Richard's Shop

This small shop is turning out beautiful work.

SHOP OWNER: Richard Erickson
LOCATION: Santa Barbara, CA

    I'm 74 years old and retired. I needed a shop, so my wife bought me an 8' x 8' x 20' steel cargo ship container box. My shop required some real planning. A 3' x 3' rolling workstation with drawers was the key. My sliding compound miter saw, miter saw, bench top tablesaw, scroll saw, belt/disk sander along with an air compressor are all stacked on storage shelves. Each has a base that fits the workstation. The storage shelf is 32" wide, 30" deep, and 5' high. I have to do a lot of shifting of tools at times but it's the only way in such a small space.
Richard's Shop

    I turned my first bowl at Venice High School in 1944 and never forgot the experience. Not having turned since high school, I decided that's what I must do. I learned a great deal from a fine turner by the name of Kevin Neely and his helpful website, Kevin's Woodturnings.
Richard's Shop

    Then in 1999, after reading an article about making pens on a mini-lathe, I went to Grizzly and bought one. I ran into Tom, an old Navy Medic friend who's now retired, at Hut Products. After much talk of old times, I purchased all the tools I needed for my lathe plus some pen and pencil parts. I was thrilled with my first pen, which I turned out of wood from my woodpile. Everybody got pens and pencils for Christmas that year.
    I eventually smoked that mini-lathe by trying to make bowls, which turned out more like cups. After spending weeks on the Internet learning about bigger lathes, I went to Sears and purchased a 2-HP Craftsman Pro 15" swing with outboard capability.

  Richard's Shop

    I soon found that I had a lot to learn about turning. A 3/4" gouge bouncing around a steel box is not funny. A fourteen-inch bowl exploding because you cut the wall too thin is even less funny. Lyle Jamieson was the answer. He manufactures a special lathe tool that puts the fun back into turning. He also has a laser for controlling wall thickness. I'm on my second Sears lathe now. The bearings went on the first one and I was lucky enough to have an extended warranty. The second was free, thanks to Sears.
Richard's Shop

    The woods I use come mostly from Ebay. Most are exotics like - redheart, purpleheart, yellowheart, Peruvian walnut, ebony, padauk, wenge, and domestic species such as curly figured - quilted maple, and domestic walnut.

. . . Richard Erickson



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