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Thread: John Beaver Workshop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    John Beaver Workshop

    Went to an all-day turning workshop today given by John Beaver, who's a member of my turning club, the Glendale Woodturner's Guild. He showed us the tricks for making his signature 'wave' bowls like these:

    John's a real nice guy, and his is an interesting story. He's only been turning seriously for about 2 1/2 years. He'd had an old hand-me-down lathe in the back corner of his shop for years, using it only a few times to make nose cones for RC airplanes. Then he got an idea for a bowl with a wave in it, and figured out some cool techniques and jigs for getting the results he was looking for. After he'd done a few to prove the concept was worth pursuing, he took some lessons to actually learn 'real' turning techniques. He said he was hesitant at first to show others his work, but once he posted a few pics on the web, people quickly started to notice. In fairly short order, he caught the attention of folks like Malcolm Tibbets, David Ellsworth and Betty Scarpino, and soon after that he was asked by Ray Leier to add some of his bowls to the 'Small Treasures' exhibit at the Del Mano Gallery. (To those who are unfamiliar with the Del Mano Gallery, it's probably the premier wood art gallery in the nation, if not the world.) He's also started getting invitations to participate in other national-level shows around the country. Definitely a fast-rising star who found a unique signature style pretty quickly out of the gates.

    I'll be experimenting in the future with some of the techniques he showed today. Like I told him, the challenging part will be taking his ideas and expanding on them.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails John Beaver Workshop 1 - 800.jpg  
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Palm Springs, Ca
    Sounds like a interesting idea to consider espcially if you have bowl thats lacks in character - and would be interesting to add some color dyes along with the wave.................OK so now you have me does he do it or what kind of jig and saw is he using?? can you explain it .....thanks
    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................

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Hi Vaughn,

    I notice that the "seminar" was held in your garage.

    Your garage keeps getting digs from me because you made me stand on a pallet to use your monster lathe.

    Enjoy and keep your funny side up,

    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Dan, it's kind of hard to explain the whole process, but he makes the wave by cutting an arc in a bowl blank or in the bowl after it's been rough turned. The jig holds the bowl safely while cutting a precise arc on the bandsaw. The contrasting wood (and highlighting veneer) is bent and glued in the gap created with the bandsaw cut. A number of the pieces you see on his site have been dyed or bleached.

    Jim, I wish that was my shop. It was at another club member's shop...all 1100 sf of it. He's got nice tools to go with it, too, including a Sawstop. (But my lathe is better. He has a Laguna 18/47. It's OK, but it's no Powermatic.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    man you guy out there in the big city have all the fun.That's really cool and hope you will share some of his tips with us when you get it down pat(or before)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    That would have been priceless to be sure! Should be fun to see what you do with it
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think I had seen his bowls on WOW before. Nice stuff.

    I should join one of these clubs. I can see that you can learn a lot in a short amount of time. They have a club in Torrance which meets at El Camino College once a month.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Abq, NM
    Very interesting work, and he's getting nice prices for it too!
    Nice that he put some discipline behind the talent to take it to that level.
    One more approach to add to your toolbox. Thx for upping the info.

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