Your thoughts on this years symposium

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by allen jay, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,122
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Malcolm, more important than quantity is opportunity. The symposium could always be held where there is the highest density of members if bragging on high attendance figures was of greatest importance. Every scenario of how to do symposiums has merits as well as disadvantages. Weighing one against another is not a simple thing that can be answered by statistics. I would even imagine that symposiums help stimulate the growth of woodturning in the local region.

    I have been in Phoenix in the summer on a few occasions and it was hot outdoors. However, I was indoors most of the time.. The temperature on one trip was near 120° F and I was outdoors several hours and the low humidity made it tolerable so I don't see the temperature outdoors as a factor.
     
  2. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,629
    Location:
    Plano, Texas
    Home Page:
    As a founding member of the Dallas Area Woodturners, over 10 years ago, I completely agree with your thoughts on this, but that's a whole different conversation
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,122
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    How was the beer, Kelly?

    I think that the things you mentioned are true of almost every kind of organization. We do what we do because of our deep investment in something that becomes a part of our being. At least, that is what my beer told me. :rolleyes:
     
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,304
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    Malcolm,
    The predominant reason Phoenix had a small attendance is few people live close enough to drive.
    The reason pittsburgh will be large is that close to half the AAW members are within a long days drive.

    As far as destination. We and other AAW members took the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon.
    I don't think we will do anything in Pennsylvania afterwards.

    I hear it is hot in Waco, Texas. I expect to see see a huge attendance for SWAT.
    al
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  5. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Hawi, Hawaii
    Home Page:
    The beer was so tasty I had to have a couple more after the first one. And I slept on it and true to me I mellowed out. Got up this morning ready to do what a man has to do for the day.
    In Phoenix I sat in on the chapter meeting. They paid my admission so felt I should show up to the meeting. Almost to a T when the subject of who does the work club reps say about 10%. But its the same 10% year after year. So our club is really trying to pamper our Sec. and web site guru. Its the same guy. Now he is a fellow who has been to AAW symposiums and knows a personal value to himself. But he gets no love so to speak for his great efforts. The board took him to lunch not long back. Actually I instigated the board going to lunch on the clubs dime. We dont get paid for what we do. We take any grief any member ever has. Not many, thank you. And sometimes like my voicing being burned out I decided we deserve a small treat. It actually built up a bit of moral among us. Course it was at the Kona Brewing co. I had iced tea. Cant drink in the middle of the day. Did not prevent a couple of the other board members from enjoying a cold draft brew. It was good fun.
     
  6. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,420
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    If these numbers are close to the truth, then I guess it's reasonably safe to assume the average new AAW member will come and go in about 5-6 years. I speculate that most of them either lose interest in lathe turning (give up), or have age related issues. (For example, death is an age related issue, but so is arthritis.) I'd say the great majority of new turners are the over fifty bunch......

    If that is anywhere near correct, then there is a very large portion of the AAW membership at any given time, who are newbies, or beginners. Well, no wonder there is such a large residual industry specifically targeting lathe turners! This isn't an inexpensive endeavor, and to equip one's self to do it requires a relatively large inventory of expensive tools and equipment......and, much of it is a complete waste of money, until experience overcomes costly experimentation. A zillion people are attempting to sell products to those who want to become good at wood turning......and, it looks like most of the audience just doesn't have enough "stick time" to distinguish between what looks interesting, what might work, and what to reject.

    Wood turning is a mirage that hooks a lot of people, giving enthusiasm that they think is the result of success......but, in reality, it's nothing more than lots of sanding. :rolleyes: Almost anyone can put a block of wood on a lathe and come up with something that doesn't look half bad. This makes them dream big, but they have no idea how much learning is required to master all phases of traditional tools. All they know is they did a lot of sanding, came up with something that looks decent, and their enthusiasm went through the roof! For those who have persevered, learned some measurable, and successful amount of tool handling techniques, and know what "sharp" is.....it's pretty easy for them to tell who relies on sandpaper, and who doesn't have to sand very much at all.....and there is a distinct difference when comparing the results of the two. ;)

    Well, no wonder the AAW membership is such a big "herd"!.......and, there are those who profit from selling ideas and products to the herd. Some good, some not so good. It's also no wonder at all that so many turners rely on teaching the herd, rather than being creators of their own little universes in their own little one-man shops!

