View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Jim Dunn

Andy Hoyt
09-25-2006, 7:38 PM
Name: Jim Dunn

DOB: August 10, 1950

Physical description:
Short and thin (need rocks in my pockets if the wind blows, at all) Kinda sorta loosing just a little of my hair. But Iím making up for that by growing it in my ears.

Where is home?
Pacific, which is a small town in Missouri. Six Flags is right next to us. Never lived anywhere else. Real quiet small town. Met my wife in high school right here in town.

Family information:
I have had a wonderful wife for thirty-three years; and we have two sons who each have a beautiful little girl (Abby & Lucy) for grandpa and grandma; and two Yorkies. The dogs were replaced as our favorites when the first granddaughter was born.

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Do you have a website? If so, whatís the URL?

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done previously; are you retired?)
My first real job was at the local Chrysler manufacturing plant (that made trucks) I then moved on to a machine shop as a general helper, but I whined until I was taught to run various machine tools. Must have been okay at it cause I got a job as a tool room machinist six years later. Wanted something that wouldnít interfere with my fishing, so in 1980 I started the business my wife and I currently own. Went from just servicing waste-treatment systems to manufacturing and then some design and consulting work.

Shop Overview:
Itís real small (18í by 16í) down in our basement. Table saw, small drill press, router, miter saw and various small powered tool.

How many lathes do you own? Tell us about 'em. Even the ones you no longer have. Why did you choose these lathes?
I have but one lathe and itís GRAY. Itís a Craftsman 1952 model made by King Sealy which I bought it for $100, and after replacing the bearings and general cleaning up Iím really proud of what a small lathe will, or I should say, can do. (You see Ė its ability to do things far exceeds my own).


Time for a new page

Andy Hoyt
09-25-2006, 7:39 PM
How many turning tools do you have? Store bought, homemade, favorites?
My first set, eight tools in all, was a Harbor Freight set I bought for $10. I still use the parting tool and the roughing gouge a little. I have six others, five specialty tools, which are all Sorbys. My favorite tool, and the one I use most often, is a 3/8 Henry Taylor bowl gouge.

How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
Well, when I bought my lathe I really felt like I was rescuing it from a fate worse than death, someone who didnít have any idea what he was doing. I was an ex-machinist after all Ė thought I could run this little thing as I had run 56Ē swing engine lathes and CNC lathes for years. WRONG WRONG WRONG. Then I ventured over to the turning forum and after seeing all the beautiful bowls I decided I had to try turning. Iím still trying after 2 years but I think Iíll eventually get better, maybe.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Anything left over after Andy gets done. Chocolate. I only wish I were a little closer to all you NorEasterners so I could get some of that Ben and Jerryís ice cream. I don't like nuts in mine, but I do like eating eggs with the shell mixed in with them.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
I get lost in the spinney things and really lose all concept of time when Iím doing it. My wife has to remind me to go to bed. Itís relaxing! Since I never turn from a plan I can't make any mistakes. Everything turns out just exactly as I pictured it

What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
A box that I gave it to my first granddaughter.

No pics of that box folks, but hereís the first piece he posted here in the Turning Forum and can also be found in this thread (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=28672)


What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
John Hart sent me a piece of hickory that I turned into a bowl. Everybody here in Dunnville seems to like it best.

What is your favorite form that you turn?
Boxes like this one


What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?

Hollow forms. Just donít have the time to build a steady or hollowing rig right now.

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
Sixteen ounce mug of coffee with a Moxie chaser every morning for the past day and a half.

What's your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
All of the hollow forms I see.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
Maple since it seems to be the most interesting to me anyway. Walnut is a close comes in a close second.

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers? Tell us about it.
Iíve met Mark Stutz and Steve Clardy at a local wood show. I buy all my rough sawn lumber from Tom Sontag. Real nice people! Hereís the thread (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=31079) about it.

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
Well donít tell Andy, but the piece he did with his wife (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=40695) has inspired me. To do what, Iím not sure, but Iíll probably get arrested and have to spend time in the pokey. I really did like that bowl.

Aw shucks, thanks, Jim So what brought you to SMC?
Looking for somewhere to get information. Never thought of building a new friendship base, but I think and hope that I have.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
Theyíre aliases. The police give em to ya.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
I would like to be a Japanese Lace Leaf Maple. That way somebody would finally call me beautiful instead of butt ugly. Also they usually ďanchorĒ a flower garden. Iíd like to be thought of as an anchor for my family.

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
Iíd buy Andy a house in a warmer climate so I could visit. Hate cold weather.

Come on up, Jim. The snow is usually gone for the most part by late August and doesnít return Ďtil early September.

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Time for another page

Andy Hoyt
09-25-2006, 7:39 PM
Two last pics from Jim. Not sure of the significance of the squirrel thought you folks might like to suggest that here.

