View Full Version : Turner Interview: Corey Hallagan

Mark Cothren
06-16-2006, 10:46 AM
Name: Corey Hallagan

DOB: July 23rd, 1958

Physical description
6ft 1, 250 lbs. Brown and grey hair, grey beard.

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
Council Bluffs, Iowa (A Place To Grow) Born and raised in good old CB. Or Counciltuckey as the folks from across the river in Omaha call it! Lot's of history. Originally was named Kainesville and was a wild town. Home of General Grenville Dodge of civil war fame and was responsible for the eastern part of the transcontinental railroad. Lots of Native American history here. The name comes from the bluffs that surround the town and were used as a meeting place for the chiefs of many surrounding Indian tribes.

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
Been married to my wife for 25 years this coming August 29th. We have one son (Eric) who is 20 years old and my daughter Hailey who is 8 years old (whoops :-) )

My son played football, wrestled and soccer. Played some college soccer and now is a high school soccer and wrestling coach along with working in a beer distributorship. He is also a huge fisherman and hunter. He got is first turkey this past April and it will be featured in the Bass Pro Shops catalog.

Daughter Hailey is a soccer player and dancer and loves her dolls and the doll furniture dad has made. She will be the recipient of many a jewelry box etc. I am sure. She received my first jewelry box for Christmas. No photos of the family. Used to have tons of photos on the old computer. The new one is pretty bare.

I have been in the insurance industry for 30 years. Currently work with one of the largest specialty insurers and growing. I have been underwriting for about 25years. Mostly commercial casualty exposures such as trucking companies and currently I am a program manager responsible for a contractors program in California and specializes in high end pool builders.

http://woodshop51503.tripod.com/index.html (https://mail.conwaycorp.net/horde/util/go.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwoodshop51503.tripod.com%2 Findex.html&Horde=308a26754aba38135765eb7770eba11a) and a photo alblum
http://woodenstuff.photosite.com (https://mail.conwaycorp.net/horde/util/go.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwoodenstuff.photosite.com&Horde=308a26754aba38135765eb7770eba11a)

Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
Delta Contractors Table Saw, Craftsman Drill Press, Delta 16inch Scroll Saw, Bench Dog Router Table with Dewalt 625 under the hood, PSI Turncrafter Midi Lathe, Dewalt DW 618 PK, Bosche 1591 Jig Saw, Numerous powered drills and cordless tools etc.

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
Just One: PSI Turncrafter Midi lathe. A great lathe for those wanting to do small stuff like pen turning and other weed pots etc.

How many turning tools do you have?
He he. I have become kind of a turning tool nut. I have about a dozen lathe tools at this time. Mostly PSI and Harbor Freight tools. Learned to sharpen on these and still learning but I am no longer ruining and throwing away tools :-)

Tell us about your shop
My shop is a small one. It is the front portion of a one car garage. Utilizes the sides of the garage as well. Shares space with a mini van. A year ago I rehabbed my shop and replaced most of the tools in it from the beginners equipment and cheapo items that I started with 20 years ago. Not top of the line but good enough for me. I built new cabinets and the space is small but it is mine and I love being there. That is where I am most Saturday mornings and many evenings.

How long turning?
Newbie. since January 2006!

What got you into turning?
I had dipped in and out of the Turning forum here on SMC several times. Mostly due to Big Mike who I was a fan of his flatwork boxes. Checked out some of the round stuff he was doing and thought that was cool too. But the pen sites I visited really got me thinking what if... That and my buddies Bernie Weishapl who happened to have taken possession of a Delta Midi lathe and Bob Noles who talked me into Little Red.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
I am fascinated in the all the great domestic and exotic woods that I am able to use which I would not be able to use otherwise on traditional woodworking projects. Pen's. I am fascinated by turning pens. All the different kinds of pens, wood etc. that can be used to create a pen.

What was your first completed turned project?
A rosewood slimline that my wife stole from me and proudly carries it with her ( see photo) regardless if I missed the bushings etc. It totally stinks but I was proud of it that day!

What is your favorite form that you turn?
To early to tell, besides pens I am dabbling in weed pots and vases. I would eventually like to turn some mini hollow forms like those of SMC member Carole Valentine.

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
I don't turn bowls myself... That said, I enjoy the beauty that SMC members are able to put into there bowls, platters and hollow forms, natural edge's etc. Probably more than anything else. Mike Stafford's box work. I don't know if I will ever be a box turner but I never tire of seeing these.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
I have 2 .. I love walnut! With regards to exotic's .. To date my favorite is Kingwood. It's a beautiful wood and it turns nicely.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it.
No not yet.

