average age of a turner

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by turner23, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Messages:
    745
    Location:
    Cowlesville,Western New York
    66- 7yrs as a serious hobby but still just a hobby.
     
  2. Devin Howard

    Devin Howard

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    ... just 28

    My wife bought me my first lathe (have 4 now) for fathers day 3-4 years ago and I tried it out and hated it... then in march of this year a friend of mine came over and helped me drag it out of the far back corner and showed me how to set it up. Half a year later and I dont go for week without turning something. My son beats all of us though... he's 6 and has turned some very nice tool handles, honey dippers, and his first bottle stopper the other day.:cool:
     
  3. Griesbach

    Griesbach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Oshkosh, WI
    I'm 62 and been turning about 8 years.
     
  4. flyrod444

    flyrod444

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    N.C.
    I'm 48, been turning some since I was in High School back in 1974. Got serious about turning 3 years ago. I guess serious is what you call it when you spend enough money on a lathe to buy a used car.
    Jack Mincey
     
  5. Jim McTavish

    Jim McTavish

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    MN
    Home Page:
    I'm 40 and have been turning since 1999 (9 years) when I inherited my wife's grandfather's woodlathe. Joined a club shortly after. I'd say the average age in our group is 50 to 55 but we do have a fair number of retirees
     
  6. Matt Owen

    Matt Owen

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Godfrey, Illinois
    I'm 30, and have been turning for about 4 years now. It all started with an extremely cheap ($150), and very light weight (about 50 Lbs) grizzly lathe. It had a 12" swing, 40" between centers, and claimed to have 1/2 HP (probably closer to 1/4 HP considering how easy it was to stall). These were the same specs as some of the other lathes (except for the low HP), and I couldn't understand why they were so much more expensive. When I got this lathe, I immediately fell in love with turning. However, having to use a wrench (and sometimes two wrenches simultaneously) to make any adjustment with the toolrest, banjo, or tailstock, I thought that there had to be a better way. Sure enough, the cams on my next lathe (Nova DVR XP) did the trick. Now turning is truly a joyful experience. :)

    Matt
     
  7. Bill Pottorf

    Bill Pottorf

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Seem to be older than others?

    I am 72 and have been turning for 9 years now. Needed something to do in retirement and am still hooked. Bought my wife a small lathe, sent her to pen turning class and got hooked myself. She is also turning but not near as much. Having fun and you really meet a lot of very nice people. I am guessing that the average age in our club in Houston is probably around the mid 60's. However, we do have some in their upper years - even older than myself. We need to get the younger generation interested to lower the average age and to keep woodturning (artistically or craftly) going. :)

    Bill
     
  8. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,868
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    I am 58, and started turning about 10 years ago. I was in construction for over 30 years. If I had shop classes available to me in high school, it would have been one class other than PE where I would have gotten straight A's. Most of our club is in the 50 plus age range. I attend 2 other club meetings, one is at the local high school where a couple of members mentor through their woodturning class, and there are a couple of students who attend. The students are given AAW accomplishment awards at the meetings when they have earned them. The other club is just getting involved with their high school which has restarted their wood shop class. The teacher comes some times, but thus far no students. Some parents bring their childern. We don't have, thus far an active turning class in any of the highschools locally, so that limits the younger turners. Hope to change that.

    robo hippy

    "You are only as young as the women you feel" Groucho Marx
     
  9. Brujo

    Brujo

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Merced, California
    34 years young

    I used to work for the art department (among many other jobs) while I was in collage. After I graduated I got hired on as staff, managing and teaching a wood shop class. One day my boss brought in an old lathe. Been hooked ever since. First turned in 1998, had access to the schools shop for 2 years. Didn't turn again (unless you count metal) till I bought a jet mini in 2005. Found that I am very serious about turning now, purchased a stubby 1000 this year...never looking back!
     
  10. bill easterling

    bill easterling

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Columbia S.C.
    Age for turners

    I started about two years ago and I'm 65.My greatest fun is teaching kids how to turn pens.We have several young people in our club.
     
