View Full Version : Turner Interview: Joe Tonich

Mark Cothren
04-26-2006, 9:57 AM
Name: Joe Tonich

DOB: 3/25/60

Physical description (G-rated, please)
Burly, sorta the Grizzley Adams look.

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
Parma Hts, OH

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
I have a beautiful wife, Deb, and two wonderful sons, JJ & Johnny. (12 & 11)

We try to go camping a few times a year, especially like going to the islands in Lake Erie. Deb does crocheting as her hobby.

We have a 10 yr old yellow lab, Mellow Yellow, and 3 cats, Jerry, Meowth & Fluffy. Also have 18 fish and a farm full of ants. (Just set it up for John.)

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done
I work for the State of Ohio maintaining the highways. I plow and patch in the Winter and usually work the guardrail crew the rest of the year. Worked in a Fastener factory for 10 years previously. Ran the pickle house, where I was in charge of maintaining the acid tanks and running the overhead crane. I pickled the wire coils so they could be run on the header machines.

Before that I was in construction. Ran blueprints and cleaned job sites as soon as I was big enough, around 12-13 yrs old. Labored and worked up to running the inside construction of office and Medical Arts buildings, scheduling the Trades and figuring/ordering all materials needed. Went on my own for about a year after I was married in '88, but had to get my foot operated on after busting it up a few years earlier (long story, lets just say I have the worst luck picking Dr's) and needed a job that offered insurance.

Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
I guess the standard shop tools...Lathe's, Table Saw W/ router table, miter saw, Morticer, Drum and spindle sander, 6" joiner, 12 1/2" planer, not enough clamps

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
I have a Jet mini and a Jet 1236. Nothing baby poop yeller.........yet.

How many turning tools do you have?
I think about 14. I also built a vac chuck system last Fall.

Tell us about your shop
14'x22' pure unorganized mess. Started insulating the walls, had an injury setback, and have not done anything to it since.

Website? If so, what's the url?
A group of turning friends got together and we are in the midst of finishing up a website. www.flyingcurls.com (http://www.flyingcurls.com) I would appreciate any suggestions anyone might have to help me make my pages better.

How long turning?
About 7 years.....off & on....more off than on

What got you into turning?
I think it was when I discovered the old 'Badger Pond' forum. Saw a lot of beautiful turnings and met some awesome people at Ray Thompsons 'End of Pond' picnic. There was a lot of great instruction there and it got me more comfortable at the lathe.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
Taking an ordinary piece of firewood and finding something special inside.

What is your favorite form that you turn?
Intact. I really hate when they become UN-intact.

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
Vases and Hollow Forms. I love them forms.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
Cherry. It makes the shop smell sooooo gooooood, and it turns and sands beautifully.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it
Met Dick Parr a few years ago, when I first started thinking about moving to TN. He drove my family around showing us the town.All around good guy.

Met Jim Ketron and Big Mike at Dick's BBQ. Drove and camped out in AR to meet Mark Cothren, Joe Measle, and see Dennis Peacock again. Met Dennis first at Rays E.O.P. picnic. Great bunch of guys. Hoping to soon meet a few more at the end of June...;)

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
A little Black Locust bowl and plate I made for my Mom a few months before she died. It was my first and most special turning.

What if your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
To tell ya the truth, my favorites are the 'Firsts'. Then I can watch and be amazed at how much they improve as time goes by.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Vases and Hollow Forms. I've only turned one HF and definitely want to do more.

What brought you to SMC?
The closing of Badger Pond.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
'The Mule'....Whenever anyone had something heavy to move or carry, they always came and got 'The Mule' to give em a hand. Ever haul one of them old double bowled cement utility sinks up from a basement? I think that's when the name was born.

Also: Joesfault.....DON'T ASK!

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you
be and why?
Dunno if this makes sense, but, I'd be the big ol' Oak in the middle of a farmers field. The one they use as a reference point for straight furrows when plowing. I'm sort of a loner, prefering to be by myself as I get uncomfortable in crowds.

Mark Cothren
04-26-2006, 10:01 AM
I met Joe and his family last summer. I've also spent lots of time online chattin' with this mountain of a man. I've never met any nicer folks. The Tonich family is top-notch.

Joe is a big lad - looks mean enough to eat his own younguns...:eek: but he's as good-natured and pleasant a guy as you'll ever meet. Not a bad woodspinner, either...;)

Ken Fitzgerald
04-26-2006, 10:03 AM
Excellent interview! Nice to meet you Joe and to get to know a little more about you.

