View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Mike Fuson

Andy Hoyt
06-30-2007, 10:51 PM
Name: Mike Fuson

How young are you? 35 but feel like I am at least 50

Physical description:
6' 2’’ 260 pounds of lean mean fat, brown hair green eyes

Where is home?
I live in southeastern Kentucky. Near the Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia tri-state area. I lived here all of my life, except for 8 months in Indiana when I learned I’m a redneck country boy.

Family information:
I have a wonderful wife of nine years, and she is a mental health therapist. I told her when I married her that I was only doing it because I could not afford 117 bucks an hour. We have a two-year-old boy that I think the sun rises and sets on; and two beagles that bark way too much.

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I own and operate a custom kitchen cabinet shop. I worked in a steak house; operated a crane in a scrap yard; built living room furniture; and built mobile homes for several years.

Shop Overview:
I built a new shop close to the house about 4 years ago, it is 32x100. I have 2 miter saws, 2 table saws, 2 bandsaws, 80'' belt sander, disc sander, 2 shapers, 5 dust collectors, planer, 15 or so routers, a molder, and a bunch of gimmicks that I thought would make life easier.

How many lathes do you own? Tell us about 'em.
I started out with a Cheapo from Big Lots department store, I gave 99 bucks for it and they robbed me at that. In the late 90s I got a Nova 3000 and had it for a couple of years, and now I have the big mustard monster, and I'll never need anything bigger than that.

How many turning tools do you have? Store bought; home made; favorites?
Probably 15 or 20. I did make my own captive hollowing system that has made turning much more enjoyable.

How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I turned a candleholder in high school and that started the addiction. So, off and on for twenty years, but probably 7 or 8 actual years. I never really got serious about it until I got the Powermatic lathe.

Other than mustard, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Homemade brand cookies and cream

What do you enjoy most about turning?
I guess that would have to be when the finish goes on and I can finally see what the end result is going to be.

What do you enjoy the least about turning
Sanding, of course

What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
Those old high school candleholders.

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Dang funny looking candleholders, Mike.

What’s your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
I was real pleased with the last one that I posted, which was an elm hollow form with a Leopard wood collar. (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=60026) It just turned out the way I wanted it to, and that just hardly ever happens to me.

What’s your favorite form that you turn?
As most of the creekers know I do quite a bit of segmented pieces, they take a lot more time and patience and I am more proud of them, but I don't get as many comments on them? Don't know why.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Hmmm.... I would like to turn some big honking platters to hang on the wall.

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? only when comatose?)
Well, I have never tried it, but if I did I wouldn't chase it with beer, they don't allow that at the church where I pastor. I guess I would just hold my nose and go straight up, then go comatose.

Now that’s my kinda guy!

Andy Hoyt
06-30-2007, 10:52 PM
What’s your favorite form someone else turns?
That’s a hard one, I like several people’s work. I guess I would have to say Travis Stinson's hollow forms (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=24170); and Mark Cothren's natural edge bowls (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=24546); with Keith Burns coming in there close; (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=22236) and man, Jim Ketron (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=16055) is right in there too.

What’s your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
If I had to just pick one it would have to be the piece that Travis turned (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=55554) that looked like a goblet but was a hollow form and it had a pedestal and finial. I like it because, who would ever have thought to do that?

What’s your favorite wood to work with and why?
Well I have not turned many exotics, so I guess maple would be my favorite because it seems to have the most figure and curls and color variations.

What brought you to SMC?
One of my cabinet customers gave me an old Rockwell/Delta lathe back in January and I turned one piece on it just to make me take the plunge for the mustard. Forgot to mention that lathe plus I also had a ShopSmith lathe I forgot to mention. I did a search and found the Creek and here I am.

Do you recall the first thread you started?
My first thread was introducing myself, followed by which lathe to buy. Everyone said the same thing about the Powermatic lathe and that’s why I bought it, and it was a good decision.

Yup (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=51269)

What was your first post about? Or don’t you remember?
I don't remember, probably commenting on someone’s work.

Not ‘xactly (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=520355&highlight=dollar#post520355)

What’s your favorite old thread on SMC?
That would have to be the one where we just went back and forth on mustard and Mayo, hmmm ...seems to me you were at the heart of that discussion Andy.

