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Here is my Woodturning!
By Dan Navarra
Marietta, GA

I began a love affair with woodworking in 1967 in my 8th grade Wood Shop class while attending Jr. High School in Tampa, Florida. I made lots of things in shop class and became comfortable with all the tools. Unfortunately, they did not have a Wood Lathe in the shop, or I might have found my real woodworking passion earlier in life. Over the years, I collected tools and created many woodworking projects for my friends and family.

Around 1983 I was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia and found a little store in Virginia Highlands called Highland Hardware (now Highland Woodworking ). It was there that I saw my first Wood Lathe and began researching and investigating the art of turning. I purchased my first Wood Lathe in 1988, and still use the same Delta lathe today although I have made a few modifications as you can see below. So, I guess you can say that Highland Woodworking and the fine folks that work there are responsible for the many hours of fun, relaxation, and creative expression I have enjoyed turning in my shop and also the joy expressed by all the recipients of the items I turned on the lathe and gave to them. Thank you Highland Woodworking!

When I got my Wood Lathe I was making a new coffee table and turned the legs for the table as my first turning project. However, one day I was chopping firewood and upon splitting some Spalted Maple that had been laying in my backyard for over a year after the tree came down, I noticed the wood looked really interesting with all these dark lines throughout it. I stopped chopping wood and took the split logs into the shop and turned my first bowls (below). The bowls can be lined up bottom to bottom and you can see the entire cross-section of the tree. I was immediately HOOKED!!

One interesting story I will share with you is when I first started turning I made my mother a number of things and gave them to her when I visited her in Florida. When she saw the bowls and items I had made for her, she told me that my grandfather was a woodturner. I did not know him very well as he lived in Parkersburg, West Virginia until he died in the late 60s. My mother dug through a box of pictures and such and produced the newspaper clipping (below) of my grandfather turning in his shop in 1966. This kind of blew me away, as she never mentioned it and I never knew he was a woodturner. Maybe turning is in the genes!

For the past 28 years I have loved turning wood and have turned countless numbers of bowls, pens, rolling pens, trinkets, ornaments, you name it… I love it!

Dan can be reached directly via email at dan@navarra.us.com .

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Tel. 800-241-6748

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