View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Hilel Saloman

Andy Hoyt
01-06-2008, 5:30 PM
Name: Hilel Salomon


How young are you? 68 going on 100

Physical description:
I look like a professional football player (whoís been dead for quite some time)

Where is home?
Columbia S.C., and Afton, VA. Iíve also lived in Philadelphia, St. Louis, NY, Asia, and South America. I was born and raised in Bolivia, and came to the US at age 10 or so.

Family information:
Same wife for 42 years, a son w/wife and two kids in Va.; a daughter w/husband and 3 kids in Paris, France; a son w/wife and two kids in Boston. Total of one wife, three children, and 7 (4 boys and 3 girls) grandchildren. I now consider myself a professional grandfather.

Do you have a website?
Not really.

Well gee, Hilel. Thatís only marginally better than, ďNopeĒ.

Iím a retired university professor Ė I taught Chinese History and Philosophy. I now baby-sit, read, write and listen to baroque music with a glass of single malt scotch.

Shop Overview:
I have a shop in my basement in Columbia (30 x 30) which I excavated and quasi finished. In Va., I made a barn/workshop out of green poplar, which is 20 x 40 and is about 40 feet from the little house up in the mountains. Have two each (in Columbia and VA.) of all the large woodworking machinery (table saws, jointers, planers, shapers, sliding miter saws, radial arm saws, drill presses and bandsaws. I like making furniture for my kids and boxes for my grandkids.

How many lathes do you own?
I first bought a Vega many, many years ago. Never used it, but sold it at a profit and bought another Vega. Didnít like it. Now I have a Powermatic in Columbia; and a Nova DVR, Reeves drive Delta and Fisch in VA. I love the Powermatic 3520 B, and like the DVR XP.

How many turning tools do you have?
I have over a dozen chucks, and scores of chisels. (My family considers me to have an illness about buying things on credit, and I probably am a little crazy) Almost all are store bought, and 3 are home made. I like the Vicmarc and Oneway chucks, and Hamlet and Crown gouges.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
The kind that has Dr.Kevorkian's picture on the carton, considering the fact that Iíve had two heart attacks.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
When the shavings come out in long clean strips, it is medicinal for me.

What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Sanding and cleaning up.

Do you belong to a turning club?
Palmetto Woodturners (http://palmettowoodturners.org/) in Columbia, and the CVA (http://centralvawoodturners.org/)in VA.

Whatís your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
A very large ambrosia maple bowl and platter. I love the markings and it was the first time I got to use a corer.

Whatís your favorite form that you turn?

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Narrow opening vases.

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
With a side dish of Pepto Bismol.


Whatís your favorite form someone else turns?
Thin walled hollow forms.

Whatís your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
There are about 20 or so in every edition of the 500 bowls. No one favorite.

What brought you to SMC?
Members are fantastic about giving advice and sharing information.

Do you recall the first thread you started?
Undoubtedly a request for advice.

Yup. You got it. (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=39875)

Whatís your favorite old thread on SMC?
Numerous ones. No one stands out.

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers?
Most recently I met Clancy Courtney, who is also a member of the Palmetto turners. Also met a slew of them over beers at the Louisville AAW

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a turning tool, what tool would you be and why?
A Ladyís skew so that I could be held by a charming young woman.

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
Iíd build even bigger shops and get even more tools.

Thanks for sharing, Hilel. A pleasure to learn more about you. I also have to congratulate you for your Off the Radar status with Google. A major achievement these days. :mad:

Steve Schlumpf
01-06-2008, 6:16 PM
Hilel, thanks for taking the time to do the interview! Been seeing your name multiple times on the various threads - nice to finally be able to put a face to the remarks! Somehow that just didn't sound right.... anyway, good to get to know a fellow Creeker a little better!

George Guadiane
01-06-2008, 10:13 PM
You look good for a dead professional football player!
I would have liked to see some pictures of your work, otherwise, it was a great interview. Good to get to know you, perhaps our paths will cross one day:)

Curt Fuller
01-06-2008, 10:23 PM
Great interview Hilel and a pleasure to know you better.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-06-2008, 11:22 PM
Great interview Hilel! Nice to know more about you!

Tom Sherman
01-07-2008, 1:50 AM
Glad you took the time to do the interview Hileil, good to know more about you.

Bernie Weishapl
01-07-2008, 9:33 AM
Hilel great interview and it is a real pleasure to get to know you better.

Ben Gastfriend
01-09-2008, 9:05 PM
Nice to "meet" you! Would like to see some pictures of work!

I guess Andy couldn't find your aliases anywhere on the net to confuse everyone this time. :D

Nathan Hawkes
01-09-2008, 11:45 PM
Hilel, it looks like you're right down the road from me; I'm just between Crozet and Ivy. Maybe I'll get to one of the local club meetings sometime; I just found it on the net a couple of days ago. Hope to see you around the forum, and perhaps locally.

Don Orr
01-10-2008, 1:04 PM
Nice to get to know more about you Hilel.

Hilel Salomon
01-10-2008, 8:09 PM
I already knew that Sawmill Creek was loaded with exceptionally nice people, but I'm a little overwhelmed by your warm remarks.
I've turned about 100 bowls but compared to the ones I see in the forum, mine are really, really mediocre. I did finally use a Mcnaughton corer and made two mothers/fathers and daughters/sons bowls, but managed to have one of the large ones fly through the room while I was reverse turning. I'll break down and post some, but first I'll post a question about finishing.
In the meantime, if any of your are in my necks of the woods (Columbia, SC) and Afton, VA., I'd be delighted if you called and stopped by. Always have scotch, coffee and bad jokes on hand.
Regards, Hilel.

Brian McInturff
01-10-2008, 8:35 PM
Great interview Hilel. Maybe one of these days I'll have time to stop by when I'm passing through Columbia. Hope you got that Meat bandsaw up and running and it was good to meet you that day too!