Tuesday, May 12, 2015


On our way south to Los Angeles for Mother's Day, DH and I stopped in San Luis Obispo for his monthly woodturning club meeting. I was curious to see if their meetings had anything in common with the weaving meetings I attend. In fact, a meeting is a meeting is a meeting. The agenda would be almost word-for-word identical to a weaver's guild meeting.

They started with a short business discussion (which I knitted my way through, as their club's business is none of my business), then held a raffle. Naturally, instead of yarn, they raffled off chunks of wood - in this case, some lovely avocado, common in this area because there are many avocado orchards:

Next came Show-and-Tell. The club decides on a challenge each month for the following  month; the May challenge was spinning tops, in this case the challenge was both for skill and workmanship, and for the length of time that each top could continue to spin once started. DH's top won for duration, at 5 minutes and 20 seconds.

Of course, he had a few advantages. The 3.25-inch-diameter top uses a stick and string arrangement to start it spinning. In addition, it has a tiny point of hard acrylic on the bottom; DH used a glass platter as a spinning surface, because it's smoother (less friction) than a wood tabletop; and the top is made of laminated maple, which is very dense and heavy (more centrifugal force). (Did I say he's an engineer..?..)

 Here are a few of the other tops:

 And finally, these small ones, about 1.5 inches in diameter, were the most heavily decorated, as well as being displayed in a lovely fluted bowl made using a special kind of lathe called a rose engine:


Alice said...

Fascinating! Do these folks make drop spindles too? Looks like some of the same skills would be involved. I think I'd like an avocado spindle.

Cally said...

I love a wee glimpse into someone else's subculture! Also tops. I love tops.

neki desu said...

childhood memories!