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. In 2019, over 1000 attendees enjoyed this outstanding event in Waco, Texas.  In 2020, the SWAT symposium was cancelled due to Covid 19 considerations.  In 2021 SWAT was held live with approximately 850 attendees.

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 2022 Symposium, our 30th, will be held August 26-28th 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:

  • 63 woodturning demonstrations by 24 woodturning artists.
  • An Art Gallery and Vendor area open to attendees and public.
  1. 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.  In 2021 over 400 Beads of Courage boxes were displayed 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 first Drawing is held
  • A Banquet 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.        
  1. Raffle Tickets are sold Thursday through Sunday morning
  2. The first drawing, for a midi lathe and Arrowmont Scholarship is held during the Opening ceremonies on Friday morning
  3. The second drawing, for beautiful art turnings, donated by artists, is held at the Saturday night banquet
  4. The third drawing, for tools, accessories, wood, 2 midi lathes and 1 full size lathe is held at the Sunday lunch
  5. All tickers 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!

Tom Beatty, SWAT President 2022

SWAT 2022