View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Ed Scolforo

Andy Hoyt
09-01-2007, 6:04 PM
Name: Ed Scolforo

How young are you? Turned the big six-oh this March (pun intended).

Physical description: Short, dark and handsome, 5’6, (used to be 5’7), 155 pounds.

Where’s home?
Born and raised in the beautiful Berkshire Hills in western MA. We lived in Worcester, MA for a few years while going to school as well as Bristol and New Britain, CT, where I worked for a couple years.

Family information:
I have a wonderful wife, Marilyn, with whom I just celebrated 35 years of marriage; as well as a lovely daughter, Erica, who is a business development manager for a growing company in San Antonio where she resides with her husband, Brandon, a great son in law. No grandkids yet, but they’ll be working on that soon! ps: That dummy in the window was a sudden inspiration I had while in San Diego.

71003 71004

71005 71006

Do you have a website? If so, what’s the URL?

Why not?
I dunno.

After high school my aunt talked me into trying hairdressing for a career. So I figured, great, what an awesome way to meet some ladies. Little did I know that most of them would have blue hair. I quit in a year and did a four year tour in the Navy. I then met Marilyn, got married, and went to school for Respiratory Therapy, which is what I’ve been doing ever since. Our motto is “your sputum is our bread and butter” (sorry).

Whaaa? No sputum pic? Sheesh.

Shop Overview:
My basement shop is small, about 22x15, and shares space with a washer, dryer, furnace and oil tank. I have a TS, router table, chop saw, band saw, DC system and the usual portable power tools.

How many lathes do you own?
I have a Nova DVR and a Jet Mini. The Nova was chosen for its smaller footprint and good performance. My next one would be Mustard (sorry Andy!).

Ha! You’re the one who’ll be sorry.

How many turning tools do you have?
I have the usual tools, my favorite being the Ellsworth bowl gouge. I’m also pretty much geared up for hollow turning with a captive system with Don Pencil’s hollowing tools, Jamieson’s D handle in a home made secondary rest. No laser yet. I need to get going!

How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I started by making pens about 6 years ago. A big influence was a local turner, Warren Vienneau, a self taught turner who I used to work for a few hours a week doing prep work for some of the things he did at that time. I spent a considerable amount of time digging stones out of root burls. “Vinnie” is one of the best turners I have ever met. He turns full time and has stuff all over the world. You should check out his website. (http://www.turnedworks.com)

What's your favorite topping for Moxie ice cream?
First of all, are they now making it lactose free? (No Way!!- ed) The last time I tried it, it wasn’t. It actually was good with raspberry sauce.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
Getting paid for the finished product.

What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Duh, sanding.

Do you belong to a turning club?
No, unfortunately there are none around here. Even though Vinnie is only a few miles away, I wouldn’t impose on him as he is extremely busy.

What was your first completed turned project?
You get bonus points for a picture of it. I’m sure it was a pen but I don’t have a pic.

What’s your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
I like this one (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=51790) a lot. It looks like an apple and is made from apple wood.

What’s your favorite form that you turn?
Right now, bowls. I like the utilitarian aspect of it. I tried a vase or two and think I’m going to be fond of taller vases.

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

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
Any Northerner of good repute knows that Moxie can only be taken followed by a Sam Adams Summer Ale.

Yup. And in that note. Hang on while I head over the the ice box.

Andy Hoyt
09-01-2007, 6:04 PM
What’s your favorite form someone else turns?
Vinnie has made some beautiful hollow forms that I like a lot. And Stinson… I hate that guy.

What’s your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
There are so many, but Travis really has a great eye and talent. Did I mention I hate that guy?

What’s your favorite wood to work with and why?
Mesquite is great to work with, and so is cherry.

What brought you to SMC?
I found it while web surfing. The friendliness and helpfulness of the group has made it a pleasure to be a part of.

What was your first post about? Or don’t you remember?
Don’t recall.

You were helpful (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=136024&ll#post136024) - as always.

Do you recall the first thread you started?

Yep. My daughter has this bowl (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=17371) on her baker’s rack in San Antonio. She liked the “primitive” look of it.

What’s your favorite old thread (started by someone else) on SMC?
I absolutely loved the one by John Hart “found some firewood today (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=50633)”. His gloating had a few Creekers wanting to wring his neck. He just kept on rubbing it in. Gotta love that rascal!

