E. Texas Woodturners using craft to help Van tornado victims

E. Texas Woodturners using craft to help Van tornado victims

VAN, TX (KLTV) - It's a craft that's been around for more than 2000 years, and now woodturning is helping those effected by the Van tornado.

Members of the East Texas Woodturners say they helped remove fallen trees for Van residents, but they realized they could use their craft to turn what would be trash into something of value.

The East Texas Woodtuners have been around since the 1990's and have about 100 members.

"Woodturning is nothing more than mounting a piece of wood on a special machine that turns the wood, and you hold a chisel up against it and it turns some sort of a shape," said East Texas Woodturners President Dennis Lorenz.

Depending on what you decide to create, it's a process that could take a few hours, several days, and sometimes months.

"This could be a chair leg, it could be a pin, it could be a bowl,various types of hallow forms..." Lorenz said.

Van resident Kelvin Burton joined the woodturners about five years ago. He said he spent many days helping with cleanup efforts in his community.

"I took my chainsaw and started cutting down some of the trees that had fallen on their house," Burton said.

But that's when he realized he could do a little more and make sure the fallen trees didn't go to waste.

"We could tie it in with the interest in woodturning, but at the same time helping the community," Burton said.

Burton has created a fundraiser page. and now anyone can get their hands on a design that's one of a kind.

"They can choose from the various bowls that members have put up, or choose one of these blanks so you can do your own turning," Lorenz said.

These woodturners hope their creations remind the community that treasure can be found anywhere.

So far the group has raised over $5,400, and all the money is going to the Van tornado relief fund.

The East Texas Woodturners meets every second Saturday of each month at TJC West, in room 104. To learn how to purchase items for the fundraiser, click here. 

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