View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Sean Troy

Andy Hoyt
09-29-2007, 4:29 PM
Name: Sean Troy

How young are you?
48 years old/young depending on the day

Physical description: 6í 3Ē 190 lbs.


Whereís home?
Henderson, Kentucky is home and I have lived here with my wife and two daughters for 14 months. We moved from Gilbert, Arizona where I had lived for 28 years after moving from the Catskill Mountains area of New York State.

Family information:
My wife Cindy and I have been married for almost 14 years and have two daughters, Erin and Megan, 10 & 6 years old respectively. I have three other children from a previous marriage and four grandchildren. They all live in Arizona at this time. We have two dogs, Banjo and Pluto, a Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel, an old cat of 18 years named Bows and two hamsters.

Do you have a website?

Yup. Sure do (http://www.woodturneddreams.com).

I am retired, but not by choice. I had a severe spinal injury in 1995 while working on the job. I was a licensed contractor/business owner and ground and polished marble and granite as well as finished other natural stone work in commercial and residential job locations. I unknowingly had a spinal disease that was weakening my spine and crushed several discs and cracked a vertebra while working a job. I was trying to be super man and lift a two hundred pound machine into the back of my van. That ruptured 3 discs and I did more severe damage while on some serious pain medication and feeling less pain several weeks later. After 12 years and a couple of surgeries, Iím able to get around fine most of the time, but sitting for any length of time is very hard.

Shop Overview:
I am in the end stage process of building a workshop that should be just perfect for me. It will be 20 x 20 with 9 ft. ceilings and located separately from our house. It will also be well-insulated with air conditioning. Iím installing a 100 amp panel and will also have its own meter. With building a new shop, I had the perfect excuse to buy some new tools. I now have a Cyclone system for the shop that I need to set up, a new table saw and some other smaller flat woodworking power tools like circular saw, reciprocating saw, miter saw, routers and drills. The next tools I would like to get are a jointer and drum sander. There are progress pictures (http://www.woodturneddreams.com/shop.htm) of my shop on my website and Iíll add more as I get further along.

How many lathes do you own?
I have two lathes and use them both. A Powermatic 4224 and a Jet Mini lathe. I like the power of a 3hp motor on the Powermatic for coring bowl blanks and large hollow forms. The largest turning so far started out as a 225lb. log section. I use the Mini for finials and collars.

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How many turning tools do you have?
I do make some of my own turning tools but have a large selection of tools made by other turners such as my hollowing rig. I also like to use Glaser gouges and Lea specialty tools. If I could find all my turning tools, I could count them, but they seem to pop up all over the place while I have them semi packed during my shop building. I can honestly say I have more tools than I need. (I canít believe I just said that.)

I can -- I believe he just did, in fact, say that. tsk tsk

How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I started turning about eight years ago. After my back injury and ending my business, I still wanted to do some type of work with my hands that would not strain my back. I had always liked woodworking and started making chessboards. After a short while, I started selling them and kept getting more and more orders from a website I put up to advertise them. I was using exotic hardwoods to make them and customers started asking for matching wood chess pieces. The only way was to make them myself, so I bought a Jet Mini and a couple of tools and taught myself how to turn chess pieces.

It wasnít long before I really started to dislike turning because each set had 32 pieces and it was getting very boring. Besides that, I couldnít charge enough to make it worth my while. While I was at Loweís one day, I started talking to a guy in the tool department about turning and mentioned how bored I was with it. I was invited to come to an Arizona Woodturners Association (http://www.azwoodturners.org/) meeting to see what others were doing with a lathe and saw a whole new world open up. All of a sudden, it wasnít boring anymore. Shortly after joining the chapter, I bought the Powermatic Lathe and started taking lessons and learning all I could from turners whose work I had started admiring. There are three turners with whom Iíve spent time and learning from who made the biggest impression on me: Stuart Batty (http://www.stubatty.com/), Phil Brennion (http://www.kestrelcreek.com/AIR/Phil_Brennion.htm), and Soren Berger (http://www.berger.co.nz/). Stuart taught me there is no limit to what you can turn. Phil taught me not to be afraid to reach past your limits and Soren taught me how to always have fun with turning and never let it become a chore.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Anything with the chopped up candy bars in it.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
Creating something different each and every time.

What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Nothing. I love every part of it. (even sanding)


Do you belong to a turning club?
Iím a life long member of the Arizona Woodturners Association. Iíll be joining my local chapter here which is the IKI Woodturners (http://ikiwoodturners.net/) as soon as I stop procrastinating.

What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
A chess piece and it was a queen. I donít have a picture, but still have the piece somewhere in my mess of a garage.

How's that shop coming?
Umm (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=61348), far (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=61514) too (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=62151) slow (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=62356).

Whatís your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
It was a 20Ē in diameter olive root burl bowl with most of it being voids. It was less than 1/8Ē thick. I asked Phil Brennion to critique it and he said, ďI will when you finish it.Ē I said, ďIt is.Ē and thatís when he convinced me I had not even come close to reaching past my limits and not to be afraid to try.