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  7. john lucas

    john lucas

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,822
    Location:
    Cookeville TN USA
    Can't speak for the other teachers but I do it simply because I remember how hard it was to get past the learning curve on using the tools available. That and it's fun to meet the turners who are almost always great people. I'm not a full time turner so this doesn't apply to me but I remember Binh Pho saying that he loses money teaching. If he stayed home and simply made one piece and sold it he would make more money than he does teaching. The vast majority of teachers fall into one of those two categories. The really high in demand teachers probably do make a profit or it simply could be that they enjoy teaching more than sitting at a booth in a craft fair all weekend hoping it doesn't rain.
    Turning is no different than any other hobby. Look at how many accessories you can buy for 1911 pistols or AR style rifles. And back when I was in Archery I'll bet I had 10 different release's, many I made myself. I had 7 bows and who knows how many arrows of every size and wall thickness trying for the perfect group. We all tend to think that the next gadget will make us better and if we have the income we buy it and play with it.
    I'm an avid bicyclist and one day I was in a shop looking at high end bicycles and actually rode a few. Man they were sweet. The thought of pedaling that 18lb bicycle up that steep grade that I always have trouble with seemed like a dream come true until I realized that all I had to do was lose 4lbs of my body and I would achieve the same results on that hill. Turning is like that. If you practice enough with a bowl gouge you will get more results than if you spend X number of dollars on the latest fancy tool.
    This leads me back to the symposiums. Sure it's great to see the new tools and you can learn some great techniques from the presenters but the best reason to go is simply to meet other turners.
     
  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,304
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    Hi Odie,
    New members that last longer than 3-5 years tend to be members for a long, long time.
    A lot of new members drop out in the first few years. I have seen about the same growth patterns with the clubs I have been associated with.
    Bill made a similar observation.

    I also suspect those who get a quality class or two are more likely to stick with woodturning. Skills make woodturning more enjoyable and productive.

    Many professional turners, those who make a living from woodturning, make their income from a combination of art sales, teaching, and tool sales.
    The sought after teachers have established themselves as top artists.

    To be sure there is money to be made from new turners however the successful tool makers and teachers have a passion for woodturning. Their tools work and their classes produce better turners.

    The good turners all get asked to do demonstrations for clubs, regional symposiums, and the AAW symposium. They get invited to teach at the craft schools.
    So teaching opportunities abound for the top turners and most have to to turn down teaching to make time for their art work.

    We had a Panel at the AAW on classes with Trent Bosch, Jimmy Clewes, and Rudolph Lopez.
    I wish you could have attended and heard the passion about teaching as the spoke.

    Al
     
  9. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,420
    Location:
    Deep in the woods

    Now, there is a little dose of reality from John!

    How much can you spend on specialized lathe tools with the latest super advanced tool steel, with the latest flute and Kryo powdered technology?.....and what about all that equipment being offered to keep them sharp? New turners are going to get a rude awakening, if they think a 4,5,6 thousand dollar lathe is going to be the biggest expense.......heck, that's just the "starter kit"! :rolleyes: There is a reason why the standard traditional tools have evolved to the configurations they have......and getting all the latest, greatest, tools isn't a valid sidestep of what tradition has taught us......learning to use those tools are a confirmation of their value, but it takes time, effort, practice and patience to "get it". For some, "getting it", can be something that's taught, but let's not ignore the concept of individual effort and personal will. Teachers can be great, but they can also be an impediment to progress, creating things that need to be "unlearned".

    One of my pet peeves is the recent Easywood tools. There is nothing you can do with them that you can't do by grinding traditional scrapers.....and, at that, it isn't cutting.....it's scraping with a forced cutting action, without the need to learn how to sharpen at all. I'm feeling a bit disappointed in some of the lathe tool suppliers for even carrying these tools, because they do more to prevent a solid learning process with tools that actually cut, than anything they promise to do. I guess making money is more important than integrity and a sense of dedication to students who don't care very much about "easy".....they want refinement of results. This is not to acknowledge that some turners really want "easy", and will pay for it, but they will do it at the expense of refinement.

    With the current deluge of lathe tools, products, and gadgets being marketed, a new turner would be well ahead of the pack, to understand there is nothing new about what the possibilities are with traditional tools and methods......but realize they can spend themselves into debt, off budget, and still not have as good results! There is no free ride! :rolleyes:

    ooc
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,304
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    I don't understand the need to unlearn, unless you are referring to incorrect catch prone technique that some students bring to class
    I don't use everything I have learned. I have transitioned to more effective tools and tool use but every once in a while an old technique is the one I need.
    Practicing what we learn is essential. It comes down to beads and coves. If you learn to turn beads and coves the rest is easy.

    Sort of my pet peeve too!

