Turning Archive 2007

Visit to Nick Cook's shop

Mark Kauder, Phenix City, AL
>Whenever I am in Atlanta, and in the area of his shop, I like to stop and see Nick Cook. You never know what you will find or learn.

Saturday, I had to take my son, and a friend and his small brother to an all day event. It is about 1 mile from Nick's, so hopeing that though it was Saturday, Nick might be in the shop. He was. He was giving a woodturning orientation to a bunch of Boy Scouts. So I listened (alway learning about skews), and puttered around his ship, trying to stay out of the way. What did I see and learn:

1) Since I am sort of in the market for a new drill press sometime down the road, I played with the new one that Nick had. A Delta 17-990x 17" model http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000A25TO/ref=nosim/galidoo-20
Just might be the choice for me, though it is a bit more than I was going to spend.

2) I counted the lathes currently setup in his shop, which, not counting the office area is about 20'x30'. He has a big General with a bed extension that will turn about 10' long, one of the new Jet-Mini's with the 12" swing (saw this last time), an older Jet-Mini, 3 Powermatic 3520's (two are B models), two older Rockwell/Deltas that do the majority of his production work and #3 described below.

3) There was a prototype (not secret) Powermatic, built like an updated version of a VB-36. Very nice looking, and Masive. 3HP motor (if I saw right). Nick says he does not think Powermatic could sell enough to justify making them, but I have my doubts.

4) Nick told me that the AAW has decided not to have John Hill be the auctioneer at the National Symposium in Portland. Going to have a professional auctioneer. I think this is one of the dumbest ideas ever. I am sure there must be some politics involved. I go to at least three symposiums a year, maybe as many as 5, that John does the auctioneering on. Yes, he uses some of the same jokes every time, every year, but John knows turning, and is able to talk a price up better than anyone. Yes, I have a bias. John was an early supporter of my work, owns a couple of them, and talks very nicely about them when he talkes up one of my donations at the symposiums - thus at least to some extent raising the prices of the ones I have sold over the years. But I truly think this is a dumb move on the AAW's part. I am going to send an email to them expressing this.

4) Observed once again that Nick needs a Shop Maid. I think we would find another lathe or two, and maybe a body or two in the mess.

I truly like Nick Cook - always finds time to talk to a visitor, as long as you don't mind that he will keep working while he does.

A good couple of hours.


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