SWAT Background

Did you  know this about SWAT?

Each year, the South West 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.

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 across the country.

The 2021 Symposium will be held August 27-29th 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:

1.      An Art Gallery where attendees may display up to ten (10) pieces of their work (some may be for sale). The Art Gallery will be open to the public (COVID protocol permitting).

2.      The opening ceremony will introduce the volunteers and demonstrators and will conduct the first part of a 3-for-1 Raffle (3-for-1 Raffle is open to registered participants only, and you must be present to win) for tools and artwork throughout the weekend. The Raffle on Friday morning will be for a midi-lathe and a scholarship to Arrowmont. The SWAT Banquet on Saturday night is highlighted with the second drawing featuring beautifully turned art pieces.

3.      The third drawing will be held on Sunday at lunch. All tickets drawn at each earlier drawing (Friday and Saturday) are returned to the bin prior to the next drawing, earning the 3-in-1 name. During the final drawing, the prizes will consist of midi-lathes, a large assortment of woodturning tools and accessories, and finally, a full-sized lathe.

4.      There will also be a myriad of vendors on-site, selling equipment and supplies at very competitive prices.

5.       Lunches are provided during the three-day event for paid attendees.

6.      In addition to the demonstrations, Special Interest Group sessions, or presentations for Women in Turning, World of Woodturners, Turners-to-Go and Beads of Courage are planned.

7.      There will be several areas offering hands-on opportunities to try for yourself, such as turning a pen or sharpening a tool. It is a chance for some one-on-one coaching from experienced turners.

8.      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!

Henry Pennell, SWAT President 2021

Eating at SWAT is a second runner-up to the demonstrations and the raffle.

SWAT 2021