Turning Archive 2005

An evening with David Marks--Note to Ellis.

Rod Peterson -- Ormond Beach
>I'm just recovering from a very enjoyable picnic held at a woodworker's (from Woodnet) home Sunday in Orlando that Mike Fitterling had posted about a few weeks ago. In addition to the usual bonhomie associated with a group of congenial wooddorkers, David Marks was an invited guest following his last class at the local Woodcraft that afternoon.

What an agreeable visit that made. David is basically just another one of us, although he has made a good living at it (also, like a few of us—most definitely not me) and who has gained some noteriety from his television program Wood Works (on DIY network), as well.

Mike had brought the makings of a Krenov style plane and spent the better part of the afternoon getting the wooden parts together while I was assigned the task of grinding away from an edger blade all of the parts that didn't look like a plane iron. On the injury front, I'll not identify the guilty, but one of us inadvertantly tried to grind off part of his finger, and Mike cut himself slightly with a freshly sharpened iron. It's unclear as to whether it was from testing the edge or mishandling during assembly. Mike presented the plane to David at the end of the evening.

David had some pieces of his work that he had brought on the trip and passed them around, as well as several photos of other pieces. You cannot believe the finish on these pieces. Two vases and an ostrich egg (that's right) had a lacquer finish that was absolutely impeccable. A bowl/platter with an ebony ring (I think I saw him make that on his show) was remarkable for the complete lack of a single sanding scratch (I remarked on that—David says he does a lot of sanding off the lathe). It seemed to have his famous tung oil finish on it.

When I talked to him later, I mentioned I was not a Woodnet guy but from WoodCentral and mentioned Ellis' name. David said, "tell Ellis I said hello." Attention Ellis: David Marks says "hello."

It was interesting to learn of the behind the scenes dynamic of the production of Wood Works and that what you see isn't always what you get. There are apparently some significant compromises forced on David apart from the obvious squeezing a forty hour production into 15 minutes of air time.

A big thanks to Mike Fitterling for including WoodCentral in the invitation, and a huge thanks to Mike Dauphinee of Woodnet, and his wife, who hosted the event, for allowing us to intrude on his shop, their kitchen, and their backyard in order to enjoy woodworking fellowship at its best.


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