View Full Version : Turner Interview: Bernie Weishapl

Mark Cothren
06-27-2006, 8:53 PM
Name: Bernie Weishapl

DOB: 3/13/47

Physical description
6 ft. 210 lbs. dark brown hair turning white with a receding hairline.

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
I live in Goodland, Kansas. Been here for 33 yrs. Previous to that was the U S Army.

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
I have been married for 39 yrs. to the LOML Mary Ann. We have one son. He is married and living in Richmond, Virginia. We have wonderful DIL and 3 grand children.

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done previously)
I work for the Federal Aviation Administration. Been here for 24 yrs. Previous to that I was with Motorola servicing 2-way radio's. I also own and operate a part time clock repair and restoration shop.


Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
I have a 15" lathe, a MIDI lathe, table saw, 6 1/8" jointer, 12" planer, 2 bandsaws 1 14" grizzly, 1 Delta 10" benchtop, Drill Press, Compoud mitre saw, dust collector and numerous hand tools.

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
I have 2 lathes. One is a new Sears 15" inboard turning and 20" outboard. I also have a Delta Midi.

How many turning tools do you have?
I have 21 tools. Too many and not enough.

Tell us about your shop
The wood portion of my shop is 12 X 20. It is under the same roof as my clock shop. As I get closer to retirement I am going to tone down the clock shop and expand my wood working shop.

How long turning?
6 months

What got you into turning?
Mainly my brother but a lot of inmates on here (Corey Hallagan & Bob Noles). I had been lurking on the site for quite a while and decided to take the plunge.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
I think it is the solitude and watching a piece of wood turn into a beautiful object.

What was your first completed turned project?
A black locust bowl. Boy was it hard. One of the guys told me it is not a good wood to begin with but I liked what I saw in the wood.

What is your favorite form that you turn?
As I just completed my first hollow form I would have to say Boxes and HF's. Big Mike got me into those boxes. I love HF's.

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
That is hard to say but HF's by Travis Stinson and Jim Ketron, plus Big Mike's boxes. I hope I can get that good some day.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
Honduran Mahogany or Teak. Both turn extremely well and finish awful nice.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it.
No but I hope to someday. I am hoping next time down in Virginia I would like to travel over and meet Jim Ketron.

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
My favorite piece is the HF I just completed. Probably because it was my first and it turned out better than I had ever dreamed.

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
Again there are so many. Travis and Jim have some awful nice HF's I would like to be able to do. Also Big Mike's boxes.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
I guess it would be a NE bowl. I have always wanted to do one.

What brought you to SMC?
I was looking for woodworking advice and stumbled onto this site 1 1/2 yrs. ago. Being here with everyone is the best thing since apple butter. Well maybe since Andy was a pup.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
I guess if Ken can be honest I will to. My neices and nephews always called me Big B and it stuck.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Walnut. I guess because it is a beautiful tree and beautiful wood but still the wood is hard and tough.

Corey Hallagan
06-27-2006, 9:02 PM
Great to know you a little better there my freind. You have a beautiful wife and a great life! Oh sure... blame me and Bob! I think you talked us into it if I remember right! I have enjoyed sharing our triumphs and troubles together Bernie and can't wait for more.


Steve Ash
06-27-2006, 9:23 PM
Nice to meet you Bernie, looks like you are a fast learner if you've only been turning for 6 months. I always enjoy reading your posts....keep em coming!

Ken Fitzgerald
06-27-2006, 9:30 PM
Nice to know more about you Bernie! You sure have come a long way with your turning! 6 months.......soon SMCer's will be saying...."I knew Bernie...when he first took up turning....." You are truly one of the special people here Bernie!

Bob Noles
06-27-2006, 9:59 PM
Well Bernie my friend..... They finally got you to come clean with an interview :D

Even though we have become good friends behind the scenes, it is great to read even more about you. The inspiration and learning process you have shared with us all has been fantastic over the past 6 months and I have been awed by your many talents. Although you have out paced me in turning while I have had to deal with other matters and some flat work for now, I hope to get back on the lathe soon and try to do a little catching up if I can ride through the dust you have left in your wake :)

Great job on the interview Bernie even if you did try to blame me and Corey, everyone here knows better :p

Great pics of you, your wife and grandson. I'll have one soon too as you already know and that has been my most recent distraction and reason for a flat project.

Jim Ketron
06-27-2006, 10:34 PM
Nice to know more about you Bernie!
You are welcome here anytime Bud, just come on down;)

Dennis Peacock
06-28-2006, 12:18 AM
Nice to know you a bit more Bernie..!!!! Good interview.

Stu Ablett in Tokyo Japan
06-28-2006, 12:22 AM
Nice to get to know you better Big B!! :D


Tom Sherman
06-28-2006, 12:37 AM
Nice to learn more about you Bernie. And only been turning six months, what will come of you when you really hit your stride.. Great interview.

