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Thread: Street Fair and Woodturners Stand

  1. #1
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    Street Fair and Woodturners Stand

    Last night I went to the street fair and came up on a guy that said he was as turner/sculptor. I saw he had several vessels that were fairly large in size and allowed me to pick one up to take a close look at it. I asked him a couple questions in a curious way.

    First was why he cut out such a large plug in the bottom of the vessel (some 4" plus in size). He told me that it was the only way to control cracking at the center of the log. I told him there are other ways to control the cracking even with the pith in and that started a good conversation about his work.

    Second was what he used for a finish - he said he coats them with linseed oil and then uses Varathane - usually a few coats and that completes the finish.

    I only mentally critiqued his work because my stuff if far from perfect but I noticed a few things that I didnt like. The sanding was not that great and I could see the sanding lines if you look close in the light. His idea of a vessel is a poor one because while the outside looks like a nice vessel shape the inside was not hollowed out at all and therefore made the vessel very heavy. He had drilled a hole straight down and called it done. The finish had a few spots of what i would call aligatoring in the finish - like maybe he put it on to soon before the oil was dry but who knows. Prices ranged from $20-$85 depending on size which is not bad considering some of the short cuts i suppose.
    The wood was myrtle and redwood that he used.

    The interesting thing i saw was some hand carved bowls and were not done on the lathe at all but were unique and simply finished with some type of oil and left alone......the finish was like a satin. He told me about the tool he used which was the King Arthur Line of tools. I decided to look it up online and found the website at
    www.katools.com
    There are some videos on U-tube about it also and i thought if anyone was interested they could take a look................its a really nice tool for what it does................Dan

    thanks Dan
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 03-13-2010 at 04:58 AM.
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  2. #2
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    Turning tool question an show an tell

    Thanks for posting that site,as it is very interesting.I to love to look at other woodworkers work at these shows.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for posting the site Dan. Very interesting. I know what you mean about some of the work at craft shows. I did one in November. There were 3 other turners there. I checked out their work before I sat up. It is amazing how bad some of the work is and like you I am far from being a pro. But sanding lines on pens, bowls, and vases. How can you leave sanding lines on a pen. The finish on most had runs in it or they didn't put enough finish on and places on the wood was dry where it had soaked in more. One of the guys came down and talked for a minute. He said how are you selling so much and he says I haven't sold even a pen. I just didn't have the heart to tell him. I sold around $600 at that show and the other 3 combined I found out sold around $30 and the one guy didn't sell one item.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
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    Worse yet is going into an up scale art gallery and picking up pens with tool marks in them.
    I guess it's an art from not to finish sand the piece
    But at the same time one must assume they are doing the job to the best of there ability.
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 03-13-2010 at 04:02 PM.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Weishapl View Post
    I sold around $600 at that show and the other 3 combined I found out sold around $30 and the one guy didn't sell one item.
    Bernie the curve wrecker! It actually might have helped your sales for people to comparison shop the other guys and then to see the difference in quality of your product.

    There are a lot of folks out there that lack 'self-awareness', or the ability to know what they don't know. I've dealt with a lot of that in the technology world and it never ceases to amaze me.

    I don't ever profess to be an expert in any one thing. As a typical JOAT, I do like to think that I can see the difference in quality between my work and the pro's, and make no bones about it.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  6. #6
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    You are right Brent. Like I said I may not be the pro turner but I would not put some of the stuff they had up for sale. I have stuff in my shop right now that will never see the light of day because to me it is not good enough to be sold or displayed.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
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    You wonder if it is that some people dont take pride in their work or if they are just not a student of turning and finishing. I couldnt drag myself to a show to try to sell something if I didnt feel it was good. I wouldnt want to even show anyone, unless it was a mentor who could show me what I was doing wrong.

    In this case, it sounds like they just didn't care or know any better.
    Rich (the Yooper)

    "To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

    "Common sense is not so common."

  8. #8
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    Bernie.............and others - I agree and had to respond with this

    I bought some Ca Buckeye and shouldn't have because i usually do not buy the wood i turn (its just a hobby). The wood was so punky that most of it was not usable and I paid about $120 with shipping so probably $80 worth of wood.............Anyway here is what I do with what I turn

    Sale Pieces - I have for sale the pieces that I consider perfect in form and finish

    Give Away - Has blemishes or errors in form or finish or experimental pc's I played with dyes or whatever.

    The Famous "Hummmm Pile" - A few pc's that I have not decided what to do with them - Can I save them ? Can I enhance the cracks to make it look interesting instead of a turning with a crack in it ? experiment later on with them perhaps? practice some new dye techniques or colors maybe? One example is the small buckeye because the hole in it after turning was almost perfectly round and just didnt look right - I opened it up and completed the finish - bumped up to the Sale pc's now....LOL and still I have others that end up in the next category......

    Designer Firewood Pile - after cussing and a project gone bad this is where they end up

    I sell all my stuff at work and it goes really fast but im not asking alot for the pc's really - $10 - $75.00 and most in the $20-$35 range..... I don't want to bring them back home ................and use the money to buy more supplies or new tools etc......kinda like a game - what I sell I use to buy more stuff......LOL
    I think im going to buy another Supernova which is on sale at Woodcraft right now.............guess I better turn some more to raise the money hugh ?
    LOL...............its all in fun...............thanks Dan
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 03-14-2010 at 04:10 AM.
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Worse yet is going into an up scale art gallery and picking up pens with tool marks in them.
    I guess it's an art from not to finish sand the piece
    But at the same time one must assume they are doing the job to the best of there ability.
    Yes, craft shows can be an eye opener. You will see a range from the worst possible to some very fine art.
    On pens, those cursed sanding rings separate those who care from hacks. I spend more time, on many pens, sanding than any other step. And, I still do not achieve the brilliant finish that many others do. And, I'm sure it has nothing to do with my stubborn refusal to use glue as a finish.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    I know what your saying Frank It seems as though sanding takes longer than all the rest of the process put together.
    But in this gallery only the best of the best can be on display and they must pass the jury to get in. The pen in question did not have sanding rings it clearly had not been sanded at all. I'm guessing that, that is where the *art* of the pen came into play the guy is so good at turning pens he does not even need to sand
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 03-15-2010 at 04:28 AM.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

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