A success story & tool review

A success story & Tool review

Maui Woodturners Association Secretary and treasurer Wayne Omura, Ann Trygstad, yours truly and Terry Murphy with their first completed project ever with the Mike Hunter Tools new "Viceroy" tool!!

A success story and new tool review

I’m a late comer to the world of carbide tools. I have watched closely with some curiosity thru out the years, their arrival, development, types and various manufacturers.
I’m very confortable with a bowl gouge, I can do 90 % of my work with it. Never felt the need for carbide. Then I was given an article assignment. It required the use of hand held hollowing tools. I contacted Mike Hunter, owner of Hunter Tools. He expertly advised me on tool selection. I purchased the ones needed to do the piece for the article, and a few other ones.
A few days later a box arrived. Upon opening the box and taking a look at the tools the first word that went thru my mind was: quality.
I successfully completed the project for the article. I was impressed by the ease of use of these tools, the quality of the cut, and what I like best: I didn’t have to stop once to sharpen, saving invaluable time.

The Viceroy

One of the tools that I purchased is the Viceroy tool. The tool has a square shank. This design takes the guessing out of what position or angle you are supposed to hold it. You simply slide it left to right on the tool rest. You can also tilt it at a 45 degrees for a bevel supported cut that produces a sheer cut that leaves an excellent surface, making it a versatile tool, one that a beginner can grow into. As you feel more confortable, you can start trying the more advanced cuts. The Viceroy comes with a 6mm round cupped carbide cutter. The 6mm is one of the most efficient cutters, a good compromise of size and aggressiveness. With little practice you can rough out a bowl as fast or faster than with a traditional bowl gouge. You can also take surprisingly good finishing cuts, and tilting it produces a beautiful sheer scrape that leaves a surface that needs little sanding, starting perhaps at 180 or 220 grit. I would not be excited about this tool if it wasn’t for one thing, without any practice, I did a small bowl, I didn’t have any catches, none. Granted, I’m an experienced woodturner with years of experience, so obviously I have the principles of turning down. Then, I had an idea. I wanted to try the tool with our group of new beginners club members. We were going to have a meeting soon, part of the meeting was already set up as a mentoring class.

The meeting

After dealing with some club issues, announcements and our popular wood raffle, we divided the 5 beginner turners into groups. Meetings for the Maui Woodturners Association are held at my studio. 4 lathes are available. I decide to mentor Ann.
She’s a retired nurse and decided to take up woodturning as a hobby, something to do in her new found extra time. She got very lucky and was offered an older, in great condition Vicmarc VL300. Not a lathe associated with a beginner, but one thing is for sure, she will never feel the need for an upgrade. At one of our past club meetings Ann won a gift certificate for a Carter & Sons turning tools Co. She chose to apply it to the purchase of a 5/8 bowl gouge with an Irish grind. I had mentored Ann before at other club meetings, some spindle turning, coves, beads etc, with a 1/2 in spindle gouge.
She was also being mentored by another club member in her small shop.
She tried turning a bowl, a big powerful motor on her Vicmark and a 5/8 bowl bowl gouge, a recipe for disaster if you are an unsupervised beginner, not ready for it the task, and only Youtube as your teacher on bowl turning. Not surprisingly, a few weeks ago she called me to see if I wanted to buy her lathe. I detected a lot of frustration, and a little bit of fear in her voice. I had just lost a new club member, a newly retired person, let’s call him Paul, due to frustration. Paul told me that he thought turning was easier, he didn’t want to put the time into it to get better, he would just purchase bowls from me when he needed some gifts, then added, cheaper and safer! Paul, against our advice, didn’t take the advantage of mentoring offered by the club, he said he had seen enough videos on youTube and he could do it.
I was determined not to loose Ann.
The club provided some simple projects for the class. Ann chose to make a tea light holder. I put a piece of wood on the lathe, gave all the beginners a quick lesson on how to use the Viceroy. Then it was Ann’s turn. She started hesitantly first, but with each passing minute confidence built up. Simply moving the Viceroy left to right, she quickly brought the square to a cylinder. I helped with the tenon, and we put the now round blank on a chuck. We measured the tea light, marked it, and now we needed to hollow out a recess, on the end grain. Without explaining to her the difficulties of doing this with a traditional tool, a spindle gouge, I let Ann do it. She slowly started, left to right, tool flat on the tool rest. A bonafide beginner successfully hollowed out a recess on end grain, in front of my eyes, without a catch! The surface left by the 6mm cutter was a glossy one on the Primavera wood, not that it needed it but I instructed her to start sanding at 220.
We drew some sketches of the possibilities on the design, she decided on one and proceded to finish it, with a huge smile on her face. I helped her part it off with a thin parting tool. She was in utter disbelief holding the precious little completed project in her hand, her very first one, success!
I wish I could take credit for her being able to complete a project, but the truth is, it was possible in such short time due to the ease of use and simplicity of the Viceroy tool. It is the perfect tool for the hobbyist woodturner that finds traditional tools intimidating or doesn’t have the time to learn how to use them. Another great advantage is that she doesn’t have to buy a bench grinder. Ann’s goal is to be able to turn things for herself, trinkets for her kitchen, a cereal bowl for breakfast, a gift for a friend’s birthday… With the Viceroy tool she will be able to accomplish all that. For Ann’s situation this is the right tool. We have decided to get new turners started on this tool. Get them turning, make a few projects, get them confortable on the lathe. Then decide if they want to try traditional tools, I always recommend a bowl gouge with an Ellsworth grind as the first traditional tool. After all, what matters is the final product. Does it matter what tool you used if what you bring to show us at the club meeting is a beautiful turned item?
The Viceroy tool helped me save a turner, one that was ready to call it quits. If you have a friend in the same situation, tell them you have a solution, then give them Hunter tools contact information. Till the next time, Aloha

