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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious to know how you got into turning, and woodworking in general. I will start by saying that I have it in my blood. My grandfather and father are both very good finish carpenters. In "95" I was introduced to lathe work. I was a Senior at Lee High School in Baytown and the shop teacher , Ed Haberman, let us turn pens on a mini lathe. It was fun, but I never owned one until about 4 months ago.
One evening after work I was sitting at my table in the kitchen thinking about Shop class at Lee High School. I asked my wife what she thought about me purchasing a Lathe and she gave me the green light. Little did she know that it would be an addiction.

What about you?
 

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El Viejo
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Personally....I BLAME IT ALL on GalvBay, Bobby and a couple of other dudes on 2cool...:headknock

Unlike you, I had zero experience with woodworking..and to tell the truth, can't really remember how it all happened...:eek: Guess somebody musta posted up some pix or something..because I got interested before Mont set up the WW forum...

Will say it was one of the best things that ever snagged me at this point in life...and a real plus was the cool bunch of young fellers I've had the pleasure of meeting down here...

Do remember GB and Bobby goading me until I sprung for the Mini...and the rest..as they say...is history....:rotfl:

See...Jan. l6, 2007... http://2coolfishing.com/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=103752
 

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I think I take the blame for a lot of turners. I blame Galvbay and his darn bottle stoppers.
 

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Started turning before my first son was born (1981). I wanted to make his baby bed and bought a Sears lathe and turned all spindles for it. Came out great. Then made screen doors with lots of spindles and sold many. Got into woodworking at the same time and after an 8 month strike at Texaco, I learned how to build cabinets from another cabinet maker and started doing that almost full time. Finally burnt myself out of that and didn't do woodworking after I moved from a large woodshop to a garage and had to pull out tools when I needed them and lost interest. After seeing this forum, I wanted to get back into turning again and the rest is history. Now my garage is all mine and started flat work again also being sure to not make it work. That is what burnt me out of the cabinets, it became too much like work.
 

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Don't blame me! Blame Mr. Homer Perez at Memorial Junior High in Kingsville! He was my first Industrial Arts teacher back in 1967 and help on my first turning. Add Mr. Underbrink and Mr. Franklin in high school too....they pretty much directed me into my 30 year career in teaching. Lol..I still have that first turning somewhere. gb
 

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El Viejo
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LOL, Slip..on the 'Work' thang.. Me and Bobby try hard to avoid anything that even resembles regular work....:rotfl:

Dug out this old thread below to see where I had been.. First day at 'the wheel' .. accompanied by our own 'Guru'...Mr Bill... Thought you might enjoy the first pix....

Lawdy !!!!... If I hadda only knowed what you birds were getting me into..:tongue:

http://2coolfishing.com/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=104707
 

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I used to couldn't spell "woodturner" Now I are one.
 

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My grandfather was one of those guys that could build anything (he built me a mini-car from parts of a Crosley and an Indian motorcycle without any plans). When I was a kid I'd go to work with him every chance I got and one of the things he used to do to keep me occupied and out of the way was make tops for me on his home built lathe. I still have his lathe and wanted to make toys for the grandkids but decided to buy a more modern lathe then I started hanging around with this group and wound up making pens. No regrets there and have met some of the greatest folks you can imagine here. Have made a couple of tops but need to get back to work on that project someday soon.
 

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I had made some custom fishing rods and wanted to turn some reel seats. Talked to the wife and she went and bought me a Jet for Christmas 2 years ago. I don't think i've made a fishing rod since. Things like pens fit my short attention span better anyway.
 

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TurnTex Woodworks
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I am a home builder and do my own trim work so woodworkng came as a natural progression. Now turning...that one is a neat story!

4 1/2 years ago, my wife and I decided we were going to adopt after spending a small fortune on infertility stuff. Since we were out of money, we were trying to come up with ways to raise the nearly $30k that is takes to adopt a newborn in the US. I was in my shop sitting there and saw a box of mesquite cutoffs that I had laying around. I heard that there were fools out there that would pay money for little sticks of wood to make pens, I just had never taken the time to try to sell any.

Well, sitting there looking at the box, an idea was born. I would start selling pen blanks on the net to help pay for our adoption! I went on Woodnet and posted a message telling folks what I was up to and offering to send 20 mesquite pen blanks to someone on the honor system. When they got them, they were to send me a paypal payment for what they thought they were worth. I really did not expect much but I was swamped with orders the next morning!

Well, I started getting inquiries about bowl blanks so I started offering those as well. Not knowing anything about turning kept me from providing the best product possible so I went out and bought a lathe. I then contacted the woodturning club in Austin and a fellow there volunteered to come down and teach me how to turn bowls. That was all it took and I was hooked!

We ended up doing a private adoption that only cost us $6,200 in legal fees. That was 4 years ago this Jan. 19th, the day our daughter was born! I ended up shipping 4,000 pen blanks and 100 or so bowl blanks all over the world and raised exactly $6,200 and then shut it down. All in all, with nearly 300 orders, I only had 3 people that took advantage of me and never paid anything!

Woodturners are a GREAT bunch of people!
 

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A few years ago after moving back to the Galveston area, I attended THE HOUSTON TOOL SHOW, in the far back were people making shavings, I was hooked. The next day I went again and met a few of those turning people. Then attended the GCWA meeting, from there bought a Jet Mini and borrowed 3 tools. Now" All my time and MONEY goes to woodturning ". LOVE IT and all the woodturners are just wonderful people. You meet the nicest people. LL
 

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I only had metal working experience before i started turning wood. A little over a year ago i wanted to make some steak handlers and didn't have any handles, so i got out the mig welder and fabbed me up some parts to use my drill press as a lathe. I got an order for 10 and my wife got me a craftsman mini lathe (4X12), 3 weeks later I outgrew it and bought the excelsior mini lathe (10X18) from Rockler. Very soon after met End Tuition and begin learning how to make Duck calls. Thats my story and I am sticking to it..LOL
 

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El Viejo
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It's kind of amazing to me that most started turning after seeing someone else's work on the lathe.. It is a FANTASTIC tool...All the other tools..saws, drill presses, grinders, etc..are great utilitarian tools..but the LATHE !!!!...Man, it actually makes something beautiful out of pure junk wood.. Guess that's the answer...The Mystery !!... (and the fact that "it's so simple..a caveman (no cracks here, please) can do it ":)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
To eveyone, what great posts. I have found out in my infant stages of turning that most mistakes can only be seen by the turner themselves. Every pen is an adrenaline rush for me. If I have something on the Lathe when I go to bed, I find myself not sleeping well at all. One morning I woke up at 3:30 am, got up and started turning pens.

Turning is a total addiction, there are no doubts about it.
 

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Life is good on the bayou..
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It's all Bills fault !
I got a pen from him one day and asked if anyone was making duck calls with those pen lathes. He said not to many call makers on 2cool, but it ought to be pretty easy ! So, in a quest to make a duck call, I got into wood turning. Found out real quick it wasn't going to be easy, especially the business end of the call, and I have been learning ever since. I have enjoyed every minute of it and have met some real nice folks both from the wood turning side and the custom calls side.



 
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