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
Hard to say... probably the spalted beech and purple heart weedpot/vase. Why... my wife loved it and displays it proudly and warns the kids... don't mess with it!!

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
Mike Stafford's Masur Birch Box with Russian inspired domed lid. The shape was really cool and it was some of the most beautiful wood I have ever seen. Stunning piece in my opinion.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Most likely small hollow forms and boxes. I will get around to it sooner or later.

What brought you to SMC?
Used to hang out at another internet site that was poorly moderated and was referred by another member.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
Not really, will answer to most anything.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Walnut Tree . never met a piece of walnut I didn't like :-)


I have attached a photo of my first miserable pen, one of my favorite pens (rollerball) and my favorite piece turned to date.. the vase.

Don Baer
06-16-2006, 10:58 AM
Good to get to know you a little better.

Bernie Weishapl
06-16-2006, 10:58 AM
Nice to learn more about you Corey. I felt like I knew you pretty well before. It has been fun buddy learning together. Glad to get to know you better.

Stu Ablett in Tokyo Japan
06-16-2006, 11:15 AM
Hey Corey, nice to get to know you more, great interview, thanks for taking the time!


Ken Fitzgerald
06-16-2006, 11:20 AM
Nice to know more about you Corey! Keep working on those vases......I see a lot of potential!

Bob Noles
06-16-2006, 11:58 AM

Even though I feel like I already knew you from our PM's, it is good to know you even better now. You are a kind and talented individual and I enjoy paling around with you at SMC.

Great interview and thanks for sharing a piece of yourself with us.

Don Orr
06-16-2006, 12:18 PM
Very nice to get to know you better.

Keith Burns
06-16-2006, 1:35 PM
Corey, it's nice to know more about you. I've always thought of you as a "top notch" kinda guy and your interview confirms it. Thanks

Tom Sherman
06-16-2006, 3:05 PM
Good to know you Corey,

Michael Stafford
06-16-2006, 4:03 PM
Corey, you flatter me with your praise. Thank you very much. You are becoming a very good turner at a rapid pace. I hope you are enjoying turning as much as I enjoyed your interview and seeing your progress as a turner.

Sounds like a wonderful family. You are one of the good guys.:D

Cecil Arnold
06-16-2006, 4:11 PM
Corey, nice to know a little more behind the name and avitar.

Henry C. Gernhardt, III
06-16-2006, 4:51 PM
Great interview, Corey. I'm happy to know more about you!

Vaughn McMillan
06-16-2006, 5:32 PM
Nice interview, Corey. Although I already felt I knew you somewhat, the extra background info is always interesting. As Big Mike said, you're one of the good guys.

- Vaughn

Travis Stinson
06-16-2006, 7:35 PM
Great interview Cory. Sounds like you have a wonderful family. Can't wait to see more of your work.

Curt Fuller
06-16-2006, 8:39 PM
Good to know more about you Corey.

Dennis Peacock
06-16-2006, 9:02 PM
How Do Corey...!!!! Nice to meet and know more about you. Good interview.

Corey Hallagan
06-16-2006, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys! Glad I found this place called SMC and glad to know all of you! Some one mentioned my Avitar. Well, the reason for that is I am a huge fan of WWII history and well as the Vietnam War. I have always been interested in it since I was a kid. My favorite show as a kid was Combat. Loved Vic Morrow and Rick Jason in that show and now collect the DVD's from the TV series. I also am a WWII toy collector and war miniature collector...especially the US Infantry. Anyway.... just a little smidgid you might not otherwise have known. That;s the rest of the story... :)


P.S. Mark, thanks for doing this. It is great fun and appreciate your time!

Ernie Nyvall
06-17-2006, 7:02 PM
Good interview Corey. Nice to get to know a little more about you.


Steve Ash
06-20-2006, 9:48 PM
Great interview Corey, glad to get to know you a bit better. Also happy 25th this upcoming August.

Mike Ramsey
06-22-2006, 10:46 AM
Great interview Corey! nice to know you a little better..

Barry Stratton
06-28-2006, 1:56 AM
Great interview Corey, I always enjoy your pictures and latest successes! Thanks for all your help as well.

John Miliunas
07-04-2006, 1:48 PM
Corey, really enjoyed learning a bit more about you. Heck, we're practically "neighbors"! :D I must say, you've come an awful long way in turning in a very short period of time! Well done! :) :cool: