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Thread: Turner Interview: Keith Burns

  1. Turner Interview: Keith Burns

    NAME: Keith E. Burns

    DOB: 4-28-1948

    PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
    5’-9” …. But I’m 6’-2” if I stretch myself with Photoshop, 180#, equal parts of blonde hair and flesh tones.

    LOCATION
    Born and raised in Gardner, Kansas, a very small town near Kansas City. My wife and I moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1971 and to Collierville, Tennessee in 1985. Was a small town when I moved there, about 10,000 people, Current population over 40,000. Just can’t seem to keep people from following me. Yeah, right !

    FAMILY INFO
    I first met my wife, Judi in the 4th grade. Told her in the 9th grade she was going to marry me. 12th grade we dated and we were married when we were 19. Wouldn’t trade a minute of it. She has always been my best friend and supporter. We have a son Brian who lives in town and has two sons. Our daughter Courtney lives in Colorado Springs and has five sons. Yep, I have 7 Grandsons and the oldest will be 7 in July. Next year I may start a Turning School. Our newest member of the family is a Tiny Toy Poodle that my wife named ToTo. Fully grown she shouldn’t exceed 5 pounds. Going to make a great shop dog, don’t ‘ya think?

    VOCATION
    I have been designing and selling Industrial dust Collection Systems mainly to the Furniture, Cabinet, Flooring and lumber industries for about 30 years. Started my working life as a draftsman.

    SHOP EQUIPMENT
    Jet 3HP cabinet saw, Delta 13” planner, Grizzly 6” jointer, Delta 16” scroll saw, Grizzly mortiser, Delta 108” oscillating edge sander, 3-1/2 HP router table, Delta Boss spindle sander, Ryobi 16” drum sander, Woodcraft 8”slow speed grinder with Wolverine, Delta 12” disc Sander, Delta 14” 1 HP band saw with riser, Delta 16” drill press, Rockwell Delta 46-450 variable speed lathe, Delta midi lathe, 13” Color TV with VCR, lounge chair (don’t tell my wife) and the normal selection of other stuff.

    HOW MANY LATHES
    My Rockwell Delta 46-450, 12” lathe is my main lathe. I bought it on ebay but had to pick it up in Colorado Springs. Made a good excuse to go see my daughter and her family. Brought it home and refurbished it. It is a great heavy duty (about 500 lbs.) machine with variable speed. Just put a vacuum pump on it which is a great addition. My Delta Midi has been delegated to the Beall 3 buff system which works great.

    HOW MANY TURNING TOOLS
    I think I have 33 or so. As I am still looking for the perfect tool, I’ll probably have 35 by the end of the month.

    SHOP
    I had my shop built about 6 years ago. It is 20’ x 24’ (wish it was bigger) with some attic storage. It is insulated with a window a/c unit and electric heaters so I can work year round. Spend most evenings and weekends here.

    HOW LONG TURNING
    I think I started about 12 years ago. Then quit for a number of years. Started seriously back about 6 years ago when I saw my first Ray Allen Segmented piece. Been at it pretty much full time since.

    WHAT GOT ME INTO TURNING
    Saw a Ray Allen piece and said “Hey, I can do that”, and have been trying ever since.

    WHAT I ENJOY ABOUT TURNING
    I guess it is probably the same for all of us, the creative aspect. Along with that being able to basically create something from start to finish with one machine, well in my case it takes 3 or 4 machines.

    FAVORITE FORM I TURN
    Probably segmented hollow forms although, if it’s round I enjoy turning it.

    FAVORITE FORM SOMEONE ELSE TURNS
    I really appreciate all of the forms that others turn. I am always amazed at the variety of work and the skill of the turners here on SMC. I enjoy watching a new turner develop into a skilled turner sometimes with the speed of light. I continually look at the work displayed here and think to myself “man I wish I was that good” or “man I wish I could do that”. This interview is kind of like the Oscar acceptance speeches to me. If I started mentioning all of your names they would have to get the hook to stop me.

