A View From An Outsider

It is pretty easy to forget the wonderment of what we create on our simple Woodturning machines with a few steel cutting tools.  Many of us have spent years perfecting our craft and honing our sense of form and purpose.  When seen through the eyes of someone not involved in our craft, many of them cannot even imagine the skill and energy that can go into one of our projects.  The other side of the coin will find folks who literally cannot imagine how anyone would be able to produce such wonderful art.  They have no concept of the process, the planning, or the equipment involved and have little appreciation for what it actually takes.


One of my early mentors was a fellow from England, Chris Stott.  A short excerpt from his book “Turned Boxes 50 Designs” will illustrate the point perfectly:


“There were a few well-known turners at the show demonstrating on the trade stands.  Just two of them stopped by to talk: Phil Reardon and Alan Batty.  Allen’s comment ‘I like your work — keep it up’ was all the encouragement I needed, and I thank him for taking the trouble to stop and look.  Ever since then I have tried to work on the basis that an ounce of encouragement is worth a pound of criticism, and if you have to criticize it should be constructive.  This is a stark contrast to the comments I overheard outside a craft fair in a northern resort.  Two old ladies were chatting and one of them said ‘We’ll not go in there — it is only things they have made themselves.”


Sometimes you are perceived as an artiste* of unimaginable talent, other times you are perceived as a whittler of homemade trinkets.  Do not believe either one!  Just understand different people will perceive you according to their experience not yours.  Some of the best advice anyone ever gave me is this, “You have begun a great journey, my son.  If you stop to answer every barking dog along the way you will never get to where you are going.”  Enjoy what you do, always strive to do it better and enjoy the journey, because wherever you go there you are.


* — an artistic or creative person


Here is my inspiration for this message:

Proverbs 18:15-16 NIV, The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.  A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.



10% Off Sale

One Week Only save 10% off everything

Must Use Discount Code "Fingerprint" when checking out


Announcement for those in the Athens, Georgia area.

I have been ask to do a club demonstration at the AAW chapter in Athens, Ga. the evening of Tue Aug. 4th. contact Louis Kudon <lkudon@yahoo.com> for information. My topic Christmas Ornaments and Ron's Gadgets.


I’ll see you at SWAT in Waco, Texas Aug. 21-23, 2015.

For those of you in the Southeast, don’t forget about Turning Southern Style XXI September 18-20, 2015. I will be there as a vendor for sure, but I have also been asked to do a rotation on Fancy Christmas Ornaments and Fancy Finials.



Ron Brown's Best © 2015 http://www.ronbrownsbest.com

A New Section added to the Web Site

I have no illusions that I have cornered the market on all of the clever ideas for woodturners, or just in general for that matter. I am inviting you to drop me a note with a simple question: "Why doesn't someone invent something that will . . . ? Then tell me what you wish someone would invent.

I make no promises of compensation of any kind. You will simply be asking the question. I do plan to offer a prize of your choice of any 3 DVD's on my web site each quarter for the best question submitted. However, it will be in my sole discretion if any of the ideas are worth a reward. I may elect not to offer any prize at all. If your question leads to an idea which ultimately makes me millions of dollars, you have my undying gratitude, but no compensation, in my sole discretion. Having said that, thank you for submitting your question.


Ron Brown

Submit Here



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.


A huge thanks to everyone who ordered my newest gadgets, the Universal Setting Jig and the Quad Setting Jig for use with common lathe tool sharpening jigs. We sold out of our initial inventory in the first 10 days, but are hard at work making more and should be able to deliver product within a week or so. Click the links to see what all of the excitement is about.

Universal Setting Jig >>

Quad Setting Jig >>