Whatís your favorite form that you turn?
I donít have a favorite because I learn a lot with every one I turn and that always keeps it fresh and fun.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Boxes. Iíve never had much luck with them, nor have I spent much time with them either.

Andy Hoyt
09-29-2007, 4:30 PM
How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
Take it where?

Whatís your favorite form someone else turns?
I really donít have a favorite. After seeing instant galleries at symposiums, I like it all. I suppose thatís one of the reasons I never get bored with turning.

Whatís your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
I have no single favorite, but I do have a few that I think are really awe inspiring. Stuart Battyís winged bowls because of the consistency of the wall thickness and perfect shape. Malcolm Tibbettsí (http://www.tahoeturner.com/) segmented work because itís truly his and there is no mistaking it. Not to mention the patience he must have. Any beginnerís piece because it reminds me of the excitement one has when they show off a turning for the whole world to see for the first time.

Whatís your favorite wood to work with and why?
For sheer beauty and how well it turns and finishes (it has the whole package) Cocobolo

What brought you to SMC?
Someone from another forum mentioned the Creek and I strolled on over.

What was your first post about? Or donít you remember?
I canít even remember my dogís name most of the time.

Here ya go. (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=433150#post433150)

Do you recall the first thread you started?
See my last answer

O ye of short memories. (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=42991)

Whatís your favorite old thread (started by someone else) on SMC?
Anything that gets people fired up.

Uh Oh.

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers? Tell us about it.
Not that Iím aware of but hope to, and any Creeker is always welcome to come visit out here in Henderson, Kentucky.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get them?
I better not say. It would embarrass my wife.

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a beach ball, what beach would you be at and why?
I would be at Conchis Chinas (http://www.5stardestinations.com/sitepages/property1326.php#description) beach in Puerto Vallarta. Why? Because itís Puerto Vallarta

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
I wouldnít feel guilty every time I bought a tool.

Thanks Sean. For those that donít know, Sean is also quietly guiding and developing all of us as a most active board member (http://www.woodturner.org/org/staff_dirs.cfm) of the AAW.

And hereís some more evidence of some great talent from this humble Emparizotuckian.

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Bernie Weishapl
09-29-2007, 7:12 PM
Sean that was a great interview. It is nice to get to know you better.

Tom Sherman
09-29-2007, 10:11 PM
You do some awesome work Sean, Great interview thanks for Sharing.

Jim Becker
09-29-2007, 10:35 PM
Excellent interview, Sean!

Brian Weick
09-29-2007, 10:54 PM
Nice work,I really like the voided work you have done- that is great, the others are done very well, along with this interview!:)

Shane Whitlock
09-30-2007, 12:05 AM
Great work Sean ... I enjoyed your website, impressive turnings!

Happy Turning,
Shane Whitlock

Kyle Laird
09-30-2007, 12:05 PM
Absolutely amazing work.

Neal Addy
09-30-2007, 12:34 PM
Nice interview, Sean! Beautiful work and great website.

Randy Privett
09-30-2007, 2:21 PM
Great interview Sean, I hope you get your shop done soon. Great meeting you at Ray's.


Nancy Laird
09-30-2007, 2:28 PM
Very nice interview, Sean, and I'm glad you are able to turn the work that you do. I took a look at your website, and your work is marvelous!!

Nancy (82 days)

Sean Troy
09-30-2007, 7:22 PM
Thanks all.

Steve Schlumpf
09-30-2007, 10:22 PM
Great interview Sean! Always great to get to know a fellow Creeker a little better! Really liked your web-site and all of your turnings! Looking forward to seeing more of your work soon!

Glenn Hodges
10-01-2007, 8:51 AM
Glad to know you better.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-01-2007, 9:15 AM
Great interview Sean! Nice to know more about you.

Keith Christopher
10-01-2007, 9:33 AM
Great interview Sean ! Glad to know you !

George Guadiane
10-09-2007, 6:42 PM
I also really like that Olive Root Bowl, looks like it could have gone south REAL FAST with even a moment's loss of concentration.
Great work, great interview!

Don Orr
10-10-2007, 10:45 AM
Very nice interview, and wonderful work. Enjoy the new shop. If you ever get back to upstate NY, I'm in Schenectady and would welcome a visit.

Sean Troy
10-10-2007, 12:00 PM
Very nice interview, and wonderful work. Enjoy the new shop. If you ever get back to upstate NY, I'm in Schenectady and would welcome a visit.

Thanks Don, I may make it back that way next summer. I'd like to show my family the Catskill's where I grew up.

Dennis Peacock
10-10-2007, 6:31 PM
Excellent interview!!! It's nice to read more about fellow woodturners and something about them. Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us. :D

Pete Jordan
11-11-2007, 8:04 AM
Great work Sean!

You are a braver man than I!