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Here is my Woodturning!
By Tom Gokey
Duluth, GA

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I am 71 years old and have retired twice. I have always been interested in woodworking throughout my life (my grandfather and father were both carpenters).

In 2006 my father died and none of my siblings wanted his tools so I got them. After storing them at my friends house for three years, I built my shop (14 x 22) as an addition to my house. I began turning about 4 years ago and I initially used my father's old equipment including his Sears 12" lathe to learn on. About 3 years ago my friend Rick Morris, who is an excellent wood turner and regular contributor to The Highland Woodturner , gave me instructions on how to turn. A couple of years ago he upgraded his lathe and so I bought his Jet 1442 lathe which was a considerable upgrade for me. Since then, I have also upgraded my old Sears table saw to a SawStop Tablesaw and my ancient band saw to a new 14" Rikon Bandsaw . I still have my Dad's old jig saw that I remember using when I was a kid.

I have been turning for about 3-4 years and each Christmas I turn presents for family and friends. Last year, I made snowmen ornaments, christmas trees, refrigerator magnets and wine bottle stoppers, This year in addition to snowmen ornaments (not quite finished in the picture) and christmas trees, I have been focusing on making various tea lamps. I have used cherry, red and white oak and spalted maple. I still have more to make – so back to the shop!

Below are pictures of a tic tac toe board and game pieces that I made for my 6 year old grandson. It is made from maple and the pieces are made from paduak and water oak. The water oak was from a tree in our yard.

I originally thought I would just cut the cross markings in the top and paint them but a friend suggested I use brass inlay. I was glad I did because it made it look really good.

Below are some wind bottles that I made for Christmas presents. My daughter-in-law works in the wine industry so I decided to make her a wine bottle and goblet. I ended up making three sets – one for her, one for her parents, and one her brother. The wine bottles are cedar and the goblets were made from pine.

Below are pictures of some "weed" pots that I have turned – I like to have a few on hand to give as gifts to my wife's friends or just someone that needs a little gift.

As you can see, I have used many different types of woods -- walnut, cherry, water oak, spalted maple. They do not use up much wood so they can be made from small scraps.

Tom can be reached directly via email at turningpapou@gmail.com .

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