View Full Version : Turner Interview: Jim Ketron

Mark Cothren
04-28-2006, 7:42 AM
Name: Jim Ketron

DOB: 10/29/72

Physical description (G-rated, please)
5’-9” tall 230 lbs + and I’m built like a stump.

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
Weber City Va. It’s in Scott Co. and I have lived here all my life.
No other place I would rather be!

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
I have been married to my lovely wife Krista for 5 years we each have 3 children from previous marriages Jarred, Justin, Courtney, Jewell, Lindsey, Kayla, and we have a set of Twin Boy and Girl Babies, Riley and Grace. Yes that’s 8 kids! You don’t know how many times I have to tell people over and over on how many kids we have. So it’s real busy at the Ketron Home! But I manage to get some turning time, not as much as I would like but sometimes you got to do what you got to do.

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done
I’m a 2nd Generation Sprinkler Man. I install fire protection systems. That’s all I have ever done.

Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
I have several woodworking tools - I will just name the bigger items. PM 3520, Vacuum pump, Jet Mini, Grizzly bansaw, Delta 13 1/2” planer, old Sears 6” jointer, 4 routers, 1 router table, Delta floor drill press, Delta mortiser, C-man TS, C-man RAS, and several hand and smaller tools.

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
My primary lathe is the PM 3520. And my first lathe and still use it some is a Jet Mini.

How many turning tools do you have?
I have several turning tools, many I have made myself - here are a few of my homemade ones. My version of the Wolverine jig set up, bowl/hollow form steady, captured hollowing rig, handle from pipe for my P&N gouge.

Vacuum pump, 7 bowl gouges, 4 parting tools, several spindle gouges and standard turning tools, bowl scraper, McNaughton coring rig, Sorby spiraling/texturing tool, 2 Talon chucks, and a bunch of other smaller items.

Tell us about your shop
I built my shop in July of 04, its 24’ X 20’ its basically a turning shop now all the other tools are used for tables or collecting dust!

Website? If so, what's the url?
I and some of my friends decided to go in together and do a group website. I think it’s a great idea and keeps the cost down from having one each for ourselves. Most of us have them ready, check it out and give us some feedback on it!
www.flyingcurls.com (http://www.flyingcurls.com)

How long turning?
I have been turning since 4/30/04 - almost 2 years in a week or so.

What got you into turning?
Looking at all the nice things that were shown on here and then going to the local Woodcraft store during grand opening and seeing some demos. Went home and ordered one that night!

What do you enjoy most about turning?
Putting a wet blank on the lathe and letting the curls just fly as I watch the piece transform itself into a bowl or hollow form and giving that wood a new life for someone to enjoy.

What is your favorite form that you turn?
Mmmmmmm that is a tough one - I like turning bowls and hollow forms. But the pieces I like best is the ones that have natural character in them that only the Big Guy can do.

I would have to say natural edge winged bowls is top on the list for now, and hollow forms with natural character in them a very close 2nd

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
I have seen some nice work on here and in person from my friends. It would be hard to say which form it would be as I like so many different ones.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
My favorite is free wood! Anything curly!

(editor's note: Jim's favorite wood is really.........gumballs) (inside joke)

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it
I have attended 2 turning BBQs and have meet several Creekers and live close to a few.

Sparky Paessler Lives about 25 miles from me, Dick Parr, Joe Tonich, Big Mike Stafford, Bill Chapman, Ron Meadows, Kevin Gerstenecker, at Dicks BBQ
Travis Stinson, Mark Cothren, Keith Burns, Dennis Peacock, Rob Bourgeois at Travis BBQ

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
The Hard Maple natural edge winged bowl

(editor's note: see pic of this bowl below)

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
That would be Travis Stinsons Blue Buckeye hollow form that he made over a year ago amazing that he kept it together!

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Segmented work, and large platters when I get my outboard stand made.

What brought you to SMC?
Surfing the web and found it.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
I have a few, but most call me Jim

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you
be and why?
If I was a tree think I would want to be a fruit tree like an apple tree.
I could provide food for people to eat.

Editor's note: the last pic is one I had in my stash, just savin' it for a special occasion like this....;)

Mark Cothren
04-28-2006, 7:47 AM
Jim is one of the other guys on here that I've had the pleasure to meet. Him and his wife, Krista, are good as gold - well, Krista is, anyway...:D

Jim is a natural when it comes to spinnin' wood. He enjoys his craft and enjoys sharing with and teaching others. He's answered about 1,000 questions for me....;) He also built me a couple of tool rests from some materials that he, Dick Parr, and Joe Tonich provided. I use 'em every time I spin a chunk of wood!!!