Ease of use.
Quality of the tool.
You do not need to sharpen, simply rotate the carbide

None that I can see.
Some people might not want to pay for replacement cutters once they need to be replaced. In my opinion the amount of time saved due to that they do not requiere sharpening, they are well worth the price.


A month of travels!

Wailoa Demo
Wailoa Arts Center. 20th Annual woodturning exhibition. March 17th, 2018, Hilo, Hawaii

I had the opportunity and the privilege to represent Maui and travel back to back weekends thru Hawaii. I started with the 8th annual Honolulu Woodturning Symposium. I flew to the island of Oahu on March 10, 2018. I was picked up at the airport by club member David Chung. We went straight to the club's headquarters , a nice warehouse owned by woodturner Mike Chu. Lead demonstrator this year was Ashley Harwood. She started the first rotation. I followed up with my boxes with hand chased threads demo. The demo was well received, and I had a lot of fun. The day after, we had a hands-on class. Lots of turners had the opportunity to try their hand at chasing threads…
I want to say thank you to the Honolulu Woodturners for the invitation
The weekend after that, I flew to Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. I was invited to do a demo at the 20th annual Hilo woodturners Wailoa Arts Center exhibition. One of Hawaii's most famous and talented artist picked me up at the airport, John Mydock. From there we went straight to the arts center. Wailoa is the only State owned arts center in Hawaii. It is located on a Tsunami flooding area, and right next to it it's the memorial to the 60 lives lost when the last big Tsunami hit Hawaii, May 23rd 1960.
I did a Pheasant wood natural edge bowl, for a nice crowd of woodturners and non turners. I entered a pice, a Samoan coconut bowl, 23 inches wide. The piece got second in the popular vote!! After the exhibition, professional woodturner Aaron Hammer drove me around town, showing me some of the tourist attractions. I had the opportunity to spend a day with Aaron, we had lots of fun. I want to say thank you to Dennis Hakes, he's the club president, John Mydock and Aaron Hammer for the hospitality, they made me feel welcome and at home. I cant wait till next year!! Aloha from Maui.

Beach Dream
"Beach Dreams" 23 inch Samoan Coconut Platter. 2nd place, popular vote at the 2018 Wailoa Arts center 20th annual Woodturning exhibition!


