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Thread: SMC Turner Interview - Randy Privett

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Benton Falls, Maine

    SMC Turner Interview - Randy Privett

    Name: Randy Privett

    How young are you?
    59 years young, but turn the BIG 60 next month (October), I guess theyíre all the BIG from here on out.

    Physical description:
    6í, 210 lbs, and getting grayer every day.

    Where is home?
    Outside a small town in East Central Indiana, called Mooreland, lived here going on 22 years. We lived in and around Colorado Springs for about 18 years, but due to an inner ear problem that I developed, we moved back to the area that I grew up in. Less altitude and more humidity.

    Family information:

    Very happily married to my lovely wife, Claudia. We have three children, one son and two daughters. We now have nine grandchildren, four boys and five girls. Theyíre scattered all over, weíre in Indiana, and theyíre in New Jersey and Colorado. Wish we could visit them more often. No dogs, to hard on us when they have to go.


    Right now, I make lathe tools and accessories under the name Monster Tool to pay the bills. I spent some time in the Army, till we decided to part ways. Tool Maker, Tool Shop owner, Engineer. Not retired yet, donít think Iíll ever retire, I have to be busy.

    Why Monster?
    The name came from Claudia, I needed a larger tool so I could stand behind the lathe, throw it under my arm and get mean with a big chunk of walnut. The tool was over 3 feet long. When she came out to the shop and saw me using it, she said ďWow thatís a MonsterĒ. It stuck.

    Do you have a website?
    Yup. Iíll let it speak for itself.

    How does Moxie factor into the production of your new mini-hollowing rig?
    Moxie figures into everything I do, especially when making hollowing rigs.

    Dang Ė I meant other than as an industrial lubricant.

    Shop Overview:
    The shop is basically right outside the back door, about 30 feet down the sidewalk. We built it before we built the house. The overall dimensions are 48í x 64í and itís divided into two basic sides. The tool shop takes up Ĺ of it, the wood shop ľ, and the rest is for garden tractors and such. The tool shop has 16í ceilings with an office and storage upstairs, with two offices/storage room/tool room/whatever room downstairs. Itís completely insulated, which makes it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

    I have all the regular stationary tools in the wood shop, I have the Craftsman cabinet tablesaw that I bought my Dad for his birthday in 1964, it was used then. Made by King Seeley. When he died, thatís all I wanted, rebuilt it like new. Itís a heck of a saw. Router table, planer, jointer, chop saw, vertical bandsaw; all the regular stuff that sets around getting rusty and dusty. Although I still do some flat stuff, just not nearly enough.

    How many lathes do you own?
    Right now, I have four complete lathes, three wood lathes and one metal lathe, although I am going to pick up another metal lathe soon. I sold my other one, thinking I didnít need it. That was a mistake, I really need two.

    Tell us about 'em.
    I have an older Rockwell/Delta that a guy gave me, when I got it there wasnít a banjo, tailstock, or motor. Basically all there was was a cabinet, bed and headstock. It got moved around the shop for about two or three years. At the time I had a 45 and a 90 that I had re-done and converted to electronic variable speed, so I didnít need it. As luck would have it, I ended up selling the Powermatics, and I needed something to turn on, so I had to fix this old thing up. I bored the head stock out added larger bearings, raised the head stock 2Ē, making it a 16Ē, made a new cast iron banjo, new tool rests, modified a tailstock that I found at a machinery dealer, dropped a 2hp 3phase motor with a Variable Frequency Drive. Makes for a pretty good lathe.

    I recently picked up a Jet Mini, I havenít really had the time to play with it, but I know I should have gotten the Variable speed. I also have a 1236 knockoff that I use as a second op machine for an item we make.

    RP 01.jpg RP 02.jpg RP 03.jpg

    rp 04.jpg RP 05.jpg

    Iíve also been working on a 26Ē prototype lathe, just donít seem to have the time to see this through to completion. If I had one solid week, I could finish this. The design is complete and Ĺ the details are finished, just trying to get the time to do it.

    Ahem Ė color and flavoring selections are rather limited, Randy. But may I suggest Maple Ė as in the color of the syrup, since most lathes end up that color anyway. At least the ones that get used do. Right, Fitz?

    How many turning tools do you have? Store bought; home made; favorites?
    I donít have a clue how many tools I have, although not that many are store bought. Why should I buy them when I have the capability to make them, although if I was to put money against time, it would probably be cheaper to buy them. Not nearly as much fun though. My favorite tools are the hollowing tools, love hollow forms.

    How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
    I probably got started watching my Grandfather turn spindles. He was the person that ran the poor home, or thatís what they called it when I was growing up. Either that or old peoples home. It was a working farm that housed people that society didnít want to mess with, so theyíd put them in there. The buildings were made in the 1800ís and had all this ornate wood work and seemed like a million spindles on every floor. He was forever having to make new spindles for replacements. He would have me pump the peddle to keep the lathe running. I havenít thought about that in years.

