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Thread: What was your "Ah-Ha" Moment?

  1. #16
    Wally, I would not bring that antique bowl ...unless the club will buy insurance!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    lufkin tx
    Posts
    2,050
    WALLY, you are an inspiration to us old grey beards. Proof that age is more important than smart or youth. By the way, what is your #9 lathe. I'm on my third big one.

  3. #18
    When I was in College, my dad told me I needed a hobby and bought me a small lathe from Penn State Ind. along with a basic set of tools and some pen kits. I set the lathe up on 2 milk crates on the patio of my studio apartment with a third for a stool. Not exactly an ideal set up, but I was hooked. Unfortunately, this was before the internet was so prolific, and no one told me you weren't supposed to scrape a bowl out of purple heart with dull tools. I still have the scar over my eye to prove it. Life go tin the way and I put it down. Some years later, I was struggling with flat work and not doing very well at it, when I ran into a turner at a local wood store. He invited me to the club meeting, and the next month, Jimmy Clewes was the demonstrator. That is pretty much all it took.

  4. Hi Wally, very inspiring and interesting story. I am new to woodturning and here in this great fórum. Just bought a good size old lathe, probably one like those you guys have discarded long time ago...LOL Have to do a bit maintenance on the critter and buy some goodies like chucks and so on before I get turning. I do love woodturned stuff, and have not started yet .... Sure you have piles of advice on the subject, but beyond that, I find it reconforting to see people like you who´s dedicated so much to this trade and still going ... amazing. Congratulations. God bless you. Darn it, almost forgot this is an "Ah-ha" topic , LOL. A few years back a came across images of nice turned objects here on internet. After doing research on the topic, I knew I wanted to do stuff like that, so I said: "ah ha" , so that was my first one, now bought the lathe, and I´m sure more exciting moments shall arrive as I get my hands on Wood turning....
    Last edited by nelson lasaosa; 05-30-2015 at 2:00 PM.

  5. good disease....LOL

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    240
    I think a early turning point for me was reading James Krenov's books in high school. His passion was infectious.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Green Valley, Az.
    Posts
    1,202
    Quote Originally Posted by robert baccus View Post
    WALLY, you are an inspiration to us old grey beards. Proof that age is more important than smart or youth. By the way, what is your #9 lathe. I'm on my third big one.
    Thanks Robert.....My present lathe is a Oneway with an outboard bed where I do my hollowing. Before that I had a big heavy Nichols custom bowl lathe. 26 inch swing and plenty of power. Not too good for spindle turning. I don't do big stuff anymore so I don't need more than my Oneway gives me.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Green Valley, Az.
    Posts
    1,202
    Quote Originally Posted by nelson lasaosa View Post
    Hi Wally, very inspiring and interesting story. I am new to woodturning and here in this great fórum. Just bought a good size old lathe, probably one like those you guys have discarded long time ago...LOL Have to do a bit maintenance on the critter and buy some goodies like chucks and so on before I get turning. I do love woodturned stuff, and have not started yet .... Sure you have piles of advice on the subject, but beyond that, I find it reconforting to see people like you who´s dedicated so much to this trade and still going ... amazing. Congratulations. God bless you. Darn it, almost forgot this is an "Ah-ha" topic , LOL. A few years back a came across images of nice turned objects here on internet. After doing research on the topic, I knew I wanted to do stuff like that, so I said: "ah ha" , so that was my first one, now bought the lathe, and I´m sure more exciting moments shall arrive as I get my hands on Wood turning....
    Hi Nelson....Restoring old iron can be very rewarding. Your old timer probably has a 12 inch swing as most large lathes did in the old days. That's plenty for most turners.


    good luck and have fun with your turning.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    Posts
    835
    So what about you woodturners who struggled at first, WANTING to be a good artisan but unable to find success? How did you get past that obstacle?

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    TX, NM or on the road
    Posts
    840
    I had been woodworking since I was a young child, the lathe was just another tool in the shop until 1999. I had a spinal compression and could no longer walk, the table saws, and most of the other power tools were put off limits because I couldn't safely use them. What was left was the lathe, I sat it on a desk, got a bar stool to partly sit on and to keep myself propped up. I went from doing everything with every tool imaginable to the lathe while under going surgery, and more rehab than should be allowed. I now use a walker or a cane to get around, and the lathe still on the desk and me propped up by my barstool.

    I have no visions of being an artist, I am game callmaker, my art is in the sound of the calls I make, pretty doesn't count, it doesn't hurt, but without the sound the prettiest call in the world is useless. The sound makes or breaks the call. Today I would rather spend my time teaching some new guy how to make a good duck, predator or turkey call. I have over 50 years of callmaking experience, I would hate for that "art" be lost to the next generation.

    I still have all of those "dangerous tools", those that the Doctor told me I should retire, I kept them, but I get other people to use them for me when I need something done with them. But with several lathes I don't need them.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    lufkin tx
    Posts
    2,050
    My magic moment occurred when I saw Woodcut's first picture and offer of their new deep boring bit with the adjustable brass limiter. A virtually indestructible hook tool which was the final critical part for the controlled boring system I was making. It is very fast cutting and catch proof and made vase turning easy. I do very few bowls since then. All hollow forms, vases and urns. Also I never have to sand or finish bowl bottoms--lazy yeah.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    28
    I got into turning because I was shopping got some exotic wood to make 1911 gun grips. One of the best places (back then) was on IAP. So I would go and look for wood, but every time I signed on, I saw these amazing pens. I hadn't turned anything since high school shop (about 40 years in the past), but I remembered that I really liked the small project I did back then. So I started shopping, and ended up with a Delta 46-460. The last lathe I'd ever own (or so I thought). My 1st pen was a walnut slimline. I cracked the barrel on assembly, put the transmission in backward, and made a complete joke of it. But the 2nd was much better. Still just plain walnut, but it got Ooos & Ahhhs from my family. I never finished another set of grips, and that was almost 5 years ago.

