View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Shane Whitlock

Andy Hoyt
07-07-2007, 3:49 PM
Name: Shane Whitlock

How young are you?
I will be 40 this December but I feel like I'm a 100.

Physical description:
About 5'10" and 220lbs. I look much older than I am, I think its the gray hair plus I work way too many hours and smoke way to much. :( I had talked with some of the guys at work about woodturning and a couple of them said "Hey that will be a good hobby for ya when ya retire." One of them was 58 and the other just turned 60, they both thought I was older than they were!

(A photoshopped self portrait I took with one of my antique cameras.)

Where is home?
Right now home is in Perry, Utah. I grew up about 15 miles away in Honeyville (love that name). After high school I moved to Phoenix to go to school for a few years, graduated and moved back to Utah and I'm sure this is where I will stay. I love the small town I live in and the mountains are great, so are the people.

Family information:
I married my high school sweetheart. We dated for a couple years in school and then went our separate ways. We both got married to other people, had one child each, then got divorced. About 5 years ago a mutual friend set us up on a date and we have been together ever since.


We also have one cat and a dog.

67560 67561

Do you have a website?
I have a couple of websites. My main photography site (http://www.shanewhitlock.com/) is where I have a small sample of my photographs along with some of my wood turnings, and my photo storage site (http://www.pbase.com/shaner) is where I have about 1750 pics stored.

For the last 3 years I have been a project manager for a geotechnical engineering and mechanical testing company. Before that I was a mechanical QC for the Core of Engineers and before that I did HVAC.

Shop Overview:
The only reason I bought my house is because of the shop that came with it. Its "L" shaped; 1200 sq. ft.; with a furnace, wood burning stove, air conditioning, and a bathroom. It originally started out as a studio for my other hobby photography so I could have a place to shoot during the winter months; but now its full of woodworking tools. The main tools I have are two each of - tablesaw, bandsaw, scroll saw, drill press and jointer. Sadly, just one planer, surface sander, drum sander, shaper, chop saw, radial arm saw and dedicated mortiser.

Some of my other hobbies are restoring old woodworking machines. Some of my recent projects are a 1950's Craftsman TS (http://www.pbase.com/shaner/table_saw), 1931 Delta BS (http://www.pbase.com/shaner/image/70186907) and the restoration that got me hooked on turning a 1936 Walker Turner Lathe (http://www.pbase.com/shaner/walker_turner_lathe). I also enjoy metal detecting (another one of my websites) but haven't done much of it lately. I also like making copper sprinklers and fountains (http://www.pbase.com/shaner/image/46253141) and of course I love photography, editing pics and restoring old pictures. I also collect and restore vintage cameras (http://www.pbase.com/shaner/cameras).

Page Two.

Andy Hoyt
07-07-2007, 3:50 PM
And now, the rest of the story

How many lathes ya got?
Right now I have 2 lathes. The rebuilt 1936 Walker Turner and a Jet 1642 EVS. I would like to get a mini and some day when I am rich and famous (dreaming) I would love to get a big Robust or Oneway.


How many turning tools do you have? Store bought; home made; favorites?
The first set of turning tools I bought was an old set of Craftsman tools. I used to use them a lot until I bought the Mastercut 5/8" and 3/8" bowl gouges and a 1/2 spindle gouge from Oneway. My favorite is the 5/8" bowl gouge which I use about 95% of the time. I also bought the Termite but never liked it so now it sits there and collects dust. I also have two homemade hollowing tools with replaceable tips that I built for hollow forms but I still use the bowl gouge for most of the hollowing.


How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I started turning in the middle of January 2007. I restored the Walker Turner and had to try it out. That was all it took, I was hooked! Since I started turning I haven't restored another machine and have done very little photography, other than to photograph my turnings.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I gotta watch my sugar level and haven't found any good sugar free ice cream so no favorites for me.

Aw man. That’s not fair.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
Discovering what's inside a piece of wood. Some woods look so boring on the outside but ya open them up the color and grain can be amazing.

What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Cleaning up.

Huh? What’s that?

What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
My first turning was a small bowl turned out of a piece of Elm. (The one shown on the right. The one on the left was my 2nd bowl). Woohooo .. How many points do I get?


Sorry. No points will be awarded. I only asked for your first and you have shown bad form by also showcasing your second. :cool:

What's your favorite grit of sandpaper?
I usually start out with 320 and proceed straight to 2000. I guess 2000 would be my favorite cause that's when ya can really see the beauty in the wood's grain.

What’s your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
My 4th hollow form. The grain in it is outrageous and I love the large bark pocket.


I am also proud of the hat I turned.


What’s your favorite form that you turn?
I love turning hollow forms (http://www.shanewhitlock.com/gallery/v/wood/hfs/) cause they are the most challenging but lately I have been doing a lot of pen turning (http://www.shanewhitlock.com/gallery/v/wood/pens/). There's really not much challenge in the form but I am having a blast turning them.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
I would love to try segmented pieces.

