Several years ago I worked with my good friend and camping partner Phil Brennion, professional woodturner from Chino Valley, Arizona, to write an article on his method for turning translucent ponderosa pine vessels. Phil, a true turning perfectionist and demonstrator, has this infectious ability to get you to try new turning techniques and finishes.
Over a lifetime we hear and see tens-of-thousands of great ideas. It is our ability to put to action even a minute fraction of these tidbits that shapes our lives and determines our growth and skills. I refer to this practice as the Nugget Theory. Whether it be a demonstration, an article, or how-to video, it is the presenter’s responsibility to showcase meaningful and educational material. But ultimately, it is each person’s ability to put to practice pieces of this information that determines the value of the shared ideas. Like a miner panning for a single nugget of gold, our ability to grow stems from what not what we absorb, but what we employ. As a father, writer, speaker, and demonstrator, I’ve always strived to not only educate and entertain, but to get the audience to put to practice the knowledge that is shared.
I’m convinced that driving back roads provides some of the America’s best adventures. A trip last fall down Oregon’s coast confirmed all that I enjoy about departures from boring interstate highways: you will meet talented, genuine people and with a little luck, stumble upon some great woodworking, too.
A few years back I was able to pick up some 2½”-thick maple burl slabs from Josh Brower in western Iowa. With a few days of rainy spring weather, I finally found the perfect excuse to turn some shot-filled paperweights from this figured stock. The first step is to cut the body blanks to rough size on the bandsaw using a 3/8″ blade. Read more