View Full Version : Turner Interview: Tom Sherman

Mark Cothren
07-06-2006, 2:32 PM
Name: Thomas E. Sherman

DOB: 02-16-51

Physical description (G-rated, please)
"G" Seems to describe it pretty well, short and round. Hair is still attached though the color is fading fast, seems that the reddish color is being swiftly replaced by white. My eyesight is not what it used to be I have to have bifocals now to see what I used to be able to see with bare sights just a few years ago. Finally the flexibility that I once enjoyed is also a thing of the past. I'm falling apart way too fast for my liking, have hitches in my get along now and aches and pains in places I had forgotten about long ago. But I still have a sense of humor otherwise I would be losing my mind, then again I think that went first.

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
I have been living in Virginia since 1977, prior to that I lived in my home town of St Louis for a brief period preceded by Jacksonville NC, Okinawa, New Bern NC and other points of interest while in the USMC.

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
The LOML has graciously allowed me to share her life for the past eleven years, and I look forward to many more (providing I can remember who is the real Boss and who is the Straw boss.) Between the two of us we have five children from previous marriages and they are all grown and having children of their own. We have five grandchildren soon to be six next month. My oldest son has two children and a wonderful wife, he is currently employed as a drill operator making underground cable and gas installations, he and his wife are getting very involved in our church. My next oldest is my daughter, who is single and employed by a local newspaper as a graphic artist. Number two son is a welder, has one son and another on the way and a very nice girl friend, hoping he will eventually marry her. Number three son is working for a local CPA firm and has two beautiful girls and a lovely wife. Number four son is recently out of the Navy and in the process of finding gainful employment.

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done previously)
I am currently employed by the City as an equipment operator, backhoes, loaders, graders, sweepers and the like. I spent several years driving trucks over the road, have run coast to coast been in every state except North and South Dakota, Montana, and Alaska. I have also done short stints in manufacturing, bartending, tree trimming, machine shop assistant, and teletype communicator in the Marine Corps.

Not yet. I have not amassed enough computer smarts to get that one together yet.

Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
I have a TS, Router, Drill Press 2, Rikon 10 inch bandsaw, bench grinder and various hand tools. Most of these tools are not of the quality that I would prefer, but one has to start somewhere.

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em
The 'Real Boss' has two lathes and sometimes allows me to spend some time on them she bought a Jet midi lathe last year for my birthday and shortly after we started making chips fly she discovered that she enjoyed it too. For that reason we acquired a second lathe from PSI, one of those little blue rascals I can never recall the name on it(the boss and I are both partial to the Jet). We also have a Nova midi chuck but most of our experience has been turning pens we are chomping at the bit to get deeper into the vortex by turning bowls and vessels of other sorts. We have done some small bowls, potpourri dishes and oil candles.

How many turning tools do you have?
Probably twenty or more finally got the clue that buying sets is not necessarily the way to build up one's inventory of tools, I have about four or five skew chisles and not enough gouges, parting tools and scrapers. No hollowing tools yet.

Tell us about your shop
One word PITIFUL I have a 12 X 20 garage, it seems like I have everything that has no home in there. I have to spend twenty minutes moving stuff out just to be able to get around to work in the shop.

How long turning?
The 'Boss' and I have been turning about a year and are hopelessly hooked.

What got you into turning?
The 'Boss' she said if I didn't get busy with my birthday gift she would beat me with it.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
The opportunity to find beauty in the wood and reveal it for all to see. Turning has given me a new appreciation for wood, the grain lines the burls the chips and sawdust sounds odd I know but somehow it is a humbling experience.

What was your first completed turned project?
A candle stick kind of ornate if I can locate it I'll try to post a pic when I find my camera. 'Boss' and I haven't unpacked everything since we moved.

What is your favorite form that you turn?
So far I have to say pens that's where most of my experience is .

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
That's a tough one, most everything I see posted here the talent and ability displayed here by my fellow Creeker's has me in a constant state of ooos and aaaws.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
Last fall my oldest son brought me some Dogwood, I was amazed at how well it turned and took a finish. I would truly love to get my hands on more of it to work with, so I could attempt to make a bowl or lidded box.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it
Have not had the pleasure yet, but look forward to it.

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
I think I have to say my first project the candlestick. That was the first project I made from start to finish with the LOML in mind the whole time.

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
Soo many pieces Soo little time. Can't choose just one.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Bowls, hollow forms, lidded boxes, platters, you name it I would like to turn it.

