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Like many of the turners here on WR, I started wanting to turn in my Grandfather's shop.  We would visit from time to time and I would get to go with my dad to see what was new and different in grand-dad's shop.  Most times he would through some chunk of wood on the lathe and turn out a lamp or a section for a bed post that he was working on.  I'll never forget dad saying something about turning and the next thing any of us knew he was turning a floor lamp, one piece that they drilled on a floor drill press after taking the platform off of it completely and raising the turned pole up into the bit by hand.  Still scares me and makes me wonder how they didn't blow out the side of that lamp.

I finally got my chance in high school shop.  I had completed the obligatory basic projects and several "teacher's pet" kinds of things, when I finally found a picture of a two legged chair.  The back was a flat panel with a turned leg extending from the seat for the second leg.  I sold the teacher on the project saying that I would cut and turn the pieces needed in scale for sized from 1" tall to twice called for dimensions.  After the first one, he began to show me the difference between cutting and scrapping.  I was, needless to say, hooked with turning.  However, moves, college, marriage, the '80's, and the like put my passion for turning on hold.

Fast forward several years, dad is turning pens and shows it to me.  I'm hooked again.  Comes by the office and says, "How'd you like to take a bowl turning class with me? I'll make it your birthday present."  What was I going to say but "Of course.  Sounds like fun."  The rest is history.  I turn for fun and occasionally sell a piece.  I find that turning is relaxing, even when I have a lot of turning to do.  The wood always holds surprises for me and offers all sorts of interesting twists and turns.  My favorite wood is anything that surprises me.  For instance, the pimento vase with the void in the side was a real surprise.  I had no idea that there was a water pocket and punky wood in the center of the blank.  It had even been sitting in my shop for over a year before I turned it.  Local woods that have come down by storm or taken down because they were potentially dangerous are my favorites to collect for turning.

We were turning on an old ShopSmith then.  Not long after the bowl class we purchased a Nova Mercury which made a world of difference.  Once Connie and I moved away from Louisville I bought a Mercury for myself.  A couple of years later I upgraded to a Nova 1624-44 which currently use.  There is one more lathe that I would like to purchase some day, a Vega bowl lathe.  But that is on the wish list for a time down the road a ways.

A member of Louisville Area Woodturners.  Professional instruction has come from Woodcraft instructor, Jimmy Clews (twice), and Terry Daniel.

While spindle turning is not my favorite, everything turning is fair game.  Whether open or closed bowl forms, platters, boxes, hollow forms, vases, ornaments, or goblets, I just love to turn when life allows some time. 

My favorite project currently is teaching my 8 year old son to turn pens.  He loves it but I'm not so sure I'm not the one getting more out of it
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Apple Box

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Camphor Hollow Form

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Cherry Stand Bowl

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2 from 1 Cottonwood Bowls

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Kauri

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Maple Burl  

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Maple Platter

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Pimento