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers?
Tell us about it. Yep. I had a lesson with Bill Grumbine (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=20557), also ran into Bill at the Totally Turning Symposium in Albany, NY, where I asked him to introduce me to Anthony Yakonick. He grunted something that vaguely resembled a greeting, so I’ll count that as having met him. Also Curtis Seebeck and Dario Octaviano, both of whom I visited and bought some wood from while in Texas.

Geez Ed. I can find the thread where you announced the trip to San Antonio (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=26367) and Curtis posted in it; and I can find the thread where you posted a bowl from your score (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=33422). But there’s no thread about the trip. Major Pic Police infraction here, bub.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get them?
A shortened version of my last name “Scolf” seems to be the most common. When I was a kid “ski-frog” was popular because I could run fast and jump far.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a turning tool stuck up in a tree, what kind of tree would it be and why?
I’d like it to be a white oak from the Nevers or Allier forests in France, made into a cask holding a bellyful of Cabernet Sauvignon. Or how about a peach tree. A lot of my co-workers have told be that I’m a real peach.

Nope. I aint touchin’ that one. :D

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
I’d have a summer home on the coast in Maine and a warm place to live in the winter. I’d have a decent sized shop with Mustard in the middle.

Hmmm. So if that mustard thing lives in Florida, what’ll you turn on in the summer? Maine import laws are real tough ya know.

Thanks Ed.

Here’s a few more gems from the SMC archives.

Here's a salad bowl from Hickory given to me by a friend from his lot. I can't believe how heavy this wood is, the roughout was 9 pounds 110z.! Even finished, it's pretty heavy, being 13 x5x almost 3/4" thick. I gave it a coat of walnut oil and plan to give it to my friend at work tomorrow. Thanks for looking. Ed


Hello, Everyone. This is my second attempt at turning a bowl. I used the same blank ( 6 1/2 by 2 1/2) as my first bowl but tried to give it a lower and wider profile. This piece was darker and has more figure than the first one. I finished with Minwax Antique Oil and Beal buffed. On another note, I bought 2 cherry blanks from someone in classifieds and the blank cracked all over the place after an initial roughdown. I guess that's why you don't use blanks that still have the pith in. I'm learning!


Here's a 12 1/2" x 2" bowl made from cherry and finished with Antique Oil Finish and buffed. Thanks for looking.


Here's a few lights I did, two from maple (mine really DID crack easily) and one from mesquite that I bought from Curtis when visiting San Antonio last Thanksgiving. One thing I found out is that you need a drill bit bigger than 1 1/2". I think 40 MM might be just right. 1 5/8 may be a tad too loose?


Here's the wedding platter I made for my daughter and her new husband. It's walnut, 15 1/4" diameter, and finished with satin wipe on poly and then buffed. The inlays are maple. They got married in San Diego, on a cliff overlooking the ocean.Part of their ceremony involved releasing doves, so I thought it would be cool to incorporate doves into the platter. Don Baer recommended fellow Creeker Pete Simmons to do the laser work. I'm very happy with Pete's work, and he was very accomodating when working with me through the design process. I plan to present this platter at the reception we're having for the newlyweds in two weeks. Thanks for looking. Ed


Dennis Peacock
09-01-2007, 7:02 PM
Excellent interview Ed. Very nice to know more about you...oh....and thanks for keeping Andy straightened out about what color a "real" lathe is...Mustard. :rolleyes: :p :p :D

Bernie Weishapl
09-01-2007, 7:36 PM
Ed that was a excellent interview. It is great to know you better.

Ken Fitzgerald
09-01-2007, 7:49 PM
Great interview Ed! It's always nice to know more about you!

Christopher K. Hartley
09-01-2007, 9:27 PM
Cool interview Ed! Three cheers for your White Oak!:)

Jim Becker
09-01-2007, 10:32 PM
Vally Ingtalesting!!! :D

Barry Stratton
09-01-2007, 10:56 PM
Great interview Ed! I always enjoy seeing your work.

Curt Fuller
09-02-2007, 11:57 AM
Hi Ed. Great interview and nice to know you better.

Tom Sherman
09-02-2007, 4:41 PM
Nice Interview Ed, nice to know more about you.

Steve Schlumpf
09-07-2007, 3:02 PM
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview Ed! Always great to get to know a fellow Creeker just a little better!

Pete Jordan
09-09-2007, 9:50 PM
Good read Ed!

You are going to love the mustard when it happens.