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Thread: Off to the fair!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Wayland, MA
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    Off to the fair!

    I start today on a week of demonstrating at the Topsfield (MA) fair at the Assoc. of Revolutionary Turners booth. Usually a very fun time if the weather is decent. We make a lot of tops as quick projects, I'm taking a bunch of small rough-turned bowls to finish. Anything that makes chips fly seems to entertain the fans. We get a lot of interest and often a new member or two.

    Any other favorite small projects to do as fair demos?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Any other favorite small projects to do as fair demos?
    I love to do magic wands to show woodturning to non-woodturners. Young and old are fascinated by the banter, the flying chips, and the result. I prepare blanks ahead of time with the thin end narrowed on the bandsaw and a short morse taper on the handle end to hold in the head stock instead of a chuck (never between centers!). A mini lathe is fine - I bought one just for this. I generally use softer woods like walnut, cherry, maple, and e.r. cedar and can shape quickly with a skew and small Thompson roughing gouge. I'll use Mylands friction polish or beeswax for finish since they are both quick.

    I've made 100's of these so I can finish a simple one pretty fast using the "left hand" steady rest technique. They are tricky at first so if new to them making them may need some practice first.

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
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    395
    Maybe tree and snowman ornaments? Small one-piece lidded boxes? Bottle stoppers? Ring holders? Planting dibbler? Measuring spoons?

  4. #4
    In Mass? Miniature lobster pot buoys and lighthouse ornaments. Any where along the coast they are popular.
    Last edited by Perry Hilbert Jr; 10-07-2019 at 6:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    KCMO
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    505
    Preglue a bunch of maple dowels in 1/2" discs and do spin tops. Add some chatter or other texturing the top face of the top and use some colors and the kids love them. I've got to guess that fairs draw whole families that includes kids. Kids and their dads LOVE to watch any chips fly, but if they can take home a colorful top as a souvenir, it's even better in my experience. How many tops can you turn in an hour and still talk to the folks?
    Dean Thomas
    KCMO

  6. #6
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    Sep 2013
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    3,342
    Seems awful late for a fair. No fresh fruit or vegetables to judge. Or is just a craft fair type of thing?
    Bill D

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    Still harvest season in New England. The veggie hall is overflowing with produce of every sort, big emphasis on apples in Essex County. Barns upon barns full of poultry, cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits, and horses. The oxen pulling competition yesterday was pretty impressive-- those guys are strong!

    This is about as good an ag fair as you get anywhere.

    This year's champion pumpkin was 2294.5 lbs!
    i-VQqspZH-X3.jpg

  9. #9
    Of all strangeness, Pennsylvania's state agricultural event is held in January in a giant indoor complex. And turners from Harrisburg, PA put on demonstrations. Pennsylvania Farm Show https://www.farmshow.pa.gov/plan/sch...s/default.aspx. In 2013, attendance was just under 600,000 people.

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