I went to the 1st club mtg. yesterday and have come to the shocking revelation that I am dumber than I thought I was,now thats an awakening.
There were in the neighborhood of 140 to 150 members present(women were outnumbered 15 to 1)( I guess that why men are 15 times better).
There were a lot of turnings on display from 3" salt and pepper shakers to 18" servimg platters,they do this each meeting in all skill levels and are judged and critiqued at each meeting. These turners were expert in there wares from descriptive setup to problems along the way and then finally finishing.One thing I thought particularly interesting was how they used superglue to beef up punky wood and to harden it to where it could be turned as they were turning. They also had a couple of other additives that I can't remember.
I signed up for the 2 day retreat next month but I am only going in the role of observer. I will sign up for as many beginning seminars/demos at the site.....look and listen will be my only participation.
They do have a number of club mentors, if you will,that will teach one on one at there homes free of charge. I checked the register and found about 6 that are within 15 miles of my home,so thats an avenue of learning I will take advantage off.
I asked a few very basic questions of members and eaves dropped on many converrsations and was really impressed with what I don't know.
Here is one "Statement" you might give some thought to or at least archive in the memory banks. It seems that turning red cedar is nearly impossible as it will check and split. I saw a small goblet there that was red cedar and no cracks were present. The turner said the key to this success was not to let the wood get hot while turning. It was finished with lacquer and was also very impressive as it was only about 3" tall and quite thin.
The most impressive piece I saw was.......picture this, a tree trunk about 12" in diameter with about 6 or 7 branches starting to flare out and up. These branches or stubs of branches were 4 to 5 inches in diameter and the OA piece was about 18" inches tall. I don't have the foggiest how they chucked it up in the lathe but the finished product was an Urn with the branches now looking like petals of a flower flaring out at the top at nearly 90 degrees from trunk.The bark was left on the edges of the branches and the piece was hollowed out.It had some holes thru the side walls from rot or critters.I guess there is not a way to plan some of these things just start turning and see what you end up with.
Some of the pieces were made from spalted pecan and oak and both were very unique( both can be found in abundance in texas)as road kill.The right spot at the right time.
There was a demo of turing a hollow Xmas tree ornament about 2 1/2 in diameter with a 4 inch spire made from a segmented glue up. I didn't get to watch the complete demo as my old knee joints started giving out. This meeting was held at a hardwood lumber yard with concrete floors and no chairs and 4 and 1/2 hours had gone by.I had to go get in that Silverado's soft bucket seat and head home.
The piles of rough cut lumber, including exotics was astounding. There were 4 or 5 buildings 60 x 100 feet I guess with wood stacked 20 feet high. drool, drool, drool,
Sounds like you were impressed about as much as I was on my first meeting. Have a great time with it. The memebers there can teach you alot more than you thought you needed to know. Since there was so much wood there, just send it up here to me for a little excess storage. :)