"My Lady" joins the studio!

KEA Woodturning Studio new lathe: "My Lady"

My Lady

"My Lady"

Last year I helped one of our new club members find a nice Powermatic lathe. The lathe belonged to my old friend and mentor, Cole Warren. Sadly, he's gotten out of woodturning. When we went to his shop, he told me he had a newly refurbished in England Union Graduate lathe. I have always wanted one these lathes, and this one has variable speed, new bearings, the same spindle size than may Stubby lathe, and lots of accessories. A few weeks ago, I got the call! He was ready to sell her! Moving her wasn't easy, but with Wayne Omura's help we got her back to my studio. I had to built a base for her, to get her to the right height. I have done quite a bit of turning on her, she's super steady , quiet and smooth. I have named her "My Lady" I want to officially welcome her to KEA woodturning studio, may yo u have many years of happiness !


2017 What a year!

Kea Woodturning

The end of the year is almost upon us. And what a great year it has been. I predicted 2017 was going to be an excellent year, and so far it has exceeded my expectations. I have heard from some of you from all over the world. Thank you for the nice comments about my articles on Woodturning Magazine. To know that you are reading my articles, enjoying them and putting them to use, makes it all worthwhile. In the shop, I almost feel guilty calling it work, after more than 20 years turning, I'm still having fun every time I walk in there. I have been blessed with more wood that I can use, I always have a fresh piece ready to throw on the Stubby 750. Thank you to everyone that bought one of my pieces. I really appreciate it. 2018 is right around the corner, I know that together we will make it an even better year!! Happy Holidays , Merry Xmas, and lots and happy shavings!! Aloha


Arrowmont school of arts & crafts

Emmet Kane

2017, what a great year! And its only July!
A few weeks ago, I was in the studio when a big delivery truck blew its air horn to announce its arrival. A few minutes later, a big forklift delivered our club’s new Economic Grant Opportunity AAW Nova Lathe. The club, its members and officers have work very hard to get to where we are today. Seeing the lathe on the driveway has made all these past 17 months work worthwhile. We have a committee and we are working on a plan so things go smoothly. In August 25th, we have been invited to Maui’s biggest mall, Queen Kaahumanu Center, in beautiful downtown Kahului. We are grateful for this opportunity were local Non Profits 501-C3 can introduce themselves to the community. of course we will be doing turning demonstrations. I will be turning spin tops for the kids, and giving them away. Sam Stephens will be showing how to turn and assemble pepper grinders. We have a sign up sheet, contact me for more info. Club members are encourage to donate 2 pieces to sell at the mall. A member that donates to the club will then be allow to sell his artwork, and give the club 25 percent back.
I'm writing this on July 8th, on my way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I will be taking a week long class with Master Irish woodturner Emmet Kane. The class is at one of the best and most famous Art Schools in the nation: Arrowmont. Its a special place for us who have taken woodturning as a lifelong profession. Its the birthplace of the American Association of Woodturners. Its truly an honor, I was chosen by the AAW as one of the recipients for Economic Grant Opportunity individual scholarship award, chosen between hundreds of entries. I’m thankful for this life changing opportunity. It has the potential to send my career to a whole new level.
In June we had the opportunity to learn from one of the masters of woodturning, Guilio Marcolongo. He stayed with me, had a great time and learned a lot.
I’m finishing writing this up on my way back home, Saturday July 15th. Arrowmont was one of the great experiences of my life. Everything exceeded my expectations. Emmet Kane was a great teacher. He is a great artist, an incredibly talented woodturner, and I now can add friend and mentor. The group taking the class was also great. We had a lot of fun. We had several beginners. By the end of the week they had all made their first turnings!
There is definitely going to be a before and after Arrowmont. I have a new vision, a new perspective on my work. I will be staying with my basic roots but also experimenting with new techniques, different textures, woods and designs. I will be forever grateful to the AAW for the scholarship. Cant wait to get back home and get into the studio!! Safe turning! Aloha