View Full Version : Turner Interview: Dick Parr

Mark Cothren
03-07-2006, 11:43 AM
Name: Dick Parr

DOB: 9/24/49

Physical description (G-rated, please)

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
Knoxville Tn, 1987-present
Seattle Wa, 1978-1987
Honolulu Hawaii, 1973-1978
Long Beach Ca, 1968-1973

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
Mickey and I have been together 31 years this month and married 29 years, we have 3 daughters and 6 grand kids

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done previously)
Now Retired, I spent almost 10 years in the Navy as a nuclear components
welder and quality supervisor and then last year retired after 25 years in
the aircraft quality field as a ISO auditor and a Lead Designated
Manufacturing Inspection Representative to the FAA along with a number of other jobs like quality planner, procurement quality, source quality,
corrective action and material review.

Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
Grizzly- 10" left tilt cabinet saw, 18" band-saw, 2hp dust collector, 15"
planner and belt and disk sander combo. DeWalt 12" CMS, Craftsman 12" RAS, Delta 16" scroll saw, 8" Delta Grinder, Craftsman 15" drill press, Delta
shaper/router, Jet 6" jointer, Jet Mini Lathe, Nova DVR Lathe and an
overhead dust collector. I just got a Clark Mig Welder since my youngest
daughter said she wanted to learn how to weld. She didn't do to bad for the first time ever seeing one in person let alone doing it herself.

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
I have 2, had 3, the Jet mini that was my first lathe and I kept it to do
small stuff on, I did own an old 12" x 36" Rockwell/Delta lathe that I sold
when I got my DVR. Since my arthritis has limited me to how much I can lift the 16" DVR is more then enough lathe for me. So far it has done all that I have asked of it. Last year I got smart and installed a vacuum chuck for the DVR and it sure does a fine job on the bottoms of tunings.

How many turning tools do you have?
45 including a Ketron hollowing setup and tool rests. One home made
steady rest and a Oneway bowl steady rest and two compression chucks.

Tell us about your shop
After a few years of sharing a place with the cars and the washer and dryer my lovely wife said I could build a shop out back (I think she was tired of all the saw dust in the clean cloths, hint-hint for those wanting a shop). So I built a 24' x 24' with 10' ceiling, gas heat and a window air
conditioner. I have water run into the shop for a wash tub and plumbing in place for later resale. The shop is well insulated with one 9 foot door,
one 3 foot window and a 3 foot entrance door.

How long turning?
It has been less then 2 years since I got my Jet mini.

What got you into turning?
The Freedom Pen Project on SMC and not being able to do much other
woodworking at the time because of my arthritis.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
The accomplishment of starting out with a log and turning it into something without a plan, just letting the wood dictate what it is.

What was your first completed turned project?
10 pens for the FPP

What is your favorite form that you turn?
Mostly bowls shapes and I am really starting to appreciate the hollow form.

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
I guess that would have to be segmented hollow forms because I don't have the patients it would take to do that type of turning.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
Cherry, it is some wonderful wood to work with and ends up really nice
looking no matter what you make with it.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it.
I met Jim Ketron and Sparky Paessler last year during a trip to Jims to buy
some ambrosia maple blanks. Bill Chapman who went with me there and I let him drive.... Last year Big Mike, Jim and Joe Tonich came to a little get together I had with some of my neighbors. All are really great people to know and have as friends. Chris Barton has topped by a couple of times for a visit. I met Ken Salisbury at the FPP TA at woodcraft in Knoxville. There have been two others that stopped by a year or two ago and for the life of me I can not remember there names. I wish they would stop by again because they were also nice buys. I guess it's the SCR syndrome because its getting worse?

(editor's note: SCR, CRS, CMS? It's all the same at this point...:D )

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
I guess that would have to be the valentines day present I made for Mickey this year, it was that 26" Cherry and Walnut Platter. It was the first of a multi layer stack up and it pushed the limits of myself and the lathe.

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
That is a really hard one to answer since there are so many. All that turn
on SMC have turned something that I really like. I was fortunate enough to be able to have David Marks over one evening after going out for dinner for about 7 hours and held one of his guilted hollow forms. It was light as a feather and just simply beautiful.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
I said earlier that I didn't have the patients to make segmented turnings,
well I would really like to find out if I can or not. So that is my next
adventure that I would like to undertake.

What brought you to SMC?
Was surfing the net and came across a site that was starting up and it
sounded like a nice place, with nice people to make camp.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
Too many to say and most are X rated anyway's, and they are all lies.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you
be and why?
I will say Walnut but I can't say why because you said it had to stay

Keith Burns
03-07-2006, 11:52 AM
Great interview Dick. Its nice to know a little more about you. I wanted to tell you that YOU WILL BE DEMENTED SEGMENTED TURNER before long. I can see it coming.:)

Cecil Arnold
03-07-2006, 11:53 AM
Nice to meet you and get to know you a little better Dick. I'll bet the evening with David Marks was a great experience.

