Saw a blog earlier by DannyBoy about lathes brought back memories. Many years ago I got my first lathe – one of those cheap ones from Ohio Forge. I practiced and practiced until I finally got a spindle that looked decent. My next door neighbor – who is a carpenter – was out in the yard and I called him over to see my handy work. I was just so thrilled to show him something that I could do with wood that HE couldn’t do. Kenny is a really good finished carpenter, and I had been in his shop many times and knew that he did not have a lathe.
Well, he looked at my spindle and said that it was pretty fair for a beginner. I challenged him to come over and do one better on my lathe. Unfortunately he accepted and came over (now keep in mind that this was all being done in a friendly manner – we were and still are very good friends). Well Kenny came over and asked what tool I had used to do my spindle. I proudly handed him my cheap Sears Craftsman gouge and said “let’s see what you can do”. He put the gouge down, looked around and grabbed one of my screwdrivers – walked over to the grinder and sharpened it a bit and proceeded to blow my spindle making dreams totally away – his spindle was much nicer than mine AND WITH JUST A SCREWDRIVER!!!!!.
He went on to explain that he had spent his childhood years in his Father’s shop in Mississippi – and all he did all day long was turn spindles for the rocking chairs that his father made to sell.
Just a humbling experience that taught me to never take for granted what another’s talent or knowledge might be. I went on to learn a lot from Kenny and he turned out to be quite a talented furniture maker. Wish he still lived next door.
-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/