I first started working with wood in 1987. I was in the Navy stationed on Okinawa, Japan. The base I was on was so small our living quarters were on an Army base called Torii Station. Torii Station had a hobby center that included what some would say was the best outfitted and best maintained wood shop on the island. It was here I also had my first experience using a lathe making some round corner posts for an entertainment center I was building.
Using the lathe was fun, but I did not touch one again until 1992 on the island of Guam. Still in the Navy but now married, my wife found a some plans for a turned acorn shaped box and asked me if I could make it. I remembered my previous experience back in Okinawa and said I would try. So, off to the Air Force Base and the only woodshop on the island to see if they had a lathe, which they did. I ended up making three of those acorns and even made a small fruit bowl, but after that I didn't touch a lathe again until many years later.
I retired from the Navy in September 1996, moved back home to Evansville, Indiana where I lived for a couple of years. In March 2000 I moved to Albany, Georgia. It was here I seriously got into woodturning. Walking through my favorite part of the local Sears store one day I happend to see a small lathe on display. It was a Delta Midi-lathe and after a lot of questions for the salesman and a lot of research online, I went back and bought the lathe and a cheap set of turning tools. The rest, as they say, is history.
My entire shop has been built around my lathe. Like many turners I know, I am pretty much self taught. I have attended workshops given by professional turners whenever possible and worked side by side with more experienced woodturners who I met through clubs and the internet. As I look back at those first turnings and I compare them with what I am doing now, I am amazed at the difference. I have to keep telling myself I still have lots to learn.
In May 2004 I relocated to Charlestown IN. My life has changed greatly since moving here. Now I share my home, and my shop, with my 14 year old daughter (and my 18 year old daughter when she comes to visit me). The one thing that hasn't changed is my love of woodturning.