  11. Don O. Jr.

    Don O. Jr.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Schenectady, NY
    I'm 49 and have been turning as a hobby for 8 years. Most of the folks in the clubs I belong to are quite a bit older than me. Not many younger. We do have a 16 yr old in 1 club that is doing very well. We all try to encourage and help him along. Our new club meets in a small school wood shop where the teacher is a turner and his students are at least exposed to turning and some have done nice work. Some have even won prizes at our local woodworking show.

    With the lack of "trade" or "shop" classes in schools I often wonder where the next generation of builders, plumbers, electricians, masons, auto mechanics, etc. is coming from. Not everyone can be an IT tech or programmer/software writer.
     
  12. Jim Stoppleworth

    Jim Stoppleworth

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    Saginaw, Michigan
    I'm 66 and have been turning for a little over 3 years. My biggest joy so far is teaching our 12 year old grandson (he was 9 at the time) how to turn a pen. Have 2 more grandkids getting close to the age of being taught. Right now they're still content to sand Grandpa's projects.

    Stoppy
     
  13. WODAD

    WODAD

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Beresford, South Dakota
    52 learned how to turn in Jr. high and High School (early 70's) that's all I did in shop class, sold my first piece for $75 when I was 14. A tall segmented red gum candle holder. While going to art shows a number of years back I started seeing wood turnings showing up and what they were getting for them. Kept telling my wife "I can do that..." so here I am 5 years later, approx. 300 pieces a year and only have a couple that are more than a year old. Just think where I'd be if I'd kept doing it after I got out of school!

    Frank Denton
     
  14. Steven Antonucci

    Steven Antonucci

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    183
    42/12

    Average age in my club(s) is considerably >42.
     
  15. Charlie M

    Charlie M

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Texas
    70
    I had shop class in both grade school and high school, but no power tools that I can recall and certainly no wood lathe. My dad did have a wood lathe for awhile in the early 50s till he had a serious accident with it. Although I've been involved with model building since I was old enough to hold a knife, I did not try woodworking and a little later woodturning until the Yankee Workshop came on TV.
    Charlie M
     
  16. Charles Henderson

    Charles Henderson

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Roswell, New Mexico
    Home Page:
    Another Young'n

    I'm 30, and I've been at it for 2 1/2 years.

    I'm by far the youngest in my turning club. There is one other in her 30's and everyone else (I think) is 50+. Probably 20% of the club is over 65.
     
  17. Ken Grunke

    Ken Grunke

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    Rural La Farge, Wisconsin
    Home Page:
    Close to 20 years as a serious amateur, I'm 55. I don't know the statistics of our AAW chapter, seems to be mostly 50 + but there are a few young'ns.
     
  18. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,424
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    I went over these posts, and it's gone pretty close to what I had envisioned.....

    I'm 59, started turning in the early 1980's.....can't pinpoint an exact year.....but, I started turning on a Shopsmith......did that for a few years until I bought a Northwood lathe. The Northwood only lasted for about five years, or so, until I bought my current Woodfast lathe in the early 1990's.....still have that one! The Woodfast is an excellent lathe, but sometimes I wish I did have a little more capacity than the 16" swing it has. This isn't much of a problem, though, because good chunks of wood bigger than that are not that easy to come by.......

    .....became a serious student of the art in the late 1980's into about the mid 1990's when my passion tapered off for a few years. I rekindled my interests in the late 1990's, and it's grown to a passionate pastime for about a dozen years now. Overall turning experience is about 25yrs, or so.......

    otis of cologne
     
  19. captjim

    captjim

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Kona, Hawaii
    Age 65 and two years turning come next February.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  20. I'm 49 and have been turning about 14 years - the last 6 I can describe as "seriously".

    Looking around at the AAW Symposia over the past 5 years, my guess is that well over half (maybe closer to 75%?) of those there are 60+ ......"lotsa grey goin' on"..... could be an artifact of who can afford to attend (time and money). I can tell you that my 11 year old son also turns for the past 2 years, albeit infrequently between sports and school, which is at least one youthful data point.

    (BTW - John Lucas ....you sure don't look 59.....!)

    Interesting question....

    Rob
     

Share This Page