    While these tools serve a purpose and have a short learning curve, they create one of the biggest challenges to teachers. Teaching an Easywood turner to use a gouge is often a challenge beyond the challenge of a raw beginner.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,122
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Everybody isn't interested in the same thing and it would be foolish to think that just because we love woodturning that everybody ought to feel the same passion if they give it a try. The turnover in woodturning clubs and in the AAW is no different than the turnover in photography clubs or in astronomy clubs -- and either of those can be far more expensive than woodturning. I have a good friend who make really nice furniture and he got interested in turning so that he could make his own table legs and chair rungs. He took a look at bowl turning and yawned. He had already found his passion and turning wasn't it. He does a spindle now and then if he finds it necessary, but it is only a means to an end.
     
  12. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,420
    Location:
    Deep in the woods

    Of course, Bill......

    Passion is not the same for everyone, and that is a good point.....I would have to agree with that. My guess is it's the exception to the rule that someone interested in woodturning, has visions of it being for table legs, or it being supplemental to some other related interest. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong about this, but I'd say the majority of turners are interested in making things in totality, which are traditionally lathe produced......some will, and obviously do evolve to their own levels of embellishment, where the basis for that embellishment is the lathe, but not necessarily the focal point.

    Unless there is disposable income, or wealth, I think it's safe to say that those who invest significant amounts of money, have visions of taking their passion (whatever that level of passion is) to their own personal concept of exceptionalism. It may be casual, or a strong desire, but the vision of creating to a high degree of excellence is probably universal......but, the ability to carry out that vision is not the same between individuals. This is not to ignore that there are some who use lathe turning as nothing more than a social outlet.

    I know where I stand on this, and I've seen your post where you've mentioned lathe turning is a part of your being, or something like that......so, we have some commonality in philosophy.....but, I speculate that we have very different individual thoughts on how we will facilitate that within ourselves.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,122
    Location:
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    I have a brother-in-law in Tennessee who describes my interest in woodturning by saying, "Bill got plum eat up by it". :D

    My wife translated since I am not fluent in hillbilly by saying that while there isn't an exact translation, it means that I really like it a whole big bunch (well, she's from Tennessee, too).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  14. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,420
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    Hello Al.......

    What I mean by "unlearn", is more than just a safety issue. Sure, it's that, but I'm also speaking of techniques and procedures that will produce the best surface quality, or better suited to advance progress. Probably the best and most successful teachers are not as much contributing to these things as do some mentors, makers of amateur videos, advice on forums, etc. These people all mean well, but the unsuspecting will be learning things that are detrimental to progress, of questionable value, or only true to a limited extent.......but are completely unaware of it. This isn't to deny that some of all these sources do put forth good information. These days, because of the advancement in technological methods of passing information by anyone who has an inclination to do so, it leads to an almost overwhelming volume of misinformation. It's all mixed in with the more limited amount of the very good information that is also available....so, how does a new turner know what to avoid? The answer is obvious, and only leads to the conclusion that "unlearning" is more a problem than it ever was.

    All of the above is why I've been one that bugs certain people to show us what their results are.....photographic evidence of the results they get, and therefore, some basis for applying that advice. As I've said many times before, "Results are the ONLY thing that count"......and, the only way for casual information to establish real validity, is to see the results that information giver is capable of producing.

    You mentioned that a student who uses Easywood tools is a challenge, and more difficult to teach than others.......that rings true for me. I can remember threads some years ago, when you would have thought these tools were a gift from the lathe god, himself!.....very sad, but it goes to show how mesmerizing they must be to those who have just begun to learn about the lathe.



    ooc
     
  15. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Little hard to follow your logic here, Odie.

    A> You repeat your mantra about "RESULTS" but then proceed to trash use of Easy Wood Tools which are nothing more than an alternative method to the bowl gouge you are so committed to.

    B> I personally use Hunter carbide cutters to turn bowls, especially deep ones, as well as for hollowing jars. Their cuts will match, if not exceed, anything produced by a bowl gouge in certain situations, and I've seen stuff turned with EWT that was impossible to tell what tools were used in the turning phase.

    C> Are you abandoning your end-justifies-the-means point of view?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  16. allen jay

    allen jay

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    92
    Location:
    littleton co


    nothing personal but lets stick to the topic of the thread shall we
    this kind of got off topic just a weeeee bit don't you think??
     
  17. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location:
    New Jersey
    nothing personal, allen, but seems this thread went OT 2 days ago
     
  18. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,420
    Location:
    Deep in the woods
    Hello Mark.......

    Your comments are not unexpected.......to the contrary, they are expected. Either you understand the point of.....excellence of surface quality prior to sanding, or you don't........

