About Us

For the 2019 Calendar Year, the officers of the Lincoln Land Woodturners are, as follows:

• Steve McNeil, President
• Michael Blankenship, Vice President
•  Tom Zehr, Secretary
•  Ted Laffey, Treasurer

Meet some of our members…


Michael Blankenship
Michael Blankenship is a completely blind wood turner. He became blind from a rare disease called AZOOR in 2003. He was a woodworker all of his life but never turned wood into bowls until he became blind. Michael taught himself to turn wood by listening to videos.

Michael has been demonstrating for varies symposiums and clubs throughout the country, sharing his techniques and methods so that all turners, despite their disabilities, won’t give up their love of turning, as well as inspiring others to start turning.

He has also been featured in two international magazines: Woodturning Design and Woodturning Magazine UK. He has also been featured on a PBS TV show called Illinois Stories. Video Oct. 2019 demo at St. Louis turners;   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW4FzP_owz0   For more about Michael and his amazing journey into woodturning, please visit the Turning Blind Website.

Don DixonDon Davis
Don Davis is the immediate past president of the Lincoln Land Woodturners and has had a lifelong love of woodworking, tools and machinery, although his discovery of the lathe as an artistic means of self expression came later in his work.

After nearly 40 years in healthcare management,  Don retired in 2010. Having  extra “free” time has allowed him to attend regional and national symposiums and participate as a member of  Lincoln Land Woodturners (Springfield, IL),  the American Association of Woodturners, and Gallery 510 Arts Guild (Decatur, IL), where his work is both displayed and available for purchase.


John Dixon
John Dixon is the past President of the Lincoln Land Woodturners and first became interested in the lathe when he was in high school in Industrial Arts.  Some 20 years later and he was bitten by the bug again,   upgraded his lathe a couple of times and is currently turning pens, bowls, vases, ornaments, bottle stoppers with several other items in the works.

John is also a member of the American Association of Woodturners and put his ideas to work as he lead our club to help other turners learn and share new ideas. You can learn more about John and his work on his website.