View Full Version : Turner Interview: Henry C. Gernhardt, III

Mark Cothren
06-16-2006, 10:31 AM
Name: Henry C. Gernhardt, III

DOB: May 23, 1973

Physical description
I stand about 5'9, weigh in at about 170 lbs, keep myself clean-shaven, and maintain a head of bleached-copper hair which both changes shade with the seasons and gains more pronounced widow's peaks as the years progress.

I've been living in Lexington, KY for about 9 years now. Prior to that, I lived in Richmond, KY, for a year. Each new town brings with it a larger metropolitan area, as when I was 4 years old my family moved from an Alaskan Eskimo village (BIA job) to Princeton, WV, and from there to Huntington, WV.

Family information
Two dogs (both mutts, both black, both long-haired), and two cats (one domestic, one born feral), and, of course, my wonderful wife Andrea.

Well, right now I'm a cake decorator, although in the past I've been a cashier, horse groom, waiter and a bartender. I even did a short stint as a restaurant manager.

Technically, http://www.geocities.com/hcgern0. It's not something I'm proud of, however, as it is woefully incomplete.

Equipment Overview
Lathe is a Wilton 99177. I have an HF 6" bench grinder, HF HSS tool kit, and a small HSS micro tool kit which was designed for penturning.

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
Just the one, the Wilton. It was a birthday gift from my wife. It's small, swings about 7", has a spindle capacity of around 12", but I'm still having a heckuvalota fun with it. I'm already seeing the need for a new tailstock live center (the stock one is a bit off-kilter), a 1MT jacobs chuck, and some sort of spigot (or similar) chuck that fits its 3/4"x16TPI thread.

How many turning tools do you have?
Hmm... 13. 8 from the HF set, and 5 from the penturning set. I'm looking around for a good deal on a crank-necked hollowing tool, however!

Tell us about your shop
It's an old outboard shed, measuring about 8'x12'. I have my lathe and grinder on a table against one wall. Luckily, my equipment is small enough that an extention cord from the attached shed will power the tools safely. The shed also serves as home to a bicycle, a lawnmower, a weed eater, and other sundry small articles somewhat neatly stacked on a shelving unit.

How long turning?
I've been trying to start since mid-February of this year, but actually managed to start turning on May 24, 2006.

What got you into turning?
A roundabout path that started out as building a base and/or enclosure for a homebrew regenerative reciever, and resulted in the purchase of a woodworking toy that had something vaguely resembling lathe capabilities. Then I started looking at the work others were doing, and that really got me interested.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
It's dual-edged: Creating the form in the first place, and seeing how that form accentuates the natural beauty of the wood.

What was your first completed turned project?
A small spindle that vaguely resembles a chess pawn.

What is your favorite form that you turn?
It seems to be goblets and other drinking vessels, at least for the time being.

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
I like turned hats.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
I haven't had much experience in working with different woods. If I had to pick one, however, I'd probably say purpleheart right now---I love the striking color of that wood, and believe that however easy or challenging it is to work, it would be worth it.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it.
Not yet, though I hope to!

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
Has to be the most recent goblet. I like the form, and the figure that shows at the rim where another branch was coming off.

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
I can't say I have one yet---although I am preferential to the Mad Hatter's hat.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Furniture legs. Eventually I would like to build some nice furniture.

What brought you to SMC?
I was looking for another source of information and edification concerning woodturning in specific, and woodworking in general.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
The only one that seems to have stuck over the years is "Hank"---simply because it's an easy diminuitive of my first name. The funny thing is, that's what my paternal grandfather went by.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Sugar maple. During my lifetime, I would be productive in that I woud be able to give sap that can be used in the making of syrup. Once I had grown old and decrepit, I would still be useful despite my burls, curls, and other deficiencies.


Sorry---I don't have a pic available right now.

Ken Fitzgerald
06-16-2006, 10:37 AM
Nice to know more about you Henry!

Bernie Weishapl
06-16-2006, 11:03 AM
Henry it is nice to meet you and learn more about you. Nice interview.

Don Baer
06-16-2006, 11:06 AM
Good to get to know you Henry

Michael Stafford
06-16-2006, 11:09 AM
Nice to meet you up close and personal, Henry. I fancy myself an amateur cake decorator sometimes as I am the one in my house who bakes and decorates the birthday cakes although of late I have been doing fancy tarts more than cakes. Glad you are having fun exploring the lathe's possibilities...:D

Stu Ablett in Tokyo Japan
06-16-2006, 11:20 AM
Nice to see another Newbie here Hank!


Keith Burns
06-16-2006, 2:30 PM
Nice to know more about you Henry. It's always nice to meet a new "friend".

Tom Sherman
06-16-2006, 2:57 PM
Nice to know you Hank, seems like there is more than one of us here that have lived sort of an itinerant life. I am glad you are having fun with your new toy. Keep up the good work.

Bob Noles
06-16-2006, 5:00 PM
Great interview Henry and always nice to have a little insight on others here that we spend time with.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Vaughn McMillan
06-16-2006, 5:30 PM
Thanks for the interview, Henry. Nice to get to know you a bit better. I was really glad to see you show up here on SMC, so I'd no longer be the newest kid on the (turner) block. ;) :p

- Vaughn

Travis Stinson
06-16-2006, 7:28 PM
Great interview Henry. Nice to know more about you.:cool:

Curt Fuller
06-16-2006, 8:44 PM
Great interview "Hank". My golden retriever happens to be named Hank also and if you're half as good a guy as he is then you must be a great guy;) .

Dennis Peacock
06-16-2006, 9:01 PM
Nice to meet you Hank....Good interview.!!!

Corey Hallagan
06-16-2006, 10:37 PM
Henry, glad you joined us here at SMC and thanks for letting us get to know you better!


Henry C. Gernhardt, III
06-17-2006, 3:58 PM
Thanks, folks, and an especial thanks to Mark for doing these interviews. It was actually quite fun to respond, and it's also great to learn more about the people behind the avatars.

Ernie Nyvall
06-17-2006, 7:13 PM
Well howdy Hank. Nice to meet you.


Don Orr
06-19-2006, 1:09 PM
Greetings Hank, nice to know you better. Sounds like you're off to a good start.
Got a question-do you use the drinking vessels you turn for drinking? And can we assume you are also a homebrewer and that what you drink from your vessels is home-made ?
I'd like to see some fo your drinking vessels if possible.

Tae care,

Steve Ash
06-20-2006, 9:52 PM
Great to "meet" you Hank. The cake decorating thing sounds interesting but I'd have a problem getting one done without testing the goods first.:)

Mike Ramsey
06-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Great interview Henry! I really like the in-depth description of your hair....

Barry Stratton
06-28-2006, 2:11 AM
Excellent interview "Hank"! Great to have another newbie around!

John Miliunas
07-04-2006, 1:52 PM
Well, it's been a pleasure to "meet" you, Hank! :) Yeah, you definitely need to get out and meet up with some fellow Creekers...I guarantee you'll have a wonderful time! :D Keep that Wilton spinnin'! :) :cool: