Turning Archive 2006


Ellis Walentine
>Well, folks it's time again to tempt you with a tantalizing woodworking topic. As always, your answers will be distilled to our "News & Views" column in the next issue of Woodworker West magazine.

Lately, as I've been wrestling with a major home carpentry project (renovating our back porch before it self-destructs), I've gotten to thinking about how much carpentry I've done in my life, along with all the finer woodworking projects. It seems to me that the thing these activities all have in common is that they are essentially design problems; that is, they all start with a need to create something or make something happen, and they all require us to use our tools and our wits and whatever skills and materials are appropriate to solve the design problem at hand.

The skillsets involved in carpentry and fine woodworking are surprisingly similar, if you think about it; it's mostly the materials and degree of refinement that differs. In every case, it comes down to our mechanical and problem solving abilities to get the job done.

Okay, enough philosophizing; let's toss this chestnut around for a while: How many of you engage in the full gamut of woodworking activities, from rustic carpentry to the finest furniture and accessories, or if you don't, where is your area of greatest interest? (I know you all are turners, but are you limited to turning?)For that matter, how far afield do you go with your creative and mechanical pursuits? Metalwork, other crafts? How do you think they relate to and/or complement each other?

This is a pretty open-ended question, so I'm hoping we get a wide range of replies. Thanks for participating!

Ellis Walentine, Host

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