November 2014 Highland Woodturning News Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodturning classes and seminars Woodturning articles and solutions Subscribe to Highland Woodturner


Here is my Woodturning!

by Rodney Miller
Chandler, AZ

Note: click any picture to see a larger version.

My name is Rodney R. Miller. I am a 48 year old disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force living in a small apartment in Chandler, AZ. I started woodworking approximately 35 years ago. Like many others, I took the standard woodshop classes in High School. However my largest influence was my Dad. He used to do a tremendous amount of construction work and eventually built his own home.

I do not have my own lathe or turning tools. I am in the process of attempting to save the money for my own equipment, but it is a little difficult for a disabled veteran. So I make do with the equipment I have access to at the moment.

With the help and support of my loving wife, I started my own little home based company, R&C Projects of Arizona. I started by carving love spoons on the patio of my small apartment. Nothing elaborate, just simple designs. I would carve single hearts, double hearts, and a few other simple designs. I would go to my local exotic wood store and look for anything I thought would be interesting to carve.

My "love spoon" carvings

Next, I became interested in expanding my line of projects. Eventually, I found TechShop. This place was a Godsend for someone such as me. TechShop is an innovation center where you pay monthly dues just like you would for a gym membership. TechShop has everything available for you to innovate and create whatever comes to mind. They have a machine shop, metal shop, lasers, water-jet, 3D printers, textile shop, computer access and my favorite, a woodshop. Techshop also offers numerous classes to teach you how to properly use the equipment. I decided to take all of the woodshop classes I could starting with the Shopbot CNC router. This piece of equipment is amazing. I began creating woodworking projects I never thought possible. The projects were perfect. I would program the computer and the machine would take over. The only thing required was to assemble the project and finish it. However something was missing. I then began making flat board projects such as jewelry boxes and such. I created several projects for my family and friends. Everyone seemed to enjoy the boxes I was making. I worked on this for several months. Each project would take weeks and sometimes months to complete. However once again, I found something was missing.

Finally, I began turning. This was fantastic. Each project would take hours to complete instead of weeks. My expenses were lower because I would actually go out into the neighborhood and look for fallen trees or branches someone had cut off of a tree in their yard. Each time I saw a branch laying on the ground, I would envision a vase, bowl, or box I could make. Where people would see a piece of firewood, I would see the possibility of a new project.

Here is a picture of my first turning since High School. I made this from a Redwood tree someone had cut down and threw away. The branch was approximately 5" - 6" in circumference. The only finish on this vase is Beeswax.

Below are more of my projects:

I hope this has enlightened you a little as to who I am and what I do. In a last few words, I am just a simple man trying to live life and survive by doing something I enjoy.

You can email Rodney at . You can see more of Rodney's work on his Facebook page at

Submit your own woodturnings or woodturning shop to this column! Simply SEND US PHOTOS of your woodturning projects or shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodturning. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit if we show your turning in a future issue!

Return to The Highland Woodturner front page

Bookmark and

Print Friendly and PDF

See Previous Newsletters Subscribe to The Highland Woodturner

Highland Woodworking Social Media Take a look at the Highland Woodworking Facebook Fanpage Check out the Highland Woodworking Twitter Feed View the Highland Woodworking YouTube Channel Read some fascinating articles on the Highland Woodworking Blog

Copyright ©2014 Highland Woodworking, Inc.

Errors regarding pricing and specifications are subject to correction.
Some items may sell out and become delayed or unavailable at the advertised price.

Highland Woodworking | 1045 N. Highland Avenue, NE | Atlanta | GA | 30306 | 800.241.6748