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Being alone

by Cher
posted 01-27-2010 10:01 PM

30 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 01-27-2010 10:09 PM

hi Cher, I believe a high percentage of people here, and outside woodworking feel the same as you do. but most don’t like to admit it so you just dont hear about it that often. thanks for sharing.

what woods do you have a available to practice turning?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4380 days

#2 posted 01-27-2010 10:14 PM

Don,t feel bad Cher , i have been alone for years :) It might explain why i get so much work done .
Luckily i still have my two dogs and four cats to talk to :)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View EricJ's profile


9 posts in 3045 days

#3 posted 01-27-2010 10:25 PM

I’m sorry to read about you feeling alone. I lost my father just over a year ago and I totally agree with you about not appreciating them as much as when they’re gone.

As for practicing turning, I would suggest throwing in a piece of wood scrap that you have laying around. Getting the feel of roughing a piece to round can be intimidating for some people, so do it with something that you don’t have any attachment to. Then try all your different chisels and get a feel for them. Wood that has some moisture in it turns easier than bone dry stuff.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 10:44 PM

It’s just human nature that we tend to take our blessings for granted until we lose them. When feeling lonely or down, it’s always helpful to sit down and make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for. This is guaranteed to put you in a better mood.

For lathe practice, anything on the softer side is good to help you get a feel for what the different tools do. Pine is great if you have that available to you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 10:46 PM

Hey Cher Your part of the LJs family your not alone. You might check in your area and see if there are woodworking clubs you could join or a community collage woodworking programs. I know that many of my students take my class just for human contact because there alone I must have 8 widows in my class and They all share information and have a good time. You can practice on most woods just make sure you have your tool resting on the rest and not to wear any loose clothing that can get wound up in your turning.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mvflaim's profile


189 posts in 3089 days

#6 posted 01-27-2010 10:58 PM

If you’re feeling alone maybe you should volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity program (or any other volunteer work) in your area. Or maybe you can join a woodturning orginization and meet some new freinds that can help you with your turning skills. If you feel alone for a long period of time, it will lead to depression which is not good.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3107 days

#7 posted 01-27-2010 11:08 PM


Thank you for the touching sharing of your vulnerability. This site, I am sure, is at least partly successful due to many of us feeling equally isolated at times. This is a specialized hobby and many of the challenges, frustrations, and moments of pride we feel fall on deaf ears. Even when others attempt to be supportive, it can still feel isolating because that connective tissue is just not there. Hopefully, the comments here illustrate that you are not as alone as you might feel.

As far as the lathe goes, I have practiced my lathing with 2×4 pine. I would rip the boards in half, which would give me good spindle sizes to work with. To minimize the stresses that come from rounding the stock, I would cut the four corners off with a bandsaw which would make the edges softer and easier to round off. You would be surprised how nice those spindles can look after a short time.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View lew's profile


12060 posts in 3754 days

#8 posted 01-27-2010 11:18 PM

Wow, my heart really goes out to you. Being alone can be so painful. I agree with Jim about finding others with similar interest but sometime we are alone even in a crowd. I used to tell my kids (students) to look around when they were feeling down. Our school had many learning/physically disabled kids. They were always happy and ready to see what was next. When the “normal” kids felt down, I used to get them to help the others. They, then, saw their life was not so bad. Seems someone always has it worse. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.

I think lathe is going to be just what you need. Stuff takes shape before your eyes. You don’t have to wait for glued up panels to dry or spend hours milling up lumber before you can start to see progress. Take Honey into the shop and get her opinion on the projects, as they come tumbling off the lathe (figuratively- not literally!). As you make something, post it here. Let us see your progress and mistakes. You know we will be kind and help you get better. Go on line to “YouTube” and search for lathe demonstrations- there are a bunch. Look for “how to” use the tools you have, first. Then go into the shop and try it. Start with a roughing gouge. Then the parting tool or a scraper. These are the easiest to use. Leave the skew chisel in the box for a while- until you feel comfortable with the others. Make sure you have a full face shield and always use it.

Remember, you are not alone as long as you’re a Lumberjock!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View PG_Zac's profile


368 posts in 3387 days

#9 posted 01-27-2010 11:22 PM

Cher – I often work away from home for extended periods, so I can relate at least a little bit. Having a loving dog next to you does help and you have this virtual family of LJ’s that you can share your passion with.

Here’s an open invite to all LJ’s both South African and foreign – If you are ever heading towards Zululand please pop in for a visit (just check first if I’m home). We could probably spend some nattering about wood and possibly have a braai.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View odie's profile


1691 posts in 3838 days

#10 posted 01-27-2010 11:48 PM

Hello Cher, this is the first time we’ve talked. I haven’t a clue as to what woods you have. Something a little on the soft side. In the US I usually tell people to try Poplar, Pine, or even Mahogany. Keep those tools sharp and the rest will follow.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3172 days

#11 posted 01-28-2010 12:11 AM

Hi, Cher.