What brought you to SMC?
A link on the AAW website and a serious case of curiousisity just had to see what everyone was talking about.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
Got a couple, my best friend and partner from over the road experience called me MT Box we still laugh about that. The guys at work call me Tank, because of the Sherman tank.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
I believe I would be a Cypress tree, tall strong and deep rooted. Qualities that I admire.

Keith Burns
07-06-2006, 2:47 PM
Tom, nice to meet you up close. What could be better than a wife that buys you a lathe, and then insists on using it herself ? You need to get her posting as well ! Great interview.

Andy Hoyt
07-06-2006, 3:45 PM
Hey, Tom! Glad to learn a bit more about you. Especially from another USMC Okinawa vet. I did a tour at Camp Hansen, but we were hardly ever there. Usually floating, humping, digging, cleaning, snooping, or drinking someplace else far far away.

Henry C. Gernhardt, III
07-06-2006, 4:02 PM
Nice to get to know more about you, Tom. Sheesh---if only I could get my wife to come out to the shed...er...shop with me and make a few curlies, I think I'd have her hooked. Of course, much like with driving a stickshift, I'd have to give her a short crash course then let her find her own enjoyment... :)

Jim Becker
07-06-2006, 4:08 PM
The family that turns together...umm...goes round and round?? Ok, I tried. :D

Seriously, nice to hear about you, Tom!

Bernie Weishapl
07-06-2006, 4:59 PM
Glad to meet and get to know ya better Tom. I spent 2 1/2 yrs. at Torrii Station in Okinawa.

Dick Parr
07-06-2006, 6:50 PM
Hi Tom, great interview. We have something in common, we know who the Boss is.;)

Vaughn McMillan
07-06-2006, 8:31 PM
Great interview Tom...good to know you better. Glad to see I'm not the only one who gets threats of beatings from The Boss. ;)

- Vaughn

Dennis Peacock
07-06-2006, 8:34 PM
Howdy Tom. Nice to know more about you, meet you, and thank you for the great interview.

Barry Stratton
07-06-2006, 11:17 PM
Great to get to know you Tom! Nice interview.....now go create an emergency for the boss to handle so you can get on the lathe and spin something for us to look at:D

Ken Fitzgerald
07-06-2006, 11:36 PM
Tom.....Great interview! Nice to know more about you!.........Is the real BOSS aware that you talk about her that way?

Corey Hallagan
07-06-2006, 11:56 PM
It's great to meet you Tom and thanks for sharing a bit about you. Looking forward to seeing your turnings!


Bruce Shiverdecker
07-07-2006, 1:08 AM
Thanks for the insight, Tom. Now we need an interview from the "REAL BOSS", just to hear her side of the story!

Glad to meet Ya!


Ernie Nyvall
07-07-2006, 7:38 PM
Nice to get to know you a little better Tom.


Don Orr
07-07-2006, 8:48 PM
Very nice to meet you Tom. Excellent interview. I like the idea of turning together with your spouse. Sounds like you have a real nice family to give turnings to:eek: :D ;) .

Happy and Safe Turning,

Curt Fuller
07-08-2006, 11:11 PM
Nice interview Tom. That's interesting that both you and 'The Boss' turn wood. My 'Boss' has no interest in turning and I usually go to the shop to try and forget she's 'The Boss'.

John Miliunas
07-09-2006, 11:28 AM
Nice interview, Tom! Amazing how so many of the "Boss's" out there are similar, ain't it? :D :cool: My "Boss" and I turn together, as well. I turn stuff on the lathe and when done with a piece, she takes it and turns toward the house with it! :rolleyes: :) Great to know you better and now get busy on those "other" spinny projects, as well as trying to get out and meet some of your fellow Creekers! It's always a blast! :D :cool:

Tom Sherman
07-09-2006, 2:50 PM
Thanks folks for alll the nice comments. Everyone here has been an inspiration to me now that I have the ok to get started back to turning I feel like it will go well. Spent most of the day yesterday cutting blanks and painting endgrain found out I have a bit more wood than I first imagined and still have a good sized pile behind my garage that I'll have to work on. I have a piece of wood on the lathe as we speak I originally thought it was maple but am now convinced that it is dogwood. Any way it is very pretty and I'm sure it will make a nice piece if I can pull it together.

Jim Ketron
07-09-2006, 7:08 PM
Nice to know more about you Tom!