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
Umm, not sure what Moxie is...

Dang PR Department’s snoozing again. Sheesh!

What’s your favorite form someone else turns?
That's a tough one, there are so many great pieces to choose from. I like Travis's hollow forms, Keith and Mark's natural edges, Bill's segs, Curt's goblet, Jim's pens ... and everything else posted here.

What’s your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
There's no way I could narrow it down to just one piece. There are so many great turnings posted here on SMC and my favorites seem to change from day to day.

What’s your favorite wood to work with and why?
I love Box Elder cause its easy to turn and there is so much of it around here. The burl has beautiful grain and I love the bright reds that some of the pieces have.

What brought you to SMC?
I came across this site when I first started turning by searching for Utah wood turners and came across Curt Fuller's interview. I lurked here for a while but started posting on another forum. Later Neal Addy suggested I start posting here too and now this is where I spend most of my time.

Do you recall the first thread you started?
Yup ... This one (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=55686). I introduced myself and showed off some of my turnings.

What was your second post about? Or don’t you remember?
Yup ... Same one as above.

I said second post (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=563738#post563738)! Sheesh, again. :D

What’s your favorite old thread (started by someone else) on SMC?
I got a kick out of this one (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=30066).

Me too!

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers?
I regularly exchange emails with a few Creekers and have met Curt Fuller (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=59551) a couple of times. He emailed me about a local turning club and at our last meeting I got the privilege of watching him turn one of his goblets.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get them?

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
I would hire a maid to clean my shop.

What's with this cleaning fixation?

Thanks, Nope. Shane’s on an airplane as I’m posting this, so have at it folks. You all should be far enough away by the time he gets back home

Ken Fitzgerald
07-07-2007, 4:56 PM
Great interview! Nice to know more about you Shane! I'd say you are a natural turner based on the quality of projects you have turned!

Pete Jordan
07-07-2007, 5:28 PM
Nice to learn more about you Shane! I thought Andy graded a little hard though.

Dennis Peacock
07-07-2007, 6:33 PM
Nice to know more about you Shane! Great interview.

Nancy Laird
07-07-2007, 7:09 PM
Good interview, Shane. Nice to know more about you. Your turnings are just excellent. I'm envious.


Bernie Weishapl
07-07-2007, 9:13 PM
Great interview Shane. Nice to know you better and what a great looking family.

Jim Becker
07-07-2007, 9:20 PM
LOL! Very nice interview. Entertaining, too...even Andy's comments. :)

And I was on an airplane when I first read this thread (on a very tiny screen)...so I'm even with Shane in that respect.

Curt Fuller
07-07-2007, 10:25 PM
Great interview Shane! Since you're the only Creeker I've ever had a chance to actually meet and physically see your work I really enjoyed learning more about you. I also have to say that you're one of the most naturally gifted turners and artists I've ever met. For someone with only a half a years worth of turning experience I've been amazed and impressed with all of your work. And I have to say that you do look a little bit older than 40, especially in the great looking wooden hat.

Tom Sherman
07-08-2007, 12:35 AM
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview Shane made for a good read. Its good to know about you.

Mark Cothren
07-08-2007, 8:33 AM
Enjoyed the read, Shane - nice interview!

Steve Schlumpf
07-08-2007, 6:55 PM
Shane - thanks for the interview! Always great to get to know a fellow creeker just a little better! Have always enjoyed your turnings - look forward to seeing lots more in the years to come! Best of luck to you and your family!

Jeff Moffett
07-08-2007, 7:16 PM
Nice to know you better, Shane. I really enjoyed your wildlife photography as well.

Ed Scolforo
07-09-2007, 12:59 PM
Enjoyed your interview, Shane. Your photograpy is envious as is your turnings. Thanks for sharing.

Don Orr
07-10-2007, 11:20 AM
Good stuff Shane, nice to get to know you better. Outstanding work by the way.

07-10-2007, 11:32 AM
Nice interview Shane. You have a great looking family inspite of the genetics you passed on. :D Thanks for airing your photography site. I enjoyed it. Your tunrings are very nice, especially love the hat. I want to turn on someday!

Keith Burns
07-10-2007, 4:23 PM
Shane, it's nice to know you better. Nice family and a nice shop. I'm envious of your turning talents. You definately have the artistic touch!

Shane Whitlock
07-14-2007, 11:15 AM
I want to thank everyone for all the replies ... Thanks!
It was fun reading them.:D

And thanks to Andy for taking the time to put the interview together.

Happy Turning,
Shane Whitlock

Travis Stinson
07-14-2007, 7:39 PM
Great interview Shane. I love where you're going with your turning! Best of luck with it. :cool:

Mark Pruitt
07-16-2007, 2:28 PM
Excellent interview Shane! You do excellent work...both the turnings and the photography!