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Corey Hallagan
09-25-2006, 8:17 PM
Jim, nice to learn more about you and I enjoy your posts. You sure seem to get caught napping alot! :)


Dennis Peacock
09-25-2006, 8:20 PM
Howdy Jim Dunn..!!!!! Very good interview. Nice to know more about you and yes...you have more friends here than you realize. :D

Maybe the squirrel is your watch dawg. ;)

Ernie Nyvall
09-25-2006, 8:38 PM
Nice to get to know you a little better Jim. I coulda done without the part about liking eggs with the shell mixed in them... you're a sick man.:D

Keith Burns
09-25-2006, 8:44 PM
Jim, or "ailases" (weird nickname:D ) great interview. Nice to know more about you. Been through Pacific as I do some project work down the road in Cuba at the GP plant. Great looking Grandkids!

Vaughn McMillan
09-25-2006, 8:47 PM
Nice to meet you, Jim. Excellent interview. It's amazing you get any work done with all the sleeping you apparently do. :)

Steve Clardy
09-25-2006, 8:49 PM
Well that sounds like a typical writeup from a Missourian neighbor.:D

I met Jim at this years Collinsville woodworking show.

We all met and had breakfast before the plastic meltdown began at 10:00.:eek: :)

Now I thought I was the only one that could sit and slurp down two pots of coffee in an hour. But Jim and John Lucas can do the same:eek:

I think there were six of us there, slurping coffee, telling large tales, etc.

I think we had two waitresses employed just delivering coffee pots to the table.

See ya next year Jim?

Cecil Arnold
09-25-2006, 8:50 PM
Nice interview Jim, good to know more about you.

Bernie Weishapl
09-25-2006, 10:05 PM
Jim nice to meet you. Glad to know more about you.

Bruce Shiverdecker
09-25-2006, 11:14 PM
Thanks for sharing, Jim.


Mark Cothren
09-25-2006, 11:34 PM
Nice interview, Jim. Great pictures.

Ken Fitzgerald
09-26-2006, 12:07 AM
Nice to know more about you Jim!

Ed Scolforo
09-26-2006, 6:47 AM
Jim, Was a pleasure to learn more about you. Nice pics too!

Karl Laustrup
09-26-2006, 6:51 AM
Jim, great interview. Thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you better. Aren't grandkids grand?


Frank Fusco
09-26-2006, 9:36 AM
Nice gettin' to know ye, Jim. I frequently drive to St. Louis and have always waved to you as I went by. Didn'tjanotice? :D

Don Baer
09-26-2006, 11:09 AM
Good ta meet ya Jim.

Don Orr
09-26-2006, 4:28 PM
Hi Jim, real nice interview. Good to get to know you. Something a little squirrly about the photos though;) .

Ben Werner
09-26-2006, 9:54 PM
Nice to get to know you more.

Jim Dunn
09-26-2006, 10:52 PM
Nice to get to know you a little better Jim. I coulda done without the part about liking eggs with the shell mixed in them... you're a sick man.:D
Ernie I had it backwards. I hate finding eggshells in my eggs. Just like I like my icecream smoothy.

Jim Dunn
09-26-2006, 10:56 PM
I want to thank everyone for the nice replies. I've been under the weather with a sinus infection, my 7th this year, and not been up to getting much done but resting. Still had to work but 6hrs was all I could put in the off the couch we go. Me and the dogs that is.

Again thanks.

Now that small box with the finial is the first box I made and gave to my granddaughter. They can't find the top but that's OK by me as it was a gift to a 1yr old.

Jim Dunn
09-26-2006, 10:57 PM
Nice gettin' to know ye, Jim. I frequently drive to St. Louis and have always waved to you as I went by. Didn'tjanotice? :D

Frank you got to wave out the passenger side on your way to St. Louis.:D If you wave on your way home then it's ok out your window.:p

Gary Herrmann
09-26-2006, 11:01 PM
OK Jim, this time I'll meet you guys for breakfast before the Collinsville show and get you that cup of coffee you keep asking about.

Good pics. Beautiful granddaughter.

Jim Dunn
09-26-2006, 11:04 PM
Two last pics from Jim. Not sure of the significance of the squirrel thought you folks might like to suggest that here.

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The squirrel is just a pup that showed up on the deck one day. After I gave it some peanuts it showed up whenever I was out. Looking for a hand-out I guess. She was real friendly for about 3 months and I could hand feed her. Then she met our 2 dogs.:eek: Never seen her on the deck again after that:o

Jim Dunn
09-26-2006, 11:05 PM
Steve and Gary I'll be at the show in 07 for sure.

Travis Stinson
09-26-2006, 11:10 PM
Great interview Jim, sure glad to know more about you. But, how do you nap that much with all that coffee????:D

Jim Dunn
09-26-2006, 11:14 PM
Great interview Jim, sure glad to know more about you. But, how do you nap that much with all that coffee????:D

OK now, the napping is easy to explain:o During the time those 2 napping pics were taken I was under the influence of a lot of "pain killers". After I had back surgery I didn't nap nearly as much;)