Bernie Weishapl
03-07-2006, 11:55 AM
Dick it is nice to meet you. Great interview.

Mark Cothren
03-07-2006, 12:02 PM
Hey Dick - which one are you in the picture??? :D

Michael Stafford
03-07-2006, 12:14 PM
Dick, I enjoyed your interview but I enjoyed coffee with you and Mickey in the morning those two days in July more than anything. It was great getting to know you and your own interview does not do you justice. You are a great guy!!!!:D

John Miliunas
03-07-2006, 12:20 PM
Dick, while I've always known you to be a super individual, it sure is nice to get a bit more insight into the guy behind all those nice pieces your turn out! :) :cool:

John Hart
03-07-2006, 1:05 PM
Your interview was fun to read Dick. Sounds like you have the best in life and make the most of it. Nice to meet you!!:)

Lou Morrissette
03-07-2006, 1:22 PM

Great interview. Thanks for sharing your background and experiences.


Glenn Clabo
03-07-2006, 2:32 PM
Nice to know ya Dick. Hope to get to meet you in person next time I visit the folks.
It is interesting how so many people around our age spent 8-10 years in the Navy.

Gordon Achterhof
03-07-2006, 2:45 PM
Very nice interview Dick. I am very pleased to meet you. Don't let uncle arthur get you down and keep on turning.


Jim Ketron
03-07-2006, 3:19 PM
Dick is a good friend of mine I'm proud to say.( believe it or not:D ) All kidding aside! He is the type of guy that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. A Great person to meet and know!
Nice to know a little more about you Dick!

Ernie Nyvall
03-07-2006, 4:27 PM
Nice to get to know you a little better Dick. Good interview and thanks for sharing your information.


Travis Stinson
03-07-2006, 6:56 PM
Wonderful interview Dick, I'm looking forward to meeting you myself. You sound like a "quality" kinda guy.:cool:
"Quality, who?":D

Bruce Shiverdecker
03-07-2006, 7:13 PM
Thanks, Dick. It's great to know a little more about you.

It's obvious that even with the arthritis, you enjoy life.


Andy Hoyt
03-07-2006, 7:17 PM
I knew I liked you and now I know why - 'nuther Navy vet. Nice to know you a bit better Dick.

Bob Noles
03-07-2006, 7:35 PM

What a wonderful interview! It is nice to get to know someone a little better that lives so close to my childhood home town of Kingston. I also remember all of the kind help you offered me by PM when I first became interested in the lathe and pen turning.

Thanks for sharing a great personal side of yourself with the rest of us.

btw.... great shots of you and David Marks. That had to be a fantastic experience and one to always remember.

Dale Thompson
03-07-2006, 10:53 PM
Thank you for the VERY interesting inteview! :) It's always great to get to know folks from all over the country!

Keep the chips flyin', Dick, and thanks again!! :) :D

Dale T.

doug webb
03-08-2006, 12:11 AM
Thanks for sharing with us Dick. Great interview.

Mike Ramsey
03-08-2006, 9:32 AM
Good to meet you Mr. Parr! Really enjoyed reading about you, your
family, & your visit from David Marks, that is way cool!

Paul Douglass
03-08-2006, 11:33 AM
Nice interview and nice to meet you. Admit it, you miss living in Seattle.

Ed Scolforo
03-08-2006, 2:49 PM
Thanks for sharing, Dick. Nice to get to know you better.

Curt Fuller
03-08-2006, 9:09 PM
Great interview Dick! Nice to know more about you.

Joe Breid
03-08-2006, 9:45 PM

Great interview. (only 2 years since the first lathe!!!) After visiting with you and seeing all of the great bowls and hollow forms that you have made, I am humbled by how you have developed your skill in such a short time.


Vaughn McMillan
03-09-2006, 2:11 AM
Great interview Dick, and it's nice seeing a bit more about you. You epitomize a lot of what SMC is all about. Having seen pictures of your work, I find it hard to believe you've only been turning for only two years.Well done.

- Vaughn

Don Orr
03-09-2006, 9:53 AM
Howdy Dick, nice to know you. Thanks for the great interview and photos.

Dick Parr
03-09-2006, 1:25 PM
Thanks again everyone for being such a great second family. This is such a great bunch of people from all over, just about everyone I enjoy knowing.:D

Corey Hallagan
03-09-2006, 8:54 PM
Excellent interview Dick. What a great time you must of had with David Marks.

Wolf Kiessling
03-10-2006, 10:57 AM
Fine interview, Dick. You gotta be a nice guy, ex-swabbie and all.....