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I got interested in woodturning after my brother in-law bought a lathe and started turning some candlesticks and other small things. I thought it was kind of neat. About that time a friend that knew I liked tools offered to sell me a lathe ( cheap Harbor Freight ) with a set of cheap tools. I bought it and started playing around making some small bowls and got hooked. I built myself another lathe from an old Craftsman lathe bed , tail stock with a riser block, an old buffer-polishing head for the headstock, and a treadmill motor. I turned on that for about a year and figured I needed more power and swing for larger vessels so I bought a Oneway 2436 and am very happy with it.

At this point I would like to say to anyone who might read this, new to woodturning or not, that you don't have to have a big expensive lathe and turning tools to make some beautiful and useful things. Just use what you have or can afford, take your time, be patient, and enjoy this wonderful art.

I have a background in construction as a carpenter, a general contractor, and then specializing in building cabinetry and furniture. After I started turning I soon discovered the almost unbelievable beauty and wonder that can be found under and including the bark of an ordinary tree.

I'm kind of self taught with the help of books, internet sources, a few demonstrations from other turners, and sharing with the generous members of my woodturning club. The Antelope Valley Woodturners Association.

I usually like to use the whole log for my turnings with the pith included. They will usually crack in the pith but they can be inlaid with crushed stone, brass, silver, other metals, shell, or a vast array of other substances, that I and many of my customers like and think add character to the piece. I prefer turning natural edge pieces and go to a lot of extra trouble to keep the bark in tact. Things like steaming, gluing, taping, and anything else that helps. I also have accordian partitions that I can pull out on both sides of my lathe so with a clean floor a lost piece of bark is easier to find. I think the extra time and effort is worth it because the bark lends so much more color and character to a turning.

I usually rough turn from green wood, boil them, soak them in a soap solution, sometimes freeze them, seal the end grain, dry them in paper bags, and then re-turn them to final thickness and finish. I usually finish with multiple coats of lacquer. I also have a background in the auto body and painting field[ way back when I was a pup] that, combined with finishing cabinets and furniture is probably why, after trying a lot of others, I settled for lacquer as my preferred finish. I understand it more, it's easy to repair, and I like the way it looks. All of my vessels are finished the same inside and out.

I fell in love with woodturning and hope to pursue my passion for this art for many years to come, and hope a few people enjoy seeing and perhaps owning some of my work.

Martin's work can be found at:
Terra Fine Art Images - 155 S. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs Ca.; The Classic Art Gallery 73-847 El Paseo Palm Desert Ca.; and The Lilac Imporium 19921 Sasia Rd. Tehachapi Ca.



  Natural edge Black Locust
7"w x 7"h
lacquer finish.
  Natural edge Brazilian Pepper burl
7"w x 8"h
lacquer finish.
  Natural edge Carob burl
7"w x 9"h
lacquer finish.
  Natural edge Carob with turquoise inlaid in the insect tunnels
6"w x 10"h
lacquer finish.
  Natural edge cherry burl,
8"w x 11"h
lacquer finish.
  Natural edge Oak
ebonized with vinegar and rusty metal
7"w x 8"h
lacquer finish.
  Natural edge Kaizuka
" Hollywood Twisting Juniper"
6"w x 7"h
lacquer finish.
  Manzanita burl
6"w x 10"h
Finished with True Oil.
  Natural edge Mesquite with turquoise inlaid in the pith cracks
6" x 6.5"
lacquer finish.
  Pecan pet urn 3.5"w x 6"h with an ironwood lid, lacquer finish. The inside is sealed with epoxy resin, the body and lid are fitted with brass threaded inserts. Made for a family member's little Pug dog.  
  Natural edge Poplar Burl
6.5" x 10"
lacquer finish
  Natural edge Spalted silver maple
8" x 9"
Lacquer finish.
  Natural edge spalted Mimosa with turquoise inlaid an the insect tunnels.
7.5" x 9"
Lacquer finish.
  Square turned figured walnut lidded box 5"wx4"h' with a birdseye redwood lid, and a through ironwood finale. Finished in lacquer.  
  Natural edge Mesquite with insect tunnels
9"w x 8"h
lacquer finish
  Natural edge Yellow Eucalyptus with twisted bronze wire-rope lacing
6"w x 9"h
lacquer finish.

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