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I first became aware of Tim in 2011 and realized he had an eye for the art in woodturning when his Beast entry in the “Beauty and the Beast” competition at our precursor website Woodturners America took first place. Not too long thereafter, we met in person at the NC Woodturning Symposium. It quickly became apparent that we had a lot in common in our tastes and the techniques we wanted to develop. We also discovered that we were both planning on attending Dixie Biggs’ class at the John C. Campbell Folk School later that year and decided to room together for the week. During that week I got to know Tim as a great guy in addition to being a wonderful woodturner. We, of course, had the requisite wood swap while there and that has now become a tradition whenever we get a chance to meet.


Tim was born and grew up in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in mechanical engineering.  He lived briefly in Syracuse and Albany, NY, and now lives in Mint Hill, NC with his wife, Sheila. Tim has had a very interesting engineering career which has taken him around the world. “I’ve worked in radar/sonar system manufacturing, jet engine design and manufacturing, and steam/gas turbine manufacturing and service.  Some of the most interesting periods of work for me were both in the 90’s.  Early 90’s, I worked with a part of our jet engine business that would test the engines to make sure they were safe.  We’d literally push to destruction these big passenger and military jet engines with dust, hail, geese (dead first), and even by detonating explosive charges that would cause one or more fan blades in the front to come off at full power, all the while measuring all sorts of information and then taking them apart to look at what happened inside to all the parts.  The testing and professional attitudes of every worker in that business really enlightened me to the quality built into even the smallest elements of a jet engine. 


In the late 90s, I joined our power generation business as a field engineer working on steam turbines being installed throughout Southeast Asia, from Australia on up to Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.  I typically performed weeks or months of checkouts on this equipment and would give the customer the go ahead to start the turbine/generator and place it online for the first time (sending power to the grid), or I’d diagnose and help correct issues with the equipment.  It was a real learning experience seeing and being immersed around so many different cultures often for months at a time, and typically not in a tourist region where the experiences can tend to vary from the true culture.After about 3 years in Asia, I returned to work throughout the southeast USA, till 2006.  I now work with a small team of engineers that manage and create information, tools and documents for the maintenance of turbine/generator equipment by field engineers.”


Like many of us, Tim came to woodturning a bit later in life. “I started accumulating various power and hand tools over a 30 year period.  Never really found time or motivation to do much beyond a simple bookcase or stand, until about 5 years ago when I decided to clean out a separate building that I had built back in 1996/97 as a shop/storage area and decided it was time to start repurposing the layout for some woodworking. While cleaning, I came across a 17 year old sketch I had done, showing a layout of tools and storage in this building, and in a corner was a rectangular area called “lathe”.  I just figured all properly equipped shops should have one, though I’d never had any exposure to one before in high school or otherwise.   Within a week or two, I came across a used Jet 1642 for sale, and the following week took a full day beginner class at our local Woodcraft.  I spent every evening out in the shop just making little ugly cups and squarish rounded bowls.  Ugh...didn’t know what I didn’t know for nearly half a year.  I upgraded the Jet to a PM3520 one year later to allow work on some larger projects I wanted to have more flexibility to do. After about a half year of not turning very well on my own, I discovered 3 clubs in our area and I started getting to know the members and learning from watching them and asking an awful lot of questions.  This was a real catalyst in my learning curve and one that I regularly suggest to new turners online who may be trying to figure out the basics early on, before getting discouraged.”


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