SWAT Background

Did you know this about SWAT?

Each year, the Southwest Association of Turners (SWAT) holds one of the largest woodturning symposiums in the world.

SWAT is an all-volunteer non-profit organization which allows the price to remain affordably low. The Symposium features demonstrations from nationally and internationally recognized turners, as well as outstanding regional turners selected from participating clubs and throughout, the country.


The SWAT Executive Committee and Board of Directors is constantly striving to improve the symposium.  This year you will see:

* An additional “9” demonstrations put on by OTI (Ornamental Turners International)  This is the first year that OTI is joining with SWAT to make this symposium a more well rounded woodturning experience.

*  Several new vendors and the return of many vendors who haven’t attended  the    symposium in the last few years.

The 2024 Symposium, our 32nd, will be held August 23-25th at the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Avenue, Waco, Texas. The SWAT Symposium will offer something for every level of wood turner and their spouse.

The Symposium features:

  • 72 woodturning demonstrations from both Lead and Regional Demonstrators
  •  An Art Gallery and Vendor area open to attendees and public.
  •  The Art gallery is where attendees may display and sell their work.  The Gallery also contains examples of SWAT charity efforts including wood turned boxes being donated to the Beads of Courage program. Several hundred Beads of Courage boxes are displayed each year and subsequently made available to several hospitals.
  •  The Vendor area has a myriad of vendors on-site, demonstrating and selling equipment and supplies at very competitive prices.
  • An opening ceremony where SWAT volunteers and demonstrators are introduced, and the 1st drawing, or the 3-for-1 raffle is held.
  •  A dinner on Saturday night where attendees can greet and meet old/new friends and artists.
  •  A 3-for-1 Raffle of tools, accessories, wood, and lathes.   
  •  Raffle Tickets are sold online during registration or onsite from Thursday through Sunday morning. You must be present to win.
  •  The first drawing, for a midi lathe and Arrowmont Scholarship is held during the Opening ceremonies on Friday morning.
  •  The second drawing, for beautiful art turnings, donated by artists, is held at the Saturday night dinner.
  •  The third drawing, for tools, accessories, wood, 2 midi lathes and 1 full size lathe is held at the Sunday lunch.
  •  All tickets drawn at earlier drawings on Friday and Saturday are returned to the bin prior to the next drawing, earning the 3-in-1 name.
  •  Lunches are provided for all attendees during the three-day event
  •  Special Interest Groups including Women in Turning, World of Woodturners, Turners-to-Go and Beads of Courage will also meet during SWAT.
  •  There will be several areas offering hands-on opportunities to try for yourself, such as turning a pen, sharpening a tool, or turning a bowl. It is a chance for some one-on-one coaching from experienced turners.

Bring your spouse! SWAT will have a full schedule of activities and special classes designed for the non-turning spouse.


I look forward to seeing you in Waco!

Pam Thompson, SWAT President 2024


SWAT 2024