Brett Johnson

I’ve been interested in woodworking since I was a child and building different projects with my grandfather.  I helped build my father’s house one summer while in college and the first “big” project was a toybox for my baby brother.  I spent 20 years in the Air Force and my woodworking was limited to building small projects like shelving or benches as we moved around the country.  We arrived in Tyngsboro MA in 2010 and I promptly built 70 linear feet of workbenches in the basement.

Little by little I added more and more tools to my workshop, however the one tool that always intrigued me was a lathe.  I took a green bowl turning class at Homestead Woodworking School in New Hampshire in November 2022 and I was hooked.  I picked up a Rikon 70-220SVR midi lathe shortly after and have slowly started adjusting my workshop layout more toward turning. 

I started with bowls, snowmen, pens, and gnomes.  The gnomes have really taken off.  I include a Niles bottle opener conveniently hidden in the sapele helmet.  I’m also a member  of the prestigious Funnel Club which I’ve learned is merely a design choice.

Segmented turning is quite new to me, and I have a new appreciation for the work and craftsmanship when I see a segmented item.  I built my own wedgie sled and my daughter’s boyfriend 3D printed some wedgies for me.  The sled worked okay, although I finally bought Pete Marken’s sled and cutoff table, and I look forward to using them often. 

As a very new turner I genuinely appreciate the advice, encouragement, and suggestions from the AAW and the Segmented Woodturners chapter.  I still have a demanding full-time job working for the Department of the Air Force so I’m truly a weekend turner at best.  Little by little I’m upgrading my basement workshop layout and tools.  My segmented turnings, to date, have consisted of a few bowls including two salad bowl sets for family friends. 

I’ve been asked to do a shop tour and follow-along project which I hope to put together soon.  I recently added additional electrical outlets and lighting.  I need to rearrange the shop layout and reorganize.  Great “excuse” to get started on another segmenting project.

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