    FAVORITE WOOD
    If I had to pick one it would be Walnut. Why, I don’t know, I just like it.

    MET ANY CREEKERS
    Not yet, but Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise, I will soon.

    MY OWN FAVORITE PIECE I’VE TURNED
    It is generally the last thing I turned which is my Kingwood HF. (photo below). The most important thing in turning to me is the form of a piece. On this HF I think I achieved my “best” form to date. Notice I didn’t say it was perfect. I will probably never have a perfect piece.

    WHAT DO I WANT TO TURN IN THE FUTURE
    So many things. I want to do some NE. I want to turn some green wood. I want to try some wood burning. I want to try piercing. So much to learn, so little time.

    WHAT BROUGHT ME TO SMC
    I ran across another forum about 10 months ago but didn’t care for it. While viewing that forum someone mentioned SMC so I took a look see. I lurked here for awhile trying to get a feel for the people and was hooked. I don’t post there anymore as SMC is my home base now.

    NICKNAMES
    Honey-Baby-Sweetie Pie when my wife wants something, but mostly xxh%6@ or 8&%%#@ to everyone else.

    IF I WERE A TREE WHAT TREE WOULD I BE
    How about a Banyan tree? After all, they do have a long lifetime. Plus, they get to take up as much space as they want. One in Hawaii covers 2/3 of an acre. The largest in the world measures 1,378 feet across. My second choice would be Fruitwood. What else would you expect from someone who would turn a Thong???
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    23,707
    Nice to meet you Keith! I really enjoy seeing your projects!
    Ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,578
    Nice to get to know you a little better Keith. I'm green over the shop and really like the HF.
    Good, Fast, Cheap--Pick two.

  4. #4
    Great interview Keith. I'm really looking forward to meeting you.

  5. #5
    Keith I've realy enjoyed you turning. It's nice to get to know someone whoo is as talented as you.

  6. #6
    Nice to meet you Mr. Burns! I really enjoy seeing your work! Yor shop is
    purtier than most homes!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Benton Falls, Maine
    Posts
    5,481
    Blog Entries
    1
    Well now you've gone and done it. I've had this mental image of what the guy who turns wooden thongs might look like; and it's always kinda hovered somewhere around the late Dennis Weaver. And now I find out that you're this little green guy who likes to hide in storm drains. Sheesh!

    Pleased ta meetcha, Mr. Keith.

    And as soon as I saw that shot of your shop, I knew it looked familar.

    And here they are - two threads dedicated to one very sweet "studio"
    Last edited by Andy Hoyt; 03-31-2006 at 8:46 AM.
    Only the Blue Roads

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Benton City, WA
    Posts
    1,465
    Nice to meet the guy that made that beautiful HF. Just want you to know, I don't care what the rest say, that is a pretty nice shop! You just need to spruce it up a bit! WOW!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Brentwood & Altamont, TN
    Posts
    2,334
    Keith! Your shop looks nicer than my house!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Marquette Heights, Illinois
    Posts
    2,945
    Thanks Kieth. I enjoyed the insite into Kieth Burns and Family.

    Bruce

  11. #11
    Great interview Keith! Wow, 7 grandsons! That's somewhat of a legacy. Nice to get to know you, and I admire your work.

  12. #12
    Nice to meet and know more about you Keith...or is it Sweetie Pie.....No....No, that's what your Wifie-Poo calls you.
    Hey, that shop is too nice to call that a shop!!!! Beautiful spot and a most wonderful interview.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  13. #13
    Keith, great to learn more about you and your family. Your an asset to SMC that is for sure. Look forward to more great stuff from you.

    Corey
    P.S. nice lathe!!

  14. #14
    Nice old iron their Keith. Thanks for sharing more about yourself.
    Raymond Overman
    Happiness is a warm chainsaw

    "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command. Better tools will be found as you go along." Napolean Hill

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    22,603
    Keith nice to meet you. That is a nice looking HF and nice looking shop.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



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