Name: Neal Addy
My wife just says "tall, dark, and handsome". At 5'8", 155 lbs I'm obviously not tall, so her judgment is in question.
Where is home:
Fort Worth, Texas, or as we call it: "Foat Wuth". Been here 28 years. I'm a native-born Texan but couldn't stay put long. Lived in Galveston, Topeka, Wichita, Arkansas City (where's that?), Houston, and KC, Mo. You railroad folks might detect a pattern there.
Married to a wonderful woman who's far above my station. I've got two kids (twins), she's got four. Yes, we are blessed, doubly so since all the kids are grown. We've got a three-year-old granddaughter, a grandson just born in early June and another on the way in December. We also have a cat (or is that the other way around?) who doesn't understand where all these new kids keep coming from.
Do you have a website? If so, what's the URL?
Just a family site at the moment and while I have been working on a turning-related site, it's still in early development.
Oh no it’s not!
I manage application software testing for (let's just say) a "large organization", mostly Unix/web-based systems.
Two-car work shop. I currently own two lathes, a Jet 14" bandsaw, basic drill press, and various dust control equipment. Not much in the way of flatwork aside from the usual cache of small power tools. I figure the day I buy a table saw is the day SWMBO will want me to construct that built-in library she always wanted (thus taking valuable time away from turning).
How many lathes do you own?
Two – a Jet mini and Jet 1442. The mini was bought one day on a whim while wandering through my local Woodcraft. I thought, "hmmm... there's an inexpensive way to get into woodworking". Famous last words. Bought the 1442 about 18 months later. It's a good machine that serves me well so I should be set for a while. More famous last words.
Why is your shop air-conditioned?
Now there's a good idea!
How many turning tools do you have?
I own about a dozen Sorby and a few Crown tools, including a Crown mini set. Favorite tools are my beloved skew and a round-nose scraper that I've modified into a cutting tool. I also have a Talon (w/ #2, step, and spigot jaws) and several home-made donut chucks, jam chucks, etc.
How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I'm only in my fourth year but still consider myself a beginner. Started turning in April, 2004. Turned about a hundred pens in the first two months and was hooked on bowls by June. I got started when we bought a new home and realized that my nice, clean garage would make a
great wood shop. It hasn't seen a car (or been clean) since.
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Moxie Chocolate chip. Mmmm, mmm.
What do you enjoy most about turning?
I love the immediacy of turning. Unlike flatwork you literally watch a turned piece take shape right before your eyes. I also love the fact that each piece of wood is a blank canvas with infinite possibilities. Yet each blank "speaks" to us. It gives us subtle hints that allow us (if we listen) to lovingly coax from it the natural beauty hidden within.
What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Hollowing a small-opening HF. Absolutely hate it. I subscribe to the school of "no interior should go unfinished". As such I constantly struggle to get a perfectly smooth and consistent inside wall, and rarely with perfect success. My only other gripe is lack of turning time. Texas weather doesn't allow a very long "turning season".
What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
See the magnificent Oak 'thingy' below. Note the delicate foot, the elegant beads, the graceful stem. This was turned the first day after buying my mini and a set of Crown mini tools. In my ignorance I thought that the Crown mini tool set would be enough for my needs (hey, I only wanted to turn small pieces, right?). It's a wonder I wasn't put off to turning forever. I was back at the store the next day for full-size tools.
What's your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
Awww... can't I pick two? The Zebrawood piece is probably my favorite. I just love working with Zebrawood. The other is Black Limba, an interesting wood that finished very nicely.
addy 02.jpg addy 03.jpg
What's your favorite form that you turn?
Hollow forms with lid and finial. I love turning finials. Gives me a chance to use the skew.
What color carpeting is on your shop floor?
Grey shag. Great for the toes and curlies.
What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Someday I hope to turn something decent.
How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? With grits?)
Straight and unchilled. I just pour it directly over the fire ant mound.
What's your favorite form someone else turns?
Difficult, there are so many. Being partial to hollow forms I really enjoy the HF work we see here on SMC. There are quite a few Creekers that I consider true artists. I also admire the lidded-vessel work of Cindy Drozda. I would guess that she has had the most influence on my
own turning. Her sense of form, proportion, and balance are wonderful.
What's your favorite individual piece someone else has turned, and why?
Again, there are too many to choose from. This is probably one of them.
What's your favorite wood to work with and why?
African Blackwood. I love how it turns and finishes.
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