Your favorite sale

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Don Leydens, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. kenth

    kenth

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
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    A number of years ago I was having a conversation with the curator of our local school historical museum. We talked about the old central high school that was built around 1910 and was being remodeled. The next weekend I was at the local flea market and there was a vendor that had some oak boards that were about 1" x 8" x 38" and appeared to be quite old growth lumber. I asked where he got the wood and he told me that the boards were thresholds from the remodeled school. I purchased several and cut some pen blanks on a bias, then made a couple of really cool pens. I gave them to him and told him that
    that probably everyone that we knew had at one time or another had stepped on the wood in the pens. I thought he was going to cry. They are now in the school museum.
     
  2. Al Miller

    Al Miller

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    Oct 27, 2008
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    Location:
    Tujunga, Ca.
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    Not a sale, just a story

    There is a man in my neighborhood who trims and cuts down trees. He then brings all the large pieces home and puts them out on the walkway in front of his house. All the neighbors come by and get their firewood. I stopped one time and picked out a suitable chunk, took it home, rough turned it, dried it, and finished it. It did split on me so I had to add a bit to it. I then took it back and put it on his front porch with a note in it. It said: "Thanks for the use of the wood. I'm done with it now, so you can have it back."
    I did not sign the note.
     

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  3. Don Leydens

    Don Leydens

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    Oxford, NC
    Al & Kenth, are you guys trying to make me cry? Seriously, a big thumbs up to both of you!! Well done. ;)
     
  4. Linda Ferber

    Linda Ferber

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
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    30
    Location:
    Eagan MN
    Give Away

    I was at my Dr office and had a small bowl with star on it sticking out of the bag next to journal. He said he was starting to do work for make a wish foundation and was drawn to the star - when I said it is yours he seemed pleased. It is a case of visiting the Dr office and feeling better.
     
  5. Don Leydens

    Don Leydens

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    Aug 23, 2009
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    Location:
    Oxford, NC
    Way to go Linda!! Sure seams like there are a lot of generous woodturners on this forum. Makes me proud to be among you all.
     
  6. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,540
    I'm a soft touch for the church festivals, fireman's raffle and such, but my favorite giveaway is similar to others'. Busting firewood in early July one year when a white-haired couple pulled up the drive and introduced themselves as the J family. I remembered them from the deed on the home forty. They had owned our place until 1942, when the white-haired gentleman and two brothers had gone to war. His parents sold the place because they had no "hands" and moved to town.

    We were walking and talking along the north side of the house when he noted that one of three large poplars was missing. It had gone down in a storm two years prior. He had a sort of distant look when he told me that he had planted those three poplars as a young teenager. I had four pieces left out of the forty or so I had sold from that tree, and the best two left immediately for him and his sister. The other two boys had been lost in the war.

    Second tree went down a couple of years later, and I learned last year that he had passed on as well.
     
  7. free to good home

    I was dooing a Holiday craft show, selling mostly pens, bottle stoppers and ring towers, not a banner show as has been the trend. A young guy about 11 years old stopped by and was drooling over my pens, specifically the fountain pens. Since there were no customers, I paid more attention to him, answering questions and showing how to use one. His mother came along and he was so excited to tell her what he had learned and said he wanted one. As the prices were quoted, his and her facial expressions changed and so did my mood. I felt so bad that here we have a youn man with a interest in fountain pens and unable to afford one.
    Well, they left my table and I felt bad. So I went scouring through my bag as i recalled a fountain pen that I had that had a less than acceptable gold finish, though it worked perfectly fine. I had my wife stay at the booth whille I went in search of this young man. When I found him, I asked to speak to his MOM, he seemed a bit nervous, like I was going to accuse him of stealing something. I explained my pen situation and told her I wanted him to have it but it was her responsibilty to make sure he used it.
    About two weeks later I got a thank you in the mail, handwritten by this little fellow. Dont know how he got my address, but dont care, it made my day.
     
  8. another feel good story

    As a lot near my home was being cleared for a new fire station, I noticed that a decent size cottonwood was being removed. Well, even cottoon wood is good for something, so i took some home, cut and sealed it and set it aside.
    A year later,just learning to make a pepper grinder, I pulled out this foot long log and gave it a go. It turned out pretty good and finished nicely. As I was driving by the now finished station, I thought that this place is a good place for a peppermill, many could use it. So the next day, I dropped it off explaining that it has to stay here as the wood came from a tree, removed to make way for this station. All the firemen agreed and seemed to like the idea.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
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    270
    Location:
    SoCal
    Similar to Glenn's fountain pen story, I was at a very slow show a year or two ago and a college-aged girl was in my booth looking for a Christmas present for her dad. She really had her eyes on the bowls, but is was soon obvious that her budget would only allow a pen, which didn't really appeal to her. She kept going back to a $50 alder bowl, the lowest-priced one on I had display, but kept putting it back on the table after looking it over closely. I finally picked up the bowl myself, and told her honestly that the bowl had just been a practice piece made from wood that was free. I sold it to her for $20, and her smile was worth way more than the extra $30 I'd been asking.

