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Why did you start turning wood? (Read 223 times)
Ron Sardo
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Why did you start turning wood?
Oct 30th, 2017 at 8:06am
 
QOTW:Why did you start turning wood?

Being a flat woodworker I hadn't considered becoming a woodturner. I was making a dropleaf table with draws on the short sides and I couldn't find knobs that looked good. The white porcelain, glass or metal ones looked horrible and I couldn't find wooden ones of the same species that had the color or correct grain direction that I was looking for. I had jokingly mentioned to my wife I needed a lathe to make my own and she chuckled.

A few months later it was Christmas and my daughters had gifted me a set of Sorby woodturning tools. I figured they didn't realize what the tools were for and not wanting to disappoint them I said that they were a wonderful gift and thanked the for them. They giggled when they walked away the way only young sisters can.

A few hours later my wife needed something to be put together and I needed a screwdriver. So I went down into my shop and nearly tripped over a box. Inside the box was a new Jet 1236 lathe.

They got me!

I didn't put the lathe together until summer when I found another turner to give me lessons and how to sharpen my tools.

There was no turning back.
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Cliff De Witt
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #1 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 10:46am
 
I started in pottery in High School, turned bowls and urns for YEARS.
One day, I saw a  demonstration of turning at a fair, it looked nice.

The turner sanded and finished the bowl and was done! I realized that once I took something off the wheel I still had three more months of work to do on it. 

I was doing wood fired pottery so I had LOTS of wood on the property and one thing led to another and now the Kiln is used to cook brisket and turkeys this time of year.
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Glenn Roberts
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Walworth, NY, New York, USA
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #2 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 11:53am
 
Ron said: "... no turning back".

Good label for a shop entrance plaque, turning club, turned item, etc. I might use it as a name for the horse stall that I turn in.   

When I transported my Uncle's shop in AZ to NY, I wanted to see what the big deal was with this Shop Smith thing. After assembling it and trying to turn a bowling pin, there was "No turning back".
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The older I get, the better I was........
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Warren White
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #3 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 1:42pm
 
I needed to find something to occupy my time, since my wife was very busy making quilts and receiving blankets for humanitarian needs.  I called a good friend who had a lathe and who had shown me things he had made.  I asked if he would consider teaching me how to turn things.  He replied that he would "pay" me to come and learn!

I bought a Jet lathe on Craigslist, and began turning and loved it!  Next I took a class at Craft Supply and noted that the chuck we used was probably half the weight of my little Jet lathe.  So....I bought a Powermatic P2020.  I am very pleased with the lathe and the increased possibilities it presents.

I love this hobby and really appreciate all of the friends I have made who helped me when I needed it.  Once in a while I can reciprocate, to "pay it forward" and I enjoy that as well.
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Steve Arnold
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #4 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 10:10pm
 
During a woodshop class back in junior high school, with lots of help from my instructor, I turned my first bowl. I always told myself that someday I'd be turning another one. Over the years at various crafts fairs I'd encounter turners and walk away saying to myself that someday I'd find a way to turn another bowl like I had back in my school days.

Well, it's taken me about 45 years, but I finally made good on my promise to myself to turn a second bowl and now (sorry Ron) there's no turning back for me either.  Grin
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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #5 - Oct 31st, 2017 at 7:54am
 
I honestly don't know what the answer is to that question. It was something I had an interest in for several years. In the early 2000s I bought a used Smithy SuperShop, then after I was able to make and assemble a couple pen kits for Christmas 2005, there was "no turning back."
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« Last Edit: Oct 31st, 2017 at 7:55am by Tony Rozendaal »  

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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #6 - Oct 31st, 2017 at 9:54am
 
I had also turned a bowl in high school and loved it back then.

Now 2 score and a decade later, I thought I'd like to take a turning class and went to David Ellsworth's home in Pa for my reintroduction. Of couse that got me hooked and have since built my shop and bought tons of tools and tons of burls and hope to have it as a source of income in my later years when I close the frameshop.

On the plus side, since i'm buying all of these tools and such while still running my business, it all gets written off as a business expense on my taxes. Smiley Smiley
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Rich Gouette
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #7 - Oct 31st, 2017 at 2:27pm
 
My start is just beginning..wait, that's redundant

Ok, well anyway, I have decided that I wish to try my hand at making my own Uilleann pipe chanter.
So there, that's it.
Rather lofty goals , but who cares...I'm going to do it, or lose an eye trying(I hope not)

Have a 18" lathe, now am hunting for a chuck..
:}
Rich

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David Moeller
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #8 - Oct 31st, 2017 at 6:40pm
 
Ninth grade, 1956, made a too small mallet in woodshop. Scraping only. Took till 1968 to start for real. The mallet is on display in my shop.
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One good turn deserves another miscut!
 
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George Stratton
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Old Delta 12" 46-701 in great condition. Had it about 20+ years and turned 1 part.
Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #9 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 10:27am
 
Wood shop at Lane Tech High School in 1947 required everyone to make a small stool with 4 turned legs. Wife still has it around and early this year she decided she needs a spinning wheel. That really got me started in wood turning and now i'm loving it. Lots of small projects and the spinning wheel is collecting dust in the living room. I guess it was easier to make than use?
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #10 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 1:40pm
 
George..

I think she was just trying  to get you out of the house!! Shocked Grin

My mom did that to my Dad... ALOT!!! Smiley
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Steve Doerr
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #11 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 11:33pm
 
I started flat work in 1985.  About 2005, I started looking at turnings and saying that looks like fun.  I bought my first lathe in 2007 and the rest is just history. Don't do much flat work at all now--it takes too long Grin
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Rick Caron
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #12 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 7:46pm
 
I took wood shop class in high school for 4 years.   Always watched and recorded  Yankee work shop.  Made a few pieces of furniture and decided  straight cuts were boring.  Bought  a like new  1975 delta lathe in 2012,  was hooked.  Took a class @ wood craft  using a jet midi lathe.  Bought one.    now own a nova dvr xp.   I have  many tools in my little  20x32 ft. shop.  but always go to my lathe.    I like the freedom to change my bowl design at any given minute.  Never going back.
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David Hill
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Re: Why did you start turning wood?
Reply #13 - Nov 3rd, 2017 at 11:57pm
 
I used to just refinish/repair antiques as a hobby and occasionally make some change.  Visited with my father in law who had a Shopsmith, liked it and got one & started using it to make all kinds of things -was pretty happy/relaxing.  Then I saw a show where the SS was configured as a lathe.  Hadn’t done that yet, so decided to give it a “whirl” — I really liked it!!—there was no turning back. Quickly exceeded what it could do and started on a journey of ever bigger lathes (and tools, and chucks, and chainsaws etc).
Someday I’ll try pens & other small stuff— I really love doing the bigger things.  Have no shortage of woods— folks just give me trees.
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Everyday liberating nice things from ordinary chunks of wood---and I like gnarly wood, the outcome is nearly always better than the start.
 
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