    I got back into turning about 25 years ago while in Colorado. My mother wanted some knobs made, so like a good son, I made them. I didnít realize how much fun that it was. Got hooked all over again.

    What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
    Vanilla, because thereís so much you can do with it.

    Yeah! Especially Maple Syrup!

    What do you enjoy most about turning?
    The freedom of letting your mind wonder, making something out of nothing and a sense of accomplishment.

    What do you enjoy the least about turning?
    Cleaning up the mess

    Do you belong to a turning club?
    Used to, but found out that as with any organization, the politics involved arenít to my liking.

    What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
    Iím sure there was something when I was really young, but I would have to say it was the knobs I made for my Mother. Sorry no picture.

    Whatís your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
    I turned an urn for a friendís ashes. It was unreal how consuming it was, as if someone else was doing it, it didnít come out anything like I had planned. After it was finished I couldnít believe I had done it. I have never had another piece go as smoothly before or since.

    Whatís your favorite form that you turn?
    Hollow Forms

    What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
    I really like some of the natural edged pieces Iíve been seeing, or I might try some boxes, if I can find the time.

    How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with grits?)

    Straight up.

    Whatís your favorite form someone else turns?
    I like anything that has good form and finish, I enjoy looking at everyoneís pictures that they post.

    Whatís your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
    Probably something that Travis turned, that guy has both the eye and the talent. Some have one or the other, but he has both.

    Whatís your favorite wood to work with and why?
    Maple or walnut, being completely different woods, but I love the way they cut.

    What brought you to SMC?
    Was on another forum and someone was talking about SMC, I had to ask, then I had to go.

    What was your first post about? Or donít you remember?
    Being that I donít post much, I donít have a clue.

    As it turns out, you were being nice to me!

    Do you recall the first thread you started?
    Same answer.

    Speaking of being without a clue (as in me, right now) Ė what were we talking about?

    Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers? Tell us about it.
    Got to hang out with Sean Troy a while this past weekend. Great guy.

    Was it this Indy Fest? Or another one?

    What about this Creeker visit? Oh right, you sent this interview to me before that occurred.

    Got any nicknames? How'd you get them?
    Just my initials RP the guys where I used to work tagged me with it. There are others, but you couldnít put them here.

    Now let's get a little deep... If you were a CNC Turret Mill, what color would it be and why?
    Blue, Iíve always been partial to Cincinnati Milicron

    If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
    I donít think it would change that much, but our grandkids lives probably would.

    Thanks for checking in with us Randy. Always a pleasure
    Only the Blue Roads

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Randy you must be VERY busy, I assume you have a Port-A-Potty next to that roll of toilet paper? Interesting interview, good to know you better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Goodland, Kansas
    Hey Randy. Glad to have gotten to know you better. Great interview.

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
    Nice interview Randy. Glad to know you better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Harvey, Michigan
    Randy - Colleen and I both really enjoyed the short amount of time we were able to spend with you last month! Wished we lived closer as I would love spending more time hanging out at the shop! Just starting to finish turn some of my rough out hollow forms and your hollowing system sure makes my life a lot easier! Hope to be able to post some pieces very soon that will make you proud!

    Looking forward to visiting with you again!

    ďYou never know what you got til it's gone!Ē
    Please donít let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  6. #6
    Great Interview Randy!
    Love your work and your tools... That hollowing rig looks especially nice.
    Glad to know you better.
    Change One Thing

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Roanoke Virginia
    Blog Entries
    Great interview Randy, nice to know more about you.

    Turning comes easy to some folks .... wish I was one of them

    and only 958 miles SE of Steve Schlumpf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Blog Entries
    Randy, those are some nice tools you make. We'll be in touch.
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Buse Township, MN
    Great interview Randy........and GREAT TOOLS!!!!!
    Officially Retired!!!!!!!! Woo-Hoo!!!

    1,036 miles NW of Keith Burns

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Good to meet you more fully, Randy!

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Schenectady, NY


    Thanks for sharing more about yourself Randy. Very nice interview.
    Happy and Safe Turning, Don

    Woodturners make the world go ROUND!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Randy Nice interview. Always nice to know someone better.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Mooreland, Indiana
    Boy Andy, you are something. You found out more about where I live then I ever knew. And it was a different Indy Fest.
    Ed, I have a bathroom in the shop, but I do have a problem with a runny nose and I use the toilet paper to clean the magnetic chuck, beats rags..
    Steve, I know we could have spent more time, but I know you guys were ready to get home after your time with the grand kids saying NO!
    Thanks guys for all you do.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Conway, Arkansas

    Nice to know more about you. Monster Tool eh?? From what I hear? Those are good tools.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

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