I've been hanging around for a few days trying to figure out the navigation of the site but now it is time to say, hello.
I'm from Virginia. I hung up my spurs over a decade ago, sold the house, car and furniture and went cruising. My wife an I spent eight years wintering in the Florida Keys and Bahamas and summering in the Cheaspeake, or New England or Canada. It was a great way of life but after a while, even ice cream gets boring so we are back as "dirt dwellers".
I have always enjoyed working with wood and on the boat, I had a lot of chances to practice sanding and varnishing. I have always enjoyed making sawdust and recently I had a chance to pick up an old Sears lathe with tube ways and a set of tools, so I started turning and making chips as well. Working with the late the first thing that I learned is that I didn't know anything. The catches were exciting!
One big problem in learning how to turn was where to get the wood to turn into chips. I just could not envision buying a nice piece of wood and turning it into chips. Well, to my amazement and delight, a big old hickory tree just toppled over in my back yard. Talk about an unlimited supply of chips! I've been producing about a garbage can a week. The only problem is that it is like a big old hunk of beef - I gotta figure out how to cut it up and cure it.
I'm still in the "beads and coves" stage of practicing but I have made a bunch of scoops and spoons, a few tops and a couple of bowls from the tree - nothing fancy, but its a start and it sure is a lot of fun and I have not made a dent in the supply.