    I also try to have a few finger tops on hand (but not displayed) at shows. I give them away to particularly well-behaved kids who happen to stop by my booth. Those smiles are also well worth the price of admission.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  10. Don Leydens

    Don Leydens

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    Location:
    Oxford, NC
    Way to go you guys!!!! I love these stories.
    I'm 54 years old so maybe I can get away with this.....sounds like our motto should be "Old farts with Hearts". I sure do see allot of big hearts out there!
     
  11. Donna Banfield

    Donna Banfield

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
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    Location:
    Derry, NH
    I'm not an Old Fart....

    but I have two stories:

    A few years ago I was doing a downtown ArtWalk; these are art fairs organized to bring people into the downtown areas of older cities, and to encourage more cultural events. I was set up with a small booth on the sidewalk just outside a gallery in which I had a few pieces on consignment.

    Two women late 50's or early 60's were riding their Razor scooters (yes, I did say Razor scooters, and the age was also accurate) and stopped in front of my booth to look at my turnings. The discussions got around to "where do you get your wood", to which I responded, "Anywhere I can." One of them says she has an apple tree that would be taken down in a year or so, would I be interested? Sure!

    Several months later, I get a phone call, telling me that the tree has been cut down, and the trunk and larger branches had been put aside for me. And by the way, would you mind making two bowls from it, one for me and one for my nephew. I will pay you for it....

    The wood is picked up, and more than a year later I have a few pieces completed. She wanted the 'best' of the bunch, so I picked out two 8" natural edge bowls. Apple, being a fruit wood, and sometimes the orneriest of the fruit woods, gave me a heck of a time, and several of the blanks I had lost to unforgiveable checking. I wanted to salvage the time in the pieces, so I decided I had to charge her $75 each, but was feeling guilty.

    Called her and made arrangements to deliver the bowl to her that Saturday. Same address as where the wood was gathered. The house was in one of the really older sections of town; homes built around the turn of the century, but well maintained. This one was large enough to have been divvied up into 3 or 4 apartments, and she lived in a smaller condo.... At least, that's what I thought....

    Showed up with the bowls...I hear...I love them,..they are beautiful! I'm going to keep this one for myself...! Next she asks if I would care to see some of her furniture; it's all cherry, and made by someone I might know. Curious, I say, "Sure." I don't make furniture, never have, but ....

    [Image - jaw drops wide open the eyes go boing, just lie the cartoons] She leads me from the foyer through a pair of 12 foot high glass doors, that open into a room full of museum quality cherry and mahogany furniture. Pie crust tables with ball and claw feet; a federal high-boy that would make Leigh and Leslie Keno of Antiques Roadshow giddy with excitement! A side table and matching arm chairs with ebony and (I hope not) Ivory inlay. And that was in just the drawing room! Turns out that most of the furniture was made on commission by NH Furniture Master David Lamb. For those of you who read Fine WoodWorking, you've seen his stuff. She was so proud of the very first piece that she had commissioned from him - the pie crust table. He at first wasn't interested but she kept pestering him. Eventually he told her, I'm too busy, but I can get to it in about 5 years. Apparently that was intended to discourage her, but she just said, "Fine." It took 7 years, and that led to about a half-dozen more pieces over several more years.

    She couldn't care less about how long it took, she simply wanted what she wanted, and was willing to wait for it! And here I was worried about charging her $75 bucks a piece for a couple of natural edge bowls! Yup, turns out that was her home -- the whole thing. That connection has led to a few more sales, and very recently, my first commission for a carved base to display a diamond pendant.

    Wow, didn't mean to be so long winded...I'll post the other story a little later...;)
     
  12. JRutten

    JRutten

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Lenexa, Kansas
    In search of a purple pen

    Like a lot of you, a lot of my first turnings were pens. I was at work one day and noticed a sign up that said "If anyone has my purple pen, please return it to me". Didn't really know the person in the message so I just kind of ignored it. A couple weeks later we happened to see each other in the break room. I asked him if he had found his purple pen. He said no. I knew I had some purpleheart blanks at home so when I got there I made a purple pen. I brought it to him the next day and he insisted on paying for it. I told him he could pay for the kit if he wanted to and he promptly wrote a check for the price of the kit plus $10. This has been my first and only sale even now. My list of family and friends wanting turnings never seems to go down.
     
  13. Don Leydens

    Don Leydens

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
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    Location:
    Oxford, NC
    Wow Donna, that must have been an exciting day!! How cool is that?

    JRutten, Keep up the good work.
     

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