    I recently made a bowl for my daughter that's about 10 inches. Right in front of my wife, she said. "Dad, can you make anything bigger?". So, the next time Powermatic has a sale, I'm getting my next "last" lathe.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    858
    In 2001, My wife and I lost a newborn daughter. Definitely the toughest period in our lives. One of the memorial gifts we were given was a flowering pear tree. Three years later, it was time to prune the first branch off it. It was about 2" diameter. I knew I had to make something from it, but I had no idea what.

    Looking online, I found you could make a pen out of wood. So I went to woodcraft, bought a mandrel, bushings, a blank trimmer, and 3 kits. I figured I better get three since I'd screw up at least one.
    I didn't have a lathe, so I got a live center from a neighbor and used my drillpress as the lathe. I used all the wrong tools since I didn't have the right ones. I made the prototype out of some scrap mahogany I had. It was awful. But I knew how to do it now. So I made hers out of pear using HUT Crystal Coat for the finish.
    Looking back at the way it came out, I'm really glad she lost it a few years ago. It was fat, with the skinny waist at the center band, typical first pen.

    I made a few more pens on the drill press and decided I liked it. I bought a tiny Wilton VS lathe, and then a bigger Excelsior (Rockler house brand), Finally a Delta 46-260. At one point I had a Jet 1442, But I never liked that one. I guess evs spoiled me from the beginning.
    Since then I have turned a few hundred pens, several hundred bottle stoppers, many pendants, earrings, and some bowls. I think I might be almost to 200 bowls. I try not to keep track. I want this to stay a hobby.
    Ridiculum Ergo Sum

  14. #29

    "last one"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dupras View Post
    I got into turning because I was shopping got some exotic wood to make 1911 gun grips. One of the best places (back then) was on IAP. So I would go and look for wood, but every time I signed on, I saw these amazing pens. I hadn't turned anything since high school shop (about 40 years in the past), but I remembered that I really liked the small project I did back then. So I started shopping, and ended up with a Delta 46-460. The last lathe I'd ever own (or so I thought). My 1st pen was a walnut slimline. I cracked the barrel on assembly, put the transmission in backward, and made a complete joke of it. But the 2nd was much better. Still just plain walnut, but it got Ooos & Ahhhs from my family. I never finished another set of grips, and that was almost 5 years ago.

    I recently made a bowl for my daughter that's about 10 inches. Right in front of my wife, she said. "Dad, can you make anything bigger?". So, the next time Powermatic has a sale, I'm getting my next "last" lathe.

    I used to ride by a big offshore fishing boat parked at a business. The name on the back of it was "Last One IV". Either a very brave man or divorced!

    Still waiting on my "Ah-Ha" moment. I have had some exciting times with my old Craftsman but they have mostly been of the "Oh No" variety! Have to admit it was fun when I had some very wet green sycamore that was piling up close to one inch wide curls in a need pile, one curl per pass. Hard to believe that stuff turned into solid rock a few weeks later. Still have a piece I pass by in the shop and give a dirty look now and then.

    I have gathered most of the tools I need to work with and a new lathe is coming soon. Not a great lathe but should be a huge leap from where I am at. Hopefully my third lathe will be one I really want. The first lathe was an impulse when I was picking up an NC router I had bought from a man. The second is the best money can buy, at least the money I have at the moment! Hopefully the next lathe will be my long term lathe. Not that the one I am buying now couldn't be, but more is always better.

    Planning that "Ah Ha" moment before snow flies. Living in South Louisiana that is a moderately safe prediction.

    Hu

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    "Brownsville", North Queensland, Australia.
    Posts
    289
    I don't think I have really had one "ah-ha" moment but many. I was fortunate to have a father, who was a carpenter, wood machinist & house / light commercial builder. In those days Cairns FNQ was a small community so we did everything including joinery & cabinet making. Dad taught me how to use hand tools from an early age & I was using power tools and DeWalt radial arm docking saws with 2" wide trenching (dado) heads by about 13 to 14 yo. Tool control on the school lathe came easily to me and I had found a little niche market for hand fishing reels made on the lathe. I found and read every book I could on wood turning at school and in the local libraries including Stephen Hogbin's "Wood Turning - The Purpose of the Object" in the mid 1970's - that was another "ah-ha" moment realizing the lathe could also make impractical objects. Through Dad's influence I never went through the "inferior tools" or "poor sharpening" stages as Dad would never accept crap tools or a hand plane or chisel as sharp unless the blade was capable of shaving the hairs off the back of your hand or arm. Maybe that was an "ah-ha" moment that I never realized that I had.

    I suppose the real "ah-ha" moment was making / finding the time in my mid 40's to share the joys of the lathe with my son. Through the local wood turning club we set about refining our skills by seeking out local mentors. Fortunately we had some very good local turners who were prepared to share their knowledge with us and encouraged us to enter the local competition. I guess another "ah-ha" moment was attending my first Wood Turning Symposium - Turnfest and meeting turners such as Andi Wolfe, Terry Martin, Hans Wiesflogg etc. I haven't missed a Turnfest event since. I keep discovering new "ah-ha" moments, while developing multi axis or linear laminated turnings.

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