club is particularly proud of, the ongoing toy-building program, has provided up to 500 toys annually to local charities for Christmas toy drives. Also working with local charities, members have provided additional services such as building, modifying and repairing cabinetry and storage units. Furthermore, members’ projects are coveted as prizes for charity auctions and fund raising programs. As I said, these are hard-working woodworkers!

The club has an extensive library that includes plans, books and videos. The well-equipped shop is about 700 square feet and has a wide selection of machines for everyone to use. To learn more about the club visit

Rob Brown - [email protected]

Rob is a studio furniture maker and the editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. Instagram at @RobBrownTeaches

1 comment

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  2. Looks like we have to take out a 25-30 year old black walnut tree in Pickering. Can you think of a good use for the wood? I hate to see it wasted. Thanks, Susan

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