FVWG Demonstrator Assessment Process

Members of the FVWG who demonstrate at Guild sponsored events need to be approved. The following is the process and criteria for a member to become approved.  The need for assessment is strictly one of safety, and the need to operate a lathe in such a manner as to not endanger any spectators.

Approval Assessors

A group of approved assessors under the supervision of the Executive is available to assess the demonstrator’s ability to select and complete a project that is safe for public viewing. The demonstrators will show they are competent in the safe operation of the lathe and the use of the tools.

Approval Process

A member wishing to qualify as a demonstrator should contact an assessor and arrange for a convenient time and place for the assessment. The member should discuss the project with the assessor.  It should be one that is easily done in a short period of time and of a nature that is appropriate for demonstrating in public. During the assessment the assessor may or may not engage the member and may or may not give advice. After the assessment the assessor will go over their findings, discussing the highlights and any short falls.

Assessment Criteria

Things that need to be considered are obvious and part of any instruction on lathe practices and are mentioned in many publications, however, they need to be included here for the benefit of the assessor and the member so that both are on the same footing.

1. Setup

  • The blank is correctly and securely mounted in the lathe.
  • Proper speed has been selected.
  • Tool rest set properly and clear of the blank
  • Spectators control is in place such as distance from the operation or appropriate screening.

2. Personal Attire

  • Appropriate clothing is worn with no pieces able to interfere with the lathe.
  • Appropriate face and eye protection is worn
  • No dangling items are worn such as jewelry, name tags, watches, etc

3. Choice of material and project

  • The project should be of an appropriate size for the limited time available.
  • The project should be simple enough to complete in a limited amount of time
  • The project should not be offensive to the audience:
  • limited sanding
  • material does not have an offensive or dangerous odor
  • processes do not produce excessive smoke
  • Material that is free of defects which might cause catastrophic failure.

4. Tools and techniques – Basic techniques that should be observed.

  • the appropriate use of the bevel when turning.
  • placement of the tool rest for height and distance from the project to insure proper tool contact
  • the correct toolrest height for scrapers, whether you are flat scraping or sheer scraping, in relation to the type of cut, interior or exterior in face plate turning
  • selection of the appropriate tool to accomplish the task which the demonstrator is comfortable and confident using.

The Report

After discussing the report with the member the report should be initialed by both parties and forwarded to the Secretary of the guild for filing and entering the successful candidates name to the list of qualified demonstrators. The report should be made in such a manner as to be as positive in nature as possible. A copy of the report must also be given to the member. Unsuccessful members should be encouraged to overcome any weakness and to apply for reassessment

As the assessment process is for the purpose of qualifying members, it is not the responsibility of the assessor to provide instruction or mentoring to the member, but if the assessor chooses to do so that is their prerogative.

Appeal Process

There will be those who feel they have not been correctly or fairly assessed.  Those people can contact the secretary and request a reassessment. A reassessment will be done by a different assessor. The second assessor must not make contact with the first assessor to in any way discuss the original assessment or the member; or view the original report.


All evaluations they are to be private and confidential between the assessor and the member. The only other viewing will be by the secretary for clerical reasons or the executive for assessment for appeal.

Related documents:

Safety Standards for Demonstrating in Public

Demonstrator Assessment Report – FVWG


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