If you get a chance to meet these folks, don't miss out!

Jim Davenport
04-28-2006, 7:54 AM
Wow, that's some beautiful work.

Glenn Hodges
04-28-2006, 7:58 AM
Jim, I have admired your work, and after reading your interview I understand why. Glad to get to know you better.

Ken Fitzgerald
04-28-2006, 8:00 AM
Jim............you've only been turning 2 years! I may just sell my stuff because I don't see me being anywhere near as good as you in 2 years!

Nice interview! Glad to get to know a little more about you!

I'm the oldest of a family that had 6 kids! If your family was like ours when I was growing up, I'll bet you need to turn just to try to maintain some sanity!.......As a kid in Wyoming ....I came home from an old coal mine lugging 7 sticks of dynamite:eek: .......that had some crystals growing on the outside of the paper coating....:eek: :eek:

I am always inspired by your turning!

Keith Burns
04-28-2006, 8:40 AM
I had the pleasure of meeting Jim at Travis' BBQ and I can attest that he is "one of a kind" and I mean that in a positive way. He is passionate about turning and his craft which we all know he is very good. He is also a great teacher likes to share his knowledge of which he has an abundance. I am proud an honered to call him my friend.

Pete Jordan
04-28-2006, 8:46 AM

I really admire your work and you are an inspiration as a turner.
On another note, I have 3 boys and that's why I decided to heat my garage/workshop just for peace and quiet. I can't imagine 8 kids but I am sure you do a great job.


Michael Stafford
04-28-2006, 9:15 AM
Jimbo is one of my first and longest internet/forum friends. He has been kind enough to build a steady rest for me, teach me about aspects of turning that I don't know much about (most of them) and serve as a sounding board for ideas. He has a good level head on his shoulder, not much hair though, and he is my buddy. I admire his work as I have been fortunate to see several pieces of it and even more fortunate to have two pieces in my collection. Jim you are far too modest. This is a great guy folks!!!:D

Paul Douglass
04-28-2006, 9:45 AM
Nice to meet you Jim. I have never met a Jim that wasn't a great guy. An you wear your hair just like I do! Great interview. Real cute little ones.

Travis Stinson
04-28-2006, 10:09 AM
I have to echo what Keith said. Jim is passionate about his work, and it shows! We've spent a lot of time bouncing ideas off each other, swapping wood, tips, tools, etc. I'm proud to know him and call him a friend.:cool:

Mike Ramsey
04-28-2006, 10:39 AM
Pleased to meet you Mr. Ketron! Been wondering what was under that
hat.......Great interview! So is eight enough or are you planning a few

Andy Hoyt
04-28-2006, 11:38 AM
Hey, Jim. While he may have made your head perfect, I'm not so sure about the rest of you. You and I share similar length, beam and displacement specs, so I know what I'm talking about. And eight younguns! Ouch! Bet it's really quiet on Christmas morning!

Joe Tonich
04-28-2006, 5:27 PM
I met Jim and his BETTER HALF..Krista...At Dicks BBQ. :D Matter of fact, he's the one that gave me some bowl turning techniques so the blank stays on the lathe and intact. VERY patient teacher...:D :D, which with me he needed to be. :o You couldn't meet a nicer guy! :D :D

Ed Scolforo
04-28-2006, 8:11 PM
Jim: Good to learn a little more about you. Your work is very impressive. It's easy to see what a nice guy you are. Great family!

Mark Cothren
04-28-2006, 10:33 PM
By the way guys... that last pic on the right - the one of Jim in "the shirt" is one from my personal collection... was savin' it for a special occasion like this...:cool:

Curt Fuller
04-28-2006, 11:01 PM
Well Jim, not much to say that hasn't already been said. I've been amazed at all your woodurning talents since the first time I saw your work, from wood selection all the way through to the amazing finish you get on your work. Raising 8 kids must have taught you patience I guess. I'd love to get a chance to watch how you do it sometime and maybe dig through your woodpile. Nice to get to know more about you.

Bernie Weishapl
04-28-2006, 11:15 PM
It has been said already Jim but I to have admired your work. Someday maybe I will get something turned close to yours. You have a awesome family Jim. It is nice to get to know you Jim.

Dennis Peacock
04-29-2006, 12:21 AM

Like Mark, Travis, and Keith have already stated and I couldn't have said it better than rolling all the words said into a single post. Jim is truly a great guy, built like a stump and needs a good wrastlin match with Mark in the gumball pile.!!!!:p :D I too am glad and honored to call him friend.