The “one thread”? :eek: Perhaps this one (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=29755)?

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers? Tell us about it.
I have met several and become friends with them (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=56150). Travis Stinson, Mark Cothren, Jim Ketron, Keith Burns, Joe Tonich, Ernie Nyvall, Rob Bourgeois. I sure have learned a lot from these old boys

Got any nicknames? How'd you get them?
Folks around here call me preacher, Travis calls me biscuit ----- don't ask, it’s a long story.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a turning tool, what tool would you be and why?
I guess that would have to be a 1 1/4'' roughing gouge. It’s big and fat and not much good for anything.

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
Actually, I wouldn't change anything. The good Lord has blessed me with a home, wife, kid and a good life and home in Heaven that no sweepstakes could afford. I guess I might use the money to get an operation to have grease inserts put in my knees so I could stand at the lathe longer at one time. LOL

Some more of Mike’s stuff.

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Since Mike was a bit sparse with releasing much information about himself, I took the liberty of doing some snooping.

This guy gets around!

Link one (http://www.michaelfuson.com/bio.html)

Link Two (http://www.sonomacity.org/default.aspx?PageId=19)

Link Three (http://personal.denison.edu/%7Efuson/)

Link Four (http://www.gpc-bsa.org/climbingandrappelling/)

Thanks, Biscuit! What’s for breakfast

Ken Fitzgerald
06-30-2007, 11:04 PM
Nice to know more about you Mike! Great interview. I have a sister who is a Family Nurse Practitioner in Hyden Ky.

Bernie Weishapl
06-30-2007, 11:18 PM
Mike great interview. Glad to get to know you, your family and the young man a little better.

Travis Stinson
07-01-2007, 12:02 AM
Great interview Biscuit!
I thought you loved sanding????:confused: ;)


Curt Fuller
07-01-2007, 1:08 AM
Great interview Mike!
The two nicknames, Biscuit and Preacher, made me chuckle. Reminded me of the Lyle Lovett song...

To the Lord let praises be
It's time for dinner now let's go eat
We've got some beans and some good cornbread
And I listened to what the preacher said
Now it's to the Lord let praised be
It's time for dinner now let's go eat

Steve Schlumpf
07-01-2007, 6:11 PM
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview Mike! Always great to get to know a fellow Creeker just a little better! Looking forward to seeing more of your turnings - even the segmented stuff!!

Pete Jordan
07-01-2007, 6:21 PM
I guess biscuit is better that cupcake. Nice to know you better!

Mark Cothren
07-01-2007, 6:27 PM
Mike is one fine fellar... and can that boy eat???? :eek: Travis should call him "Biscuits" to be more accurate...

Great interview, BroMike!

Nancy Laird
07-01-2007, 6:29 PM
Great interview, Mike, beautiful turnings, but that boy of yours is a keeper!!


Keith Burns
07-01-2007, 6:34 PM
Mike, great interview !! Now lets go have a breakfast, or two, or three..........

Tom Sherman
07-01-2007, 9:30 PM
Cool interview Mike, don't let nicknames put you off, and I think the Lord gives preaching men extra appetites for the work they have to do.

Mark Pruitt
07-02-2007, 11:31 AM
Glad to finally see you doing the interview, Mike! Those are some excellent segged pieces!:)

Since Mike was a bit sparse with releasing much information about himself, I took the liberty of doing some snooping.

This guy gets around!

Link one (http://www.michaelfuson.com/bio.html)

Link Two (http://www.sonomacity.org/default.aspx?PageId=19)

Link Three (http://personal.denison.edu/%7Efuson/)

Link Four (http://www.gpc-bsa.org/climbingandrappelling/)

That's a hoot! I've done that to a few people I know, it's always a good laugh. Mike could spice up the church music with that guitar!:p :p :p

Barry Stratton
07-02-2007, 11:32 PM
GREAT interview Mike! Thanks for sharing.

Jim Becker
07-03-2007, 8:44 AM
Nice to get to know you, Mike!

Don Orr
07-03-2007, 10:12 AM
Great interview. Good to get to know you better. Very nice work by the way!

Robert McGowen
07-03-2007, 12:45 PM
Nice to learn about the person behind some of those great segmented pieces. :)
Keep up the good work, both professionally and turning wise!