Here is my Woodturning!
by Rodney Miller
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
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