View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Keith Christopher

Andy Hoyt
10-20-2006, 9:30 AM
Name: Keith Christopher

DOB: 10/14/1965

Physical description:
Iím 6í2Ē tall, stout build, brown hair, smashingly handsome.

Where is home?
Iíve lived here in Baltimore, Maryland most of my life. Except when I was in the military I was stationed in Ft. Hood, Texas. And the Army was kind enough to send me all over the world.

Family information:
I have two kids, Joshua and Ashleigh. Had the best cat in the world. Prolly never find one to replace him. There are pics of him floating about in here. But you gotta look for Ďem.


So Keith, Iíve heard that Baltimoreís sister city is Buffalo, New York. How come?
Aww man! (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=19604)

Do you have a website? Nope.

I am currently Senior Manager IT for a major corporation. Iíve worked in IT management for the last 12 years and before that I was a UNIX systems architect.

Shop Overview:
About 30 x 30 and itís part of the existing house. Maybe someday Iíll get around to putting up that pole barn and move it to there but fine at the moment.

Tell us about your lathes:
I currently have one and Iím working towards getting a Oneway, (yeah baby! ed.) but havenít taken the plunge yet. Wanna hone some skills on the Rikon and see if I can make it give up the ghost.

How many turning tools do you have? Store bought; home made; favorites?
I donít have enough fingers and toes with which to count them all. I keep getting lost around 11 and have to start over. The skew is my favorite!

How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
My grandfather got me started in woodworking in general. In my youth I would spend the summers helping him Ė he was a cabinetmaker Ė and I considered it indentured servitude at the time. Only now do I realize I learned something wonderful. I used to watch him turn, and once I watched in amazement as he turned balusters for a stair railing, he turned one, liked what he saw and made 12 more EXACTLY like it without a template or guide. I never messed with a lathe because I knew I would never be that good. Then I decided to see what I could do. I like it. Iím not there yet but give me a few more yearsÖ

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What do you enjoy most about turning?
Watching the wood evolve as I put the tool to it. The wood tells me how it needs to be treated, and when you form it and see what it wants to be, well that is gratifying. Corny I know, but thatís my story and Iím sticking to it.

What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
My first was a mahogany bowl.


Whatís your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
My rice bowl. I like the shape and size. It just looks cool and well proportioned.


Whatís your favorite form that you turn?

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Iím about to break into hollow forms and inside-out turning. Watch out! Iím coming all you HF turners. :eek:

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
Moxie? Whatís Moxie? :confused:

Whatís your favorite form someone else turns?
Love the hollow forms.

Whatís your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
I love ALL the hollow forms! I donít think Iíve seen a bad one. But then again why would someone show off a bad one?

Umm Keith - that's all Travis ever shows!

Whatís your favorite wood to work with and why?
Hmmm. There are so many I like, but Iíd have to say mahogany. I love the feel and smell of it. It finishes like a dream (once you fill the pores.)

What brought you to SMC?
Truthfully, I was looking for a message forum that catered to woodworkers and was more personal and homey. I did a Google search for WW forums and this was the third one on the list. I popped in signed up and the rest is history.

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers? Tell us about it.
Brian Hale (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=13967) Ė an awesome gent and VERY talented woodworker. His DVD cabinets were wonderful. Great design and construction.

John Hart (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=29903), while my GF and I were visiting her parents in Ohio, I stopped in and spent a good part of the day with Mr. Hart and his lovely wife and kids, and his HUGE but oh so softie dog. We cut up some logs at the stump dump and hung out a little. I did injure my head on his ďIf youíre taller than me Iím gonna get you backĒ trap. Worked like a charm. His house is adorned with all the turnings he does and never shows on here.

What was your first post about? Or donít you remember?
It was about my tools and a question I think. I canít count past 10 so how am I supposed to remember over 1000 posts ago.

How about the first thread you started?
See above.

Sorry Keith I can count - without fingers (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=27147)and toes (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=27104)even!

So, ya got any nicknames? How'd you get them?
At work they call me Sage. Apparently someone who cannot count past 10 can offer sagely advice.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Ok waitÖ. Iím not a tree? Man that explains A LOT! Seriously though, I would have to say a maple, Iím just one of many and I like it that way.

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
Well if the prize were like $60 Iíd have that new parting tool I saw and thatís about it, but if it were like $60,000,000 Iíd prolly never be seen again as I turned day in and out down in Jamaica. And Iíd have a lathe for every occasion, Iíd never change centers or jaws again.

48765 48766

Couple more pics - hang on.

Andy Hoyt
10-20-2006, 9:32 AM
Two more pics.

48767 48768

Thanks, Keith. I'm better for knowing you. Now, about that mayo..... :D

Jim Becker
10-20-2006, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the introduction, Keith!

Now, don't forget to taste the other "condiments" before you choose your "last" lathe! Try to actually turn on them before plunking down your money. All of the high-end machines are great, but every turner is different. Buy what is comfortable for your to turn the type of work you do.

Chuck Hanger
10-20-2006, 11:24 AM
Great work Keith. Good to know you better.

Keith Burns
10-20-2006, 11:25 AM
Keith it's nice to know more about you. Only problem is I keep getting confused reading your interview. I keep thinking to myself, I don't have a cat, I've never done that, never lived in Baltimore:D :D

Don Orr
10-20-2006, 11:45 AM
Keith C.-very nice interview. Good to get to know you a little better!

George Conklin
10-20-2006, 12:26 PM
Great interview, Keith.
What's the process you use for filling the pores on mahogany?

Frank Fusco
10-20-2006, 1:58 PM
Good interview. Glad to know you.

Bernie Weishapl
10-20-2006, 7:03 PM
Great interview Keith. It is good to know you better.

Travis Stinson
10-20-2006, 8:17 PM
Great interview Keith. Good to know more about you. Can't wait to see more of your work!:cool:

Pete Jordan
10-20-2006, 8:38 PM
You are a funny guy. I really enjoyed your interview.

Curt Fuller
10-20-2006, 9:43 PM
Nice to know you better Keith. And nothing like a cat that lays around up side down.

Corey Hallagan
10-21-2006, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the interview Keith. I have enjoyed your posts and you make a beautful pen that is for sure.


Dennis Peacock
10-21-2006, 11:16 PM
Nice to meet and know more about you Keith. Excellent interview.

Mark Pruitt
10-22-2006, 11:48 AM
Enjoyed the interview, Keith. Thanks for sharing!

Ken Fitzgerald
10-22-2006, 4:09 PM
Thanks for the interview Keith! Nice to know more about you.

Keith Christopher
10-22-2006, 10:11 PM
Great interview, Keith.
What's the process you use for filling the pores on mahogany?

Pore-o-pack. I strongly recommend respiration as it contains some nasty stuff. Works like a champ.

Thanks for all the kind compliments ! Been great here and love this place !