woodturning Archives - West Wind Hardwood
Wood Turning… Here, There, Everywhere

Wood Turning… Here, There, Everywhere

Woodturning is the craft of using the wood lathe with hand-held tools to cut a shape that is symmetrical around the axis of rotation. Like the potter’s wheel, the wood lathe is a simple mechanism that can generate a variety of forms. The operator is known as a turner, and the skills needed to use the tools were traditionally known as turnery. In pre-industrial England, these skills were sufficiently difficult to be known as ‘the misterie’ of the turners’ guild.

Items made on the lathe include tool handles, candlesticks, egg cups, rolling pins, knitting needles, pens, chessmen; legs, spindles and pegs for furniture; balusters and newel posts for architecture; baseball bats, urns, sculptures; bowls, platters.

A skilled turner can produce a wide variety of objects with five or six simple tools. The tools can be reshaped easily for the task at hand.
Woodturning appeals to people who like to work with their hands, find pleasure in problem-solving, or enjoy the tactile and visual qualities of wood.

Within our own West Wind Family, we wrote about the passing of Ray Franklin in our Newsletter #80. Ray was a fine friend, loyal customer and most talented woodturner, and the grandfather to Gordon Aggus. Gordon has worked with us since 2014 and shares his grandfather’s love and skill for woodturning. As well, we’ve celebrated woodturning projects of our many customers throughout the years. Check out our many newsletters under our Customer Projects. There are just too many to highlight here

All Photos by Jan or Shelley Nielsen
Their Travels throughout Mexico from 2003 to 2016

No lack of talent is seen in Mexico but what always surprised us was the ingenuity. Rustic repurposing is the catchphrase for the day. There is no lack of thinking outside the box. It’s wonderful.

We do not condone unsafe work practices of any kind anywhere. Throughout North America, employers have the responsibility to follow good worker safety and health practices. Employers are also obligated to make physical modifications in facilities to accommodate the safety and health of workers.

Mexico has a population of almost 130 million, and half of the population lives below the poverty line. These impoverished conditions can make for desperate choices, and such a struggle can create the extreme of unsafe working conditions. Yet, there are times when I feel that “Gringo” Canada/USA has swung to the other end of the safe spectrum.

Common sense needs to reign.

Sometimes a reality check…or just a good shake of the head is needed.

Passing Notes

Raymond Harry Franklin

It’s been a sad few months.  Where there is birth, there must be death as the cycle of life completes to an end.  We lost a fine friend, loyal customer and most talented wood turner in December. To sadden the loss, he was a grandfather to our valued employee, Gordon Aggus.  Gordon has written this tribute to his granddad and provided the photos.

Raymond Harry Franklin was born in England before WWII in 1934. He developed a keen love for wood while he was in school but did not pursue it until after he moved to Canada, Ontario.  After working on a few farms he decided to try his hand at construction and became a crane operator.  My favourite building that he worked on was the CN tower.

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