Itís only wood

Woodturning is more popular than ever.  Why?

I have been pretty heavily involved in some form of woodworking since I was 19 years old.  Sweet Janice and I started out madly head over heels in love with one another trying to make our way in this world as a very young married couple with both of us in college and broker than broke.  Back in those days I made things out of necessity like coffee tables and end tables and bookshelves.  We simply did not have the money to go out and buy furniture, especially when I could get most of the wood for free and make it myself with very few tools.

Over the years as my skills increased and my tool collection grew I began making pieces for other folks by commission.  Eventually the quality of my work was good enough that I sold it through specialty retail stores.  Most of you know me as a wood turner, what you probably do not know is that I have built more than 1000 pieces of custom furniture over the years some projects bringing as much as $40,000.  I made a living for five years as a Power-Carving Artist selling an original line of ďfolk artĒ signs.  These eventually were sold in 33 countries around the world. 

The tremendous growth in Woodturning is a fairly recent phenomenon.  Although I have had a lathe since the early 1980s, I did not actually learn to turn wood until around 2000.  A connected confluence of easily transportable equipment, organization, and systems all worked together resulting in the huge and widespread popularity of Woodturning throughout the world which we are enjoying today.  Almost at the same time mini/midi lathes arrived on the scene; more or less simultaneously The American Association of Woodturners, AAW, was formed.  When you add the availability of four jaw scroll chucks and various other accessories which fit on the mini/midi lathes you have a recipe for success.  And then someone introduced VHS video cassette tapes along with affordable video cameras and recording media i.e. small recordable videotape cassettes.  The early pioneers among the Woodturning community began recording How-To videos for various turned projects way before the popularity of the internet.  Richard Raffan, Chris Stott, Alan lacer and Nick cook immediately come to mind.

This winning recipe consists of easily transportable equipment, accessories, organization and education.  Soon woodturning clubs began to organize, demonstrate to the public, and educate new converts.  That is how the explosive growth in Woodturning came about.  Another component which we cannot ignore is the Internet.  YouTube and Facebook have probably done as much to promote the hobby of woodturning as any of the other components.  No single element would have succeeded without the others.  And my final thought is that if the schools had not converted almost all of the industrial arts wood shop programs to computer labs there would have been less of a vacuum for the woodturning community to fill.  Although a very few communities do offer how-to classes for woodturners, most of us must rely on our local AAW chapters, YouTube, or retailers such as Rockler and Woodcraft to carry the burden of woodturning education. And yes, Iím doing my part too.

And now you know how it happened, because wherever you go there you are.  Here is my inspiration for this message:

The Message Bible

Ecclesiastes 4:12  By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.



This Week I Have 2 Sales


Sale #1

StrataBond Grab Bags-By Popular Request!

I have a VERY LIMITED supply of this beautiful colored birch laminated material on hand. Colors are limited to the naturals; camo, brown, black and cayanne. Below are some phtos of things I have made using this material. They are all beautiful and make excellent turning projects. Use this for salt and pepper shakers, miniature birdhouses, pepper mills, tool handles, pendants, pens, bottle stoppers, turned lidded boxes, acorns, etc. Orders will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

These are thumbnails. For larger views, click on the picture to view in a Photo Gallery.

You will also find a full description of the Grab Bags there.

Details HERE


Sale #2

Specific StrataBond Turning Blanks

I am offering specific pieces of square turning stock already milled. Most are suitable for Pepper Mill projects and turning tool handles to 18"+ in length. I also have 3 small bowl turning squares. Visit the web page for specifics. These are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. I do have some additional raw inventory which I will be adding as I can mill it. If there is something you want that you don't see, please drop me a note with your requests. Colors are very limited and mostly natural.

Here is a short video to help you understand what I am offering.

Ron Brown's Best © 2015


In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.

"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF

Remaining Summer Show Schedule 2015 -

Aug 2015, SWAT Symposium in Waco, TX (Confirmed)

Sept 2015, Turning Southern Style in Dalton, Ga. (Confirmed)

October 2015 Fall Woodworking Show Season Begins. Cities to be determined. Probably 5 shows before Thanksgiving.