I lost three dear men within about 18mos: first, my beloved grandfather, then my 57 year-old father, then his 53 year-old brother—his only sibling.

It’s a pretty horrible thing. When we lose parents, we lose a connection with our history … among so many other types of loss.

I agree with the kind thoughts that so many others have shared with you, already. You may not have anybody with you, right now, but … you’re not alone in spirit. There’s some 15,000+ of us who are kindred spirits, and there for you in any way we can be.

I’ve also come to learn that … sometimes … I feel more alone in a group of people than I do, when I’m by myself.

It turns out … I’m pretty good company, after all :-)

Congrats on the new lathe. I hope the two of you make great projects, together!

May your time in your shop bring you peace, may your thoughts and memories of your mother be sweet, and may this feeling of loneliness soon pass.

-- -- Neil

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3082 days

#12 posted 01-28-2010 12:18 AM

I was gonna say, if your not to far far from Oklahoma… then realized your a wee bit away.

But thankfully as others have said your just a few key strokes away. There are no dum questions believe me I’ve tried.

And if you feel a question might be to silly and I say this to everyone, just e-mail anybody, I know they’ll be helpfull, we might giggle but we all will be helpful.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3487 days

#13 posted 01-28-2010 12:38 AM

Hi Cher, I am very saddened about your loneliness and your sorrow over your mother. Hopefully a friend will pop up, or you will find someone with common interests.

I think you would enjoy turning mahogany. It is a very nice wood to turn, even totally dry.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3674 days

#14 posted 01-28-2010 12:46 AM

Cher, Sorry to hear of your feeling so alone. You have many frineds on this site. We wil all support you anyway we can.

Let me know what you find out about lathes, I’m trying to get space for mine to set up :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3094 days

#15 posted 01-28-2010 01:13 AM

Cher, I think it’s safe to say that many of us are here due to feelings of disconnect for a variety of reasons, and each of us have gained some connection with all the fine people here.

God bless!

-- John from Hampstead

View cosmicturner's profile


403 posts in 3394 days

#16 posted 01-28-2010 01:34 AM

I think you should just make a 12-20” long maybe 2”x2” square and make it round then perhaps practice making beads the ideal wood would be hard maple or cherry I would say no to pine(pitch) or oak it tears rather than cuts…if you have fire wood out back and a band saw or even a spliting wedge if the wood is grean all the better to learn on….turning really starts at the grinder you must learn to sharpen the jigs are great but I feel you need to learn first without a jig then you better understand the value of a great edge just my two cents worth.
make honey dipper after some practice peices

-- Cosmicturner

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#17 posted 01-28-2010 02:20 AM

Hi Cher, do not feel so bad, so sorry about being alone. The beauty of our life always lies in between what we want and what HE gives. We always fail to appreciate things that we easily get. We always realiaze some thing is so important to us when it not around. But we must be able find a way to live without it – find alternatives. If life is predictable, we’ll easily get bored.
I agree with NH_Hermit. I dont think my neighbor next door would ever interested to listen to me talking about wood, plane, glue and what so not. That’s why I come to this site. So don’t feel alone. You have many friends here on LJs. We are just like family, a giant family. We talk, we discuss, we throw out thought, we listen to others’ because of the same interest.
Take care and be chearful!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3431 days

#18 posted 01-28-2010 02:29 AM

How can you be alone with friends like us!!! I do know what you mean about not having someone to talk “wood’ with. One thing you say that makes so much sense is to not take people around us for granted… we never know how long we will have them!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3367 days

#19 posted 01-28-2010 02:45 AM

Cher, you made her laugh! That is one of the greatest gifts you could have ever given her, yourself. You can still take those Tea breaks and talk to her, she may not be here to answer, but she is listening. When you need someone to respond, we are here for you.

View bsherman's profile


76 posts in 3526 days

#20 posted 01-28-2010 05:31 AM

Hi Cher. Hopefully all these comments make you feel better. Woodworking can be an odd and lonely hobby. I’ve lost my mom too. While working on a project, I think a lot about what she would say. I know that she would be positive and encouraging, like the people on this site.

-- Brian

View deeman's profile


379 posts in 3079 days

#21 posted 01-28-2010 05:46 AM

My Ma and Granny have been gone for 2o years,There isn’t a day goes by I dont think of them. Sometimes I feel alone in a crowd of people…...... I learned to turn on bass wood. Good luck

-- Dennis Trenton Ohio And life is worth the living just because He lives!

