View from the floor, overall thoughts day by day

Jul 1, 2001 | AAW 2001 St. Paul, MN

AAW Symposium Kansas 2001
updated Daily!

7/5/01Well, this year I made the proverbial “big time” and am doing the demonstrator thing. I have three rotations, and all of them are in the room with, and following Ray Key. I came up to Minneapolis with my son, Nate, and on the same plane is my club mate, Jimmie Arledge. Well it seems that Jimmie knows almost everyone and has been gracious enough to introduce me to them. So far, I have met Frank Sudol, Ray Key, Jean-Francois Escoulen, and John Jordan. All in the first day. I am setup in room number 11 and will be turning on a Stubby. Seems fairly solid, and about the only large lathe that I haven’t turned on to date. Sent a couple of pieces down to the Instant Gallery and one to the auction. Being that the money generated from the auction goes to the AAW education funds, it is a great cause.I have to admit, no matter how many times I have demonstrated to the masses at various clubs, this has a much larger feel to it.

Have a meeting at 6:45 (AM!) for all the demonstrators, so I will let you know what goes on inside. If you get a chance, come see me demo and let me know how you thought it went – Cheers – Steve Worcester


7/6/01Had our meeting at 6:45 am, and as usual, I was “fashionably late”. But, I got to have coffee and doughnuts with the big dogs of the turning world. Everyone is pretty friendly, as I figured they would be.
In the opening session, each demonstrator had to get up and as their slides were flashed up on the screen, give a one minute talk on what they were demoing. So, I thought about getting up and talking about how this was my way of addressing my fear of public speaking (in front of 700 people) but I talked about my 3 different square turning demos instead.
raykey1.JPG (44507 bytes)I demoed in the second rotation, right after Ray Key’s Pagoda (nesting) boxes. He ran about 10 minutes late and started eating into my time, but I didn’t feel I was “worthy” of telling him to get off stage. I think he would have and thought it funny, but I had plenty of time. And after all, he is Ray Key and has earned the right to do whatever he wants, and just being in his shadow is fun!

squaredemosm.JPG (41330 bytes)My demo went off without a hitch and was well attended. Used the Stubby 750 which worked well, with the exception of some last minute tweaking that left the legs uneven. No harm though. Got lot’s of good feedback and questions. Thanks to those who attended. After that we went down to the vendor showcase and I HAD to spend a bunch of money on new gouges and such. Got the new gouges from One Way and they were nice enough to let me use their grinder setup during lunch so I could regrind to the profiles I use. While I was there, I think I sold a few of the blue wheels and Wolverine systems there for them. Liked the wheels so much I ordered one for me!
While I didn’t get much of a chance to attend too many demo’s, I did pop in and see David Lancaster demo the hot new One Way coring system. Which finally showed me how it  works. It does a good, solid job, but damn expensive.
jean1.jpg (22548 bytes)Also, got to see Jean-Franscoious demo his eccentric chuck and do a box on 4 axis’. VERY COOL! He whips through wood with a Bedan faster than most people could with a roughing gouge and the precision of a surgeon! When he did rough down, it was with a short BIG roughing gouge, about 2″ wide!


Saturday 7/7/01I did my demo today of Square Turning Fundamentals, and had about 70 in attendance! I was excited and as usual went about my demo as weasel hopped up on Caffeine!. The demo though went great, had my big post it note pad and hand outs for everyone. Got some really positive feedback. Had a great demo assistant who taped it and is going to send me a copy,( right Frank?)
Talked with Stuart  Batty (whom I saw in San Antonio in 98 demoing) and he is in the states in the Sept-n\Nov timeframe and looking for some demo venues.
After each demo I go down to the One Way booth and sharpen up. Good for their business though, as I seem to answer a bunch of sharpening questions while I am there. We saw some of the Hans Weissflog demo on Saturn Boxes with a loose ring. He says he makes about 10 a year, then goes on to say that he has about 80 styles of boxes he makes! Hard to imagine making a living by making boxes and demoing throughout the world. His are so unique as to command a high (but fitting) price. hansweisflog.jpg (30692 bytes)Hope to get to the pierced through lid box demo! There was a guy standing in the back of the room, with binoculars. The problem is usually that your demo assistant doesn’t know how to operate the video camera, and doesn’t always stand up for the whole demo. There is so much great wood available on the show floor, I sure wish I drove a truck (and had more money) Snakewood logs, Paella, Paduak, Ziricote and other burls that you would drool over. Maple burls up to 3 feet across!
Ran so late here that we jammed back to the hotel to shower quick and get to the banquet. Sat with my Pals from the Dallas Area Woodturners and next to the Woodturners of North Texas. Had a blast. I had a piece in the auction and though it to be among my best, but it only went for $150. But I guess that it is $150 more than I gave to the AAW education fund before. There was a great Ellsworth Koa hollow form that went for the bargain price of $1150, and a Bonnie Klein, Jacques Vessery top box (about 2″ across) that took the top honors of over $2K! They raised something like $25K for the education fund. Lasted so late, I just wanted to go to bed, and that’s why this isn’t posted until Sunday night! (I will do more updates on Monday night)
Sunday 7/8/01Today’s demo is on Square Turned Oil Lamps. As I predicted it is the least attended at about 20 people. I knew it would be because it is Sunday, everyone is going through the vendor showcase, getting their “I don’t want to ship this home, so I will discount it ” wood. (Tropical Exotic Hardwoods, %20 off everything at lunch). There is so much great wood and tools here, I am glad I only brought cash and checks. My friend Gary Sanders even offered to drive it back home for me!Anyway, I didn’t feel bad when I walked by Hans Weisfflogs demo in the afternoon and he had 5 people! Of course, now I have to pack up everything that I brought, two full suitcases just for the demos and then the one for my clothes, and my computer bag. This means I have to pack the Philippine Stripped Ebony, Pink Ivory, Vanuata Cedar and Zircote that I bought! We spent most of the time inthe Stubby booth, where my Gary Sanders was selling the light stand and John Jordan had the menateray.JPG (35359 bytes)good ole Stubby lathes. My son and I spent most of our time taking pictures of the instant gallery stuff (all for you guys!)
I can’t wait to get home and get some sleep!