Richard Raffan video on boxes

Mike Stafford

Coastal plain of North Carolina
Jay Caughron kindly clued me in about this video Richard Raffan posted on Youtube in which he included one of my boxes and made a few comments. The box is bocote and is one of the boxes I traded with Richard in 2011.

Here is a link to the video. My box makes an appearance at about 6:55 in the video.

Thanks Jay for letting me know. It is always an honor to be included by Richard Raffan. He was and is the man who inspired me to become a woodturner.
Cool stuff Mike. When I was just thinking about getting into turning, Raffan was one of the artists I studied just to see what it was all about.
Don. when I got into turning it was because of a picture of a box on the cover of Richard Raffan's first edition book Turning Boxes with Richard Raffan.

At the time I building a lot of art boxes. I was having difficulty coming up with artistic handle designs that I could make with a table saw, scroll saw and band saw etc. I had a Shopsmith and the turning tools that came with it so I decided I could turn some fancy handles. I mean how hard could it be?

Well, trying to turn something small with those oversized Shopsmith tools and no appreciable skill proved to be quite a challenge. Not one to give up I decided that I needed some smaller tools and perhaps, a book on turning might be useful since I knew absolutely nothing about turning.

The next time I was in Raleigh I stopped at the Klingspor Woodworking Shop and bought some turning chisels. I also looked for some books that might help me learn to turn. As I perused the books on the shelves my eyes fell upon the Raffan Turning Boxes book. It had the most beautiful little box on the cover. I bought that book and proceeded to start teaching myself how to turn. That was an adventure that is a funny story. I had a horrible teacher and was a pretty bad student so progress was slow. But those decisions have enriched my life so much. I have been places and met so many wonderful people because of that book. In 2008 I met Richard and spent several days with him. I drove him to the Richmond symposium. Then I spent two weeks with him on the Woodturning Cruise in 2011 where we were both demonstrators. You cannot imagine how honored I was to be in his company. We have been pen pals for quite a few years now.

It all started with this book.