About David Swiger


When Rude Osolnik was asked, "Rude, how do I become a good turner?", Rude replied," stand at the lathe."


Early Influence

My early years were influenced by my father who was a die maker cutting out patterns and setting knives to stamp out various boxes; including candy, ice cream, cereal, wax paper (yep Cut-rite’s boxes), etc.  Dad had to cut out these patterns to within 1/32 of an inch freehand with a scroll saw.  I was marveled by his skill to do so.  It is this influence that guides my woodworking and woodturning endeavors to this day and always will.

Recent Years

After retiring as a Naval Combat System Engineer in 2004, I started Swiger WoodWorks, LLC, building custom woodworking benches, furniture, cabinets and doors.  However, woodturning was always calling my name in the background; a carryover from my middle school days when I first turned on a lathe. Encouraged by my wife Brenda, and others, I redirected my woodworking efforts into woodturning. I immediately discovered feelings of serenity, happiness and pleasure… feelings of contentment!

To become an accomplished professional turner, I mentored two years with Don and Harriet Maloney of Bluemount, VA; well-known turners in the Washington, DC area.  That mentoring process has now turned into a collaboration of encouraging each other to improve our skills.  Every Tuesday I pack up tools and wood and head to their studio.  This camaraderie continues to pay big dividends in the quality of my work.  To further my capabilities, I take classes and workshops yearly with both internationally and nationally known professional turners including the likes of Liam O’Neil, David Ellsworth, Jimmy Clewes, Mike Sorge, Jamie Donaldson, and others.

Additionally, I attend the Annual American Association of Woodturners Symposium where I am influenced by turning demonstrators like Mark Baker, Liam Flynn, and others with their theories on bowl and lidded box designs, hollow form turnings, etc.  It is the combination of all of these stimuli that continuously help me to define my wood art pieces and to propel my work to new levels.


Lastly, I need to mention the organizations I belong to. They too provide inspiration through monthly turning demonstrations and resource materials:

Mid-Maryland Woodturners Club, Frederick, MD – Served three years as President, one year as Program Director, and club demonstrator

Catoctin Area Turners, Leesburg, VA – general member and club demonstrator

American Association of Woodturners – general member of this international organization

Collectors of Wood Art – general member of this national organization


I have worked with Dave during my career and know that he takes pride in everything he does and his woodworking is no exception! It was very hard to choose a piece from Dave's turning collection because his workmanship is phenomenal in every piece he creates! I chose a copper oxidized bowl because the color is unique and it reminds me of the ocean.
I have been a customer of Dave's for a couple years now and I keep coming back!  His talent and expert skill come through in every piece that he creates.  Dave has made several custom turnings for me and is always up for the challenge and very accommodating to individual tastes, requests, and requirements. His utility pieces (salad and fruit bowls, pepper mills, and kitchen tools) are finely crafted and sturdy.  They are as much works of art as they are utilitarian.  His toys and gifts (tops, kaleidoscopes, etc.,) are more than playthings, they are actual legacy items to be handed down to the next generation.  My favorite pieces are his artistic turnings (bowls, boxes, and vases, etc.) which are finely detailed works of art, but I must caution you as they can become addictive collectors' items! Dave seems to be able to draw out the maximum beauty that resides inside each piece of wood that he turns.  His works epitomize the words: artisan and craftsman.
Contentment Turnings -- it doesn't get any better than this. Unique, timeless, quality items.