Rob Bourgeois
04-29-2006, 8:54 AM
Jim is a great guy. He had the patience to "reteach" me at Travis's. He is also quite the talented turner. I remember him building his shop and selling blanks to buy his PM and being as green as I am now....sorta gives me hope for the future. I was given one of his bowls as a gift. Its has texture and a burnt rim...it gets more comments and "how did he do that" than anything else I have on the shelf.

//Jim I promise the picture of the bowl are coming...

Ernie Nyvall
04-29-2006, 11:06 PM
Nice to meet you Jim. Great looking kids. I bet they don't fit in the bowl any more do they?:)


Corey Hallagan
04-29-2006, 11:16 PM
Always enjoy seeing you posts Jim. You do beautiful work and you have a beautiful family. Nice to meet you.


John Hart
04-30-2006, 8:24 AM
Nice to meet you Jim. Great looking kids. I bet they don't fit in the bowl any more do they?:)


Ernie stole my line!!! Nice interview Jim! I come from a big family too....wouldn't trade it for anything. I've always been impressed with your work and look forward to every piece.

Dick Parr
04-30-2006, 8:44 AM
I first met Jim when he was selling blanks to buy the PM. Jim has really taken to turning like a duck to water. Jim is a great friend and a heck of a tool maker.

Jim Dunn
05-04-2006, 5:55 PM
Jim, Just wanted to say I admire your ability on the lathe and in selection of wood as well. Nice work I always like to read and view your posts.


Barry Stratton
05-04-2006, 7:35 PM
While I look forward to seeing everybodie's newest creations, I always know yours will be flat out, eye popping amazing. THANK YOU from this rookie for all the patience and the advice that you so freely give. It is obvious from your interview and the comments from your friends that you are one great guy.

It's good to get to know you!

Fred LeBail
05-04-2006, 8:00 PM
Hey Jim, like the minivan commerical "sure is bright in here"!!! Thanks for letting us into your personal part of the world.I have always enjoyed your post and pics and cannot beleive that you have been only turning for 2 years.

Talk about this place being one big family of turners or friends, both of LOML's last anniversary gifts have been bowls turned from blanks that I got from you. I will post a pic of the Walnut bowl that I just gave her today, 22nd anniv.
Dennis take a look, it looks familiar.

Bruce Shiverdecker
05-04-2006, 9:59 PM
Thanks, Jim. With all you have to do, just keeping a family together, fed and sheltered, I find it amazing that you have the time and energy to do the beautiful work that you show here.

Thanks for sharing.


Brad Schmid
05-04-2006, 10:10 PM
Great interview Jim. Nice to meet ya!

Karl Laustrup
05-05-2006, 6:03 AM
Great interview Jim. Glad to get to know you.

You know you're only one shy of a baseball team? Three shy of a football team. :D


Mark Cothren
05-10-2006, 12:13 PM
Hey Karl,

Jim could actually play two positions on the O or D line... so he only needs two more....;)

Don Orr
05-10-2006, 8:36 PM
Nice to meet you Jim. I sure do admire your work. Sounds like quite a family you got there.

Keep up the great work,

galen anderson
06-25-2006, 12:51 AM
I like the shirt dude

galen anderson
06-25-2006, 12:54 AM
:) I like the shirt dude

galen anderson
06-25-2006, 11:10 AM
what is beautiful work boss

galen anderson
06-28-2006, 11:57 PM
Wow, that's some beautiful work.
what is beautifull work

galen anderson
06-28-2006, 11:57 PM
Wow, that's some beautiful work.
what is beautifull work

Mark Cothren
06-30-2006, 2:53 PM
Uhh... Jim... I think you have a fan....:D

galen anderson
07-01-2006, 2:36 AM
and the big money maker made a few my self got me far money never lasts very far in this bizz anyway

galen anderson
07-01-2006, 5:03 PM
they say im by-poler who are they any way to be labeling me i dont have a dove tale machine but im into that who is geting rid of one:confused:

Travis Stinson
07-02-2006, 10:32 PM
Brad? Is that you?
They found your hat down by the river................:rolleyes:

galen anderson
07-04-2006, 9:49 AM
mom works for cps and she is co-dependent on her children bro is on so much drugs cant act right dad :) never passed high-school got a job at 15 never had another since ended up runing that company went blind and retierd but im not that close to dad he dose not let many in to his life i look up to him he is the father right :) and im the son so much for inharitance :) :) :) :( :p