How did I get into wood turning? To be honest, I don’t know. Several years ago, for a reason unknown or long forgotten I decided I just had to have a lathe … So I bought one (I do remember my wife was none too impressed at the time) I had no real experience of turning, except for one lesson at school, when I produced a cross between a rounders and a softball bat.
The learning curve was almost vertical, with more than a few narrow escapes from serious injury which on looking back make me shudder just to think about them. Even then a fair amount of blood managed to escape from the cuts, grazes and other assorted holes and gouges that appeared with monotonous regularity. I also realised that my reflexes, honed to precision during my time as one of Her Majesty’s elite servicemen had not entirely disappeared as I ducked, dived and generally evaded chunks of assorted wood heading in my direction (normally at my head) and spinning at a couple of thousand RPM, covering the distance from the Lathe chuck to me at a speed Captain Kirk and the Enterprise would have been proud of.
I also discovered a real ability to turn a wonderfully figured piece of expensive wood into posh hamster bedding and kindling within a frighteningly short space of time and to be honest every now and again I find I have not lost that skill.