    My "mantra" is what it is, because all the words in the world can't produce excellence in results....only tools to the wood will do that! Altering pure shape as a necessary side effect of sanding, is a rule of thumb, and can't be changed by hope, or will power. Excessive sanding will be necessary, and is the results of imperfect cuts. Perfect cuts require minimal sanding, and there is no similarity between the two. Easywood tools do not have the possibility of producing a cut having the same integrity as traditional tools. You either understand that, or you don't.

    I also use Hunter tools with bowls having inward slanting walls. Not in all cases, but there is certainly an advantage up under the lip of the bowl. However, this is because the shearing cut slant of the Hunter cutter is at an angle that isn't possible with a standard bowl gouge......if that weren't so, the cut, using a gouge, would be as good or better than the Hunter tool. That is, unless your bowl gouge isn't as sharp as the Hunter tool. In this limited case, the Easywood tool probably will do just as well as the Hunter tool. This is such a limited application, that I don't see the validity of using this example for general use......only a limited, and very specific use.

    How about showing us some photos of your finished deep bowls and jars? I'm sure I'm not the only one who is just a little curious about the results you are getting, and how much sanding you do. Matter of fact, why not have an AAW photo album?

    C>......Huh? I'd say the ends are the only thing that really matters......so, my principle remain the same. The ends are the only thing that justifies the means! :D

    In the end, as with you and with anyone else, you have the right to have your own opinion, and it's not important whether there is agreement, or disagreement......other readers can decide the content of this discussion for themselves. I'm sure there will be those who subscribe to opposing viewpoints, but it matters not to me......because my "results are the ONLY thing that matters" to me......

    ooc


    The following pics show some bowls with pronounced inward slanting walls. These most likely would have involved using the Hunter tool inside the upper interior of the walls.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location:
    New Jersey
    OK. In process a 12" deep by 14" diameter salad bowl in hard maple. G&S-Bowl-1af.jpg As you can see, the maple developed some small cracks during the drying phase. Having re-turned the outside form with my trusty bowl gouge, I could have employed a long tool rest, etm, and dealt with the inevitable vibration that results from such a rig, but instead mounted my Hunter tools, in the holders I designed and machined Hunter-bent.jpg Hunter-2.jpg , in a 3/4" boring bar mounted in the Kobra. This allowed me to bring the finished deep bowl to a precise thickness with the carbide cutters shearing off the maple in lovely fine shavings without my having to use my best GI Joe Kung Fu death grip on the gouge. Sanding of the finished bowl was done starting with 220 grit to remove the faint echoes of the tools' pass over the wood. This was especially important because the maple had been assaulted by several generations of Notice posters who didn't have the courtesy to remove the iron they pounded into the tree the years before. Gail's Nails.jpg I'll leave it to your imagination what those nails would have done to a finely honed bowl gouge.

    Hollowing? Let's go to the fragile soft maple 14" deep Box Elder. Outside done, not with the venerable gouge, but rather with the carefully honed heavy skew to so gently refine the faint curve in preparation for the boring bar/Hunter combination to leave the walls at 3/16" all the way to the foot without disturbing the outside profile.

    {Keep Reading}
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,542
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Continued

    To Continue with hollowing . .

    r Memsahib-1-01.jpg Memsahib got her tall vase even though the wood tuned punky near the bottom and had to be delicately removed to prevent blowing the piece up. Then we can consider Box Elder ginger jars at 12" by 9" Peebles-Walser-final.jpg and 10" by 7" Wilson-Wish-1.jpg . The soft maple must be coaxed to its final thickness and requires a very sharp cutting edge. Yes, I could have been going back and forth to the grinder and the hone with a "regular" tool steel cutter in the boring bar, but the carbide Hunter just kept on peeling those fine shavings that tell me the interior surface would be as expected. If I sand the interior of my jars at all, I do it with a shop-made flap-sanding head using 180 grit paper. Nothing more is needed. Such results would be, for me, impossible using "normal" boring tools.

    I will remain open to refinements in the tooling available to us as woodturners. I don't, however, go out and stupidly buy the "next greatest hoogie" that some dude pounds the table with at some vendor show, but I know enough about what I'm doing to be able to filter out the BS. As mentioned, I don't use EWT's. Not because they are poor tools, but rather because they have no particular advantage to me for what I do with a lathe. I don't, however, denigrate them as there are other turners for whom they may present real value.

    "There are many paths to follow which end at the same goal. Some longer. Some shorter. Whether one is perceived as superior depends not on the path, but rather the traveler."
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014

Share This Page