Paul Douglass
04-26-2006, 10:05 AM
Hey Joe! Nice to meet you. I enjoyed the interview. Nice picture of the family sitting by the camp fire. That is where the best conversations take place.

John Miliunas
04-26-2006, 10:17 AM
Joe, truly a pleasure to finally "meet" you!!! Sounds like you've got background in any number of things, which in one way or another, add value to your life. :) From the work I've seen come off your lathes, I'm not certain "baby poop yeller" is mandatory for you! Seems you do a fine job on the equipment you already have! :D Looks as though the LOYL does some nice work, too! Great seeing your family and getting to know you a bit better and really enjoy having you at the Creek! :) :cool:

Stu Ablett in Tokyo Japan
04-26-2006, 10:41 AM
Nice to meet you Joe, thanks for sharing!


Don Baer
04-26-2006, 10:48 AM
Nice interview, Joe and nice family too.

Keith Burns
04-26-2006, 11:11 AM
Nice to meet you up close and personally Joeitsallyourfault:) :D . Can't wait to shake your hand in person. Great interview!

David Duke
04-26-2006, 12:07 PM
Nice to meet you Joe, great looking family!!

That cherry bowl would probably fetch a pretty penny down here if the right Longhorn fan saw it.........then again watch out for the Aggies it might end up on the bonfire!

Dennis Peacock
04-26-2006, 2:36 PM
Great interview Joe. All I can say......is that.....I've met you twice, I've enjoyed your company twice and wished you lived next door.!! :rolleyes: :D

Michael Stafford
04-26-2006, 3:18 PM
I met Joe and his family at Dick Parr's picnic and the worst thing I can say about him is that he is just good people. Joe is a gentle giant, a thoughtful man and would give you the shirt off his back if you need it. I had a great time with him that long weekend and have continued to enjoy his wit and thoughtfulness through chats and PM's and e-mails. Joe you are a great guy despite the fact that most of the things that go wrong are "Joe's Fault"!!!:p :D :D

Mark Cothren
04-26-2006, 3:58 PM
...and would give you the shirt off his back if you need it.

Would that be the neon green shirt, Mike?

Brad Schmid
04-26-2006, 5:18 PM
Nice interview, and it's a pleasure to meet you Joe!

Jim Ketron
04-26-2006, 5:22 PM
I have had the pleasure of meeting Joe and Family, Like the others have said Good People! And I second Big Mikes Post!
Hope to see ya soon again Joe!

Andy Hoyt
04-26-2006, 5:57 PM
Geez, I'd heard you were a nice guy.

But now that I know you're hanging out with all those "other" guys, I dunno.

Travis Stinson
04-26-2006, 6:44 PM
Great interview! Joe, I really hate that you couldn't make it down for the party, but I hope to be able to meet you in June.:cool:

Bruce Shiverdecker
04-26-2006, 6:55 PM
Evenin' Joe. Thanks for sharing about you and your thoughts as well as your thoughts of some of the other SPECIAL people here on the CREEK.

Those that you have had the pleasure of meeting obviously Are SPECIAL people, both Talanted and personable, too.

One of the many things I LOVE about the site!


Glenn Hodges
04-26-2006, 7:33 PM
Glad to get to know you better Joe.

Curt Fuller
04-26-2006, 8:40 PM
Glad to get to know more about you Joe. You have a great looking family too. But a guy that keeps ants for pets, I don't know about that;) .

George Conklin
04-26-2006, 8:40 PM
Wonderful interview, Joe. Nice to know a little more about you.

Bernie Weishapl
04-27-2006, 12:35 AM
Nice interview Joe. I am pleased to meet ya and get to know more about you.

John Hart
04-27-2006, 5:06 AM
I met Joe once...just for a couple of minutes at Rockler. Not long enough to rate as a Creeker visit, but enough to know that Joe is one of those folks that you immediately like.;) Nice interview Joe! I hear there's some great places to camp out in my new neck of the woods. You and your family are welcome anytime! :)

Don Orr
04-27-2006, 2:42 PM
Pleased to meecha!:D Real nice interview.

Ed Scolforo
04-27-2006, 6:18 PM
Joe, Really nice interview. Nice to get to know you better.

Ernie Nyvall
04-29-2006, 10:54 PM
Nice looking family Joe. Glad to meet you.


Corey Hallagan
04-29-2006, 11:15 PM
Nice to meet you Joe. Great looking family and looks like you got a good thing going with lotf of freinds and family.


Dick Parr
04-30-2006, 8:41 AM
Joe and his family are really great people. I was lucky to meet them when they wanted to move south and Mickey and I have enjoyed their company every time they head south now.