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1892 posts in 3670 days

#22 posted 01-28-2010 05:58 AM

Cher, I know what you are going through. My dad was my best friend, and he’s been gone over 10 years. His mother, my grandmother, died a few years after that. She was the first person with the exception of my parents, that I felt unconditional love from. I miss them dearly. I still have my mom, and Ma-roww. Hang in there, we are all together, here.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View pete57's profile


134 posts in 3409 days

#23 posted 01-28-2010 06:02 AM

Hi Cher,
I can feel your pain with loneliness. I love time in my shop, and in the earlier days I played the radio, but these days I enjoy the sounds of nature, and the sound of hand tools, and the general noise of woodworking. I have no family to speak of, and they are alive, but just didn’t fit the mold you know. I married again after a long stretch in college and working for a firm for a few years. I met a school teacher that was 10 yrs younger and it has been a blessing. I get encouragement to go after my goals and dreams. She knows that when I need something in the shop or a new machine she is behind me. I can’timagine being without her.

I started working with maple on the lathe, I make windsor chairs and that is what the turnings are made of. I like that and walnut. They turn well and it did not take me much practice. I have had a lathe before. Welcome to LJ’s

-- Humble Wood Servant

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3339 days

#24 posted 01-28-2010 05:57 PM

cher ,
hope these responses have helped to cheer you a little ,
it is hard to find someone that shares our love of woodworking ,
and even though at times there is some dubious comments here ,
overall , this is as good as it gets , LJ’s is a good place for friendships .
i have literally been alone for 10 years now ,
most of my ’ friends ’ quit talking to me years ago ,
when i quit ’ helping ’ them for free to fix their homes .
even though this is somewhat ’ virtual ’ ,
it sure beats the alternatives !
have a great time playing with your lathe ,
and let’s see the journey , good or bad .

hugs for honey , and one for you !

i won’t insult you by asking for a loan ,
to fly to SA , so just send me a ticket (LOL) ,
and i will come and talk woodworking all you like .

at least until you run out of wood and food !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View knotscott's profile (online now)


8013 posts in 3374 days

#25 posted 01-28-2010 06:05 PM

Thanks for the candid reminder Cher. Been meaning to call Mom for a few days now…think I will!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View highflyer's profile


35 posts in 3144 days

#26 posted 01-28-2010 07:30 PM

I just started lathe turning myself and found that pine is great to practice on.

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3082 days

#27 posted 01-28-2010 07:38 PM

Thoreau Rocks. Thanks NOTOTTOMAN.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Cher's profile


954 posts in 3092 days

#28 posted 01-28-2010 11:04 PM

Dearest Everyone of you, I read some of the comments this morning & I was so overwhelmed by the response that I couldn’t reply immediately, how I wish you were just around the corner or next door to me (I promise I wont be coming to your door to borrow sugar, I would be inviting you for a tea break and chat). The responses have shown me that there are people out there that are very much like me, you are all loving & caring & have a passion for wood. I am going one step further & I hope I wont hate myself in the morning for saying this but here goes anyway. I have everything that I need just nobody to share everything with. Please dont think I am a ‘Jannie jammer gat’ translation: Johnny sorry ass. Normally I would have a good wailing cry, wash my face & be 10 strong again it is just the loss of my best friend she was the only one that would laugh & cry at the same time. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving your heart to me. As I write I am smiling I lost my mother & got whole lot of friends, she would have laughed at some of the things that have been written and she would have said ‘It is wonderful that there are all these people out there reaching out for you’.
On a lighter side, now my Honey is making me laugh I went for a swim and put her in dried her off and thought she would just hang around next thing she jumped in on her own it was just so funny the way she did it.
As far as wood turning goes I’m armed with you tube videos, a beginners book, a face protector and lots of scraps oh & of course the wood turning tools I am taking all the advice seriously.
You all mean so much to me you have made me feel stronger thats what my mom used to do.
And so to my new Family I will keep you up to date on the progress I am going make.
Love & God Bless you all

-- When you know better you do better.

View hairy's profile


2703 posts in 3530 days

#29 posted 01-29-2010 12:01 AM

Hi Cher! There’s good folks here to help out, you won’t be lonely around here.

Free wood is the best wood, it’s all good for something. Projects or practice, you can get the most out of almost any kind of wood. Turning wood is a blast,enjoy!

-- My reality check bounced...

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4076 days

#30 posted 01-29-2010 12:43 AM

I do not mean to sound depressing in any way – We are all alone in reality unless we have a multiple personality disorder and I have heard that it is not a fun thing. :)

Oh shut up, you don’t know what you are talking about!
Some people and their alter egos!

Hang in there and share with those whom you can.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

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