Barry Stratton
06-28-2006, 2:22 AM
Great interview, Bernie! I agree with Kenny Paul, you are a good man with a heart of gold. Thanks for all the help and advice!

Vaughn McMillan
06-28-2006, 3:25 AM
Excellent interview, Bernie. I had forgotten that you are a relative newbie to turning...I guess that says something about your work. ;)

- Vaughn

Michael Stafford
06-28-2006, 6:17 AM
Nice interview, Bernie. I hope if you make it as far down as Virginia you might come on down to North Carolina as well. Jim is a great guy but he has clear cut most of that part of the state....I like your boxes as well.

Glenn Hodges
06-28-2006, 9:24 AM
I enjoyed the inteview, and the chance to get to know you better.

Don Baer
06-28-2006, 11:16 AM
Nice to get to know you Bernie.

Andy Hoyt
06-28-2006, 12:09 PM
I am proud to say that I knew Bernie before he could spell guoge/guage/googe/sharp pointy thing.

I am less proud to say that this guy now makes my stuff look like used chew toys for a T-Rex.

Cecil Arnold
06-28-2006, 12:25 PM
Good interview and glad to know more about you Bernie. Just wish I could make as much progress on the spiny thing as you have.

Eddie Watkins
06-28-2006, 1:26 PM
Bernie, good interview and nice family. I'm still out here lurking and enjoying your posts.;) Keep up the good work.


Don Orr
06-28-2006, 1:51 PM
Nice to meet you Bernie. Real nice interview.
My grandfather, who died when I was 12, used to fix a lot of clocks. Wish I had been more interested back then.
Take care and happy turning,

Henry C. Gernhardt, III
06-28-2006, 2:05 PM
It's great to learn more about you, Bernie. Oh, in that first pic, what does the map/diagram you and the LOYL are standing beside refer to?

Bernie Weishapl
06-28-2006, 3:34 PM
Thanks for the kind comments. It definately has been a learning experience. I want to thank each of you for all the help and sharing you have given to me. As Dorthy said in Wizard of Oz. There is no place like home and I think I have found it along with many, many friends. Thank you.

Henry that is a map and can't remember quite where but it was around Williamsburg, Virginia. I believe it is a map of one of the plantations we visited.

Big Mike we drove thru Rocky Mount 2 yrs. ago going to see my sister in Washington, NC. So maybe next year we thought we might go down again. If so I will give you a e-mail and a call. Maybe we can box it or something.

George Conklin
06-28-2006, 8:18 PM
Hey Bernie. Great interview. Now it's time to turn that NE:) .

Curt Fuller
06-28-2006, 10:07 PM
Nice interview Bernie, and nice to get to know you better. I've enjoyed seeing all the things you posted.

Mike Ramsey
06-29-2006, 10:55 AM
Nice to know more about you Bernie, Great looking better half
& grandson you have there!

Jim Becker
06-30-2006, 11:49 AM
Good to know you better, Bernie!!

Free bonus avatar, too...


Travis Stinson
07-02-2006, 2:01 PM
Great interview Bernie, nice to know you better. I love what you've accomplished in such a short time turning.:cool:

Ernie Nyvall
07-02-2006, 7:15 PM
Nice to meet you Bernie and get to know a bit more about you. That's a nice looking family you have there.


Bernie Weishapl
07-02-2006, 10:53 PM
Thanks again everyone. Thanks for your help everyone. Sounds like the next time to Richmond, Virginia and I go down to see my sister in Washington, N C I will have to make a slight correction of my course to go thru Rocky Mount to see Big Mike. I didn't realize he lived there till after we were back. I also would like to get over to see Jim Ketron sometime. Maybe in 3 yrs or so when I retire I will have some time.

Keith Burns
07-02-2006, 11:17 PM
Bernie, it is nice to know more about you. You have come a long way in a short time for sure. I go thru Goodland going to the Springs every year. Might give you a hollar next time if you don't mind.

Bernie Weishapl
07-02-2006, 11:26 PM
Don't mind at all Keith. Hopefully I will be here and not on the road. Give me a call going and coming. Maybe we can connect.

Ed Scolforo
07-04-2006, 10:20 AM
Bernie, good to get to know you better. And it's nice to find someone older than myself (by 18 days;) ). Your turnings are quite impressive for such a small time with the lathe. Keep up the good work!

John Miliunas
07-04-2006, 2:00 PM
Well then, Big B, it's been a pleasure! :) And, as long as you're a friend of that Hoyt guy...Well, we won't hold that against 'ya! :D Nice to "meet" you a bit more formally and keep up the great work! :) :cool: