Name: Sean Troy
How young are you?
48 years old/young depending on the day
Physical description: 6í 3Ē 190 lbs.
Henderson, Kentucky is home and I have lived here with my wife and two daughters for 14 months. We moved from Gilbert, Arizona where I had lived for 28 years after moving from the Catskill Mountains area of New York State.
My wife Cindy and I have been married for almost 14 years and have two daughters, Erin and Megan, 10 & 6 years old respectively. I have three other children from a previous marriage and four grandchildren. They all live in Arizona at this time. We have two dogs, Banjo and Pluto, a Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel, an old cat of 18 years named Bows and two hamsters.
Do you have a website?
Yup. Sure do.
I am retired, but not by choice. I had a severe spinal injury in 1995 while working on the job. I was a licensed contractor/business owner and ground and polished marble and granite as well as finished other natural stone work in commercial and residential job locations. I unknowingly had a spinal disease that was weakening my spine and crushed several discs and cracked a vertebra while working a job. I was trying to be super man and lift a two hundred pound machine into the back of my van. That ruptured 3 discs and I did more severe damage while on some serious pain medication and feeling less pain several weeks later. After 12 years and a couple of surgeries, Iím able to get around fine most of the time, but sitting for any length of time is very hard.
I am in the end stage process of building a workshop that should be just perfect for me. It will be 20 x 20 with 9 ft. ceilings and located separately from our house. It will also be well-insulated with air conditioning. Iím installing a 100 amp panel and will also have its own meter. With building a new shop, I had the perfect excuse to buy some new tools. I now have a Cyclone system for the shop that I need to set up, a new table saw and some other smaller flat woodworking power tools like circular saw, reciprocating saw, miter saw, routers and drills. The next tools I would like to get are a jointer and drum sander. There are progress pictures of my shop on my website and Iíll add more as I get further along.
How many lathes do you own?
I have two lathes and use them both. A Powermatic 4224 and a Jet Mini lathe. I like the power of a 3hp motor on the Powermatic for coring bowl blanks and large hollow forms. The largest turning so far started out as a 225lb. log section. I use the Mini for finials and collars.
embarassment 02.jpg embarassment 03.jpg
How many turning tools do you have?
I do make some of my own turning tools but have a large selection of tools made by other turners such as my hollowing rig. I also like to use Glaser gouges and Lea specialty tools. If I could find all my turning tools, I could count them, but they seem to pop up all over the place while I have them semi packed during my shop building. I can honestly say I have more tools than I need. (I canít believe I just said that.)
I can -- I believe he just did, in fact, say that. tsk tsk
How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I started turning about eight years ago. After my back injury and ending my business, I still wanted to do some type of work with my hands that would not strain my back. I had always liked woodworking and started making chessboards. After a short while, I started selling them and kept getting more and more orders from a website I put up to advertise them. I was using exotic hardwoods to make them and customers started asking for matching wood chess pieces. The only way was to make them myself, so I bought a Jet Mini and a couple of tools and taught myself how to turn chess pieces.
It wasnít long before I really started to dislike turning because each set had 32 pieces and it was getting very boring. Besides that, I couldnít charge enough to make it worth my while. While I was at Loweís one day, I started talking to a guy in the tool department about turning and mentioned how bored I was with it. I was invited to come to an Arizona Woodturners Association meeting to see what others were doing with a lathe and saw a whole new world open up. All of a sudden, it wasnít boring anymore. Shortly after joining the chapter, I bought the Powermatic Lathe and started taking lessons and learning all I could from turners whose work I had started admiring. There are three turners with whom Iíve spent time and learning from who made the biggest impression on me: Stuart Batty, Phil Brennion, and Soren Berger. Stuart taught me there is no limit to what you can turn. Phil taught me not to be afraid to reach past your limits and Soren taught me how to always have fun with turning and never let it become a chore.
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Anything with the chopped up candy bars in it.
What do you enjoy most about turning?
Creating something different each and every time.
What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Nothing. I love every part of it. (even sanding)
Do you belong to a turning club?
Iím a life long member of the Arizona Woodturners Association. Iíll be joining my local chapter here which is the IKI Woodturners as soon as I stop procrastinating.
What was your first completed turned project? You get bonus points for a picture of it.
A chess piece and it was a queen. I donít have a picture, but still have the piece somewhere in my mess of a garage.
How's that shop coming?
Umm, far too slow.
Whatís your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
It was a 20Ē in diameter olive root burl bowl with most of it being voids. It was less than 1/8Ē thick. I asked Phil Brennion to critique it and he said, ďI will when you finish it.Ē I said, ďIt is.Ē and thatís when he convinced me I had not even come close to reaching past my limits and not to be afraid to try.
Whatís your favorite form that you turn?
I donít have a favorite because I learn a lot with every one I turn and that always keeps it fresh and fun.
What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
Boxes. Iíve never had much luck with them, nor have I spent much time with them either.