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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:45 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

Lovin' the lathe

John Garner, president of the wood turning club, said the club meets every month and learns new ways of wood turning either from other club members or outside guests.

Members are very involved in the community, and working with the high school students is another way for them to share their love of woodworking and pass it along to younger generations.

"I wish I had learned at 17 rather than 57," said Michael Cohee, vice president of the club. "If you start at such a young age, think how good you would be at age 57."

Garner said woodworking is "a very pleasing hobby with quick gratitude. You start with a raw piece of wood and turn it into something beautiful really quickly."

Bockman said that during the semester, the kids in his class use many different types of tools to make their rolltops, but they don't get much experience with the lathe. He said the only time they use the lathe is when they make the knobs for the drawer.

"This (making pens and pencils) takes it a step further," he said. "They're learning to take the grain in a whole different way. For the knobs, they use scraping tools and scrape the wood off, and now they're cutting fibers away and shearing them off."

He said he is glad his students are learning this process because it is difficult to teach in a group setting.

"These guys can work one on one with the students," Bockman added.

The Prescott Area Wood Turners just donated a mini lathe to the school, which Bockman said he greatly appreciates.

"Some of the equipment they have is getting old, and now if students want to make pens or turn bowls, they can," Garner said.

Students in Bockman's classes who are interested in making pens or pencils buy their own kit and bring it to class with them, Garner said.

Tristan Quesinberry, a 15-year-old freshman at PHS, said he signed up for woodshop "because I've never had the chance to work with wood before."

He has already made a pen and a pencil, and said working on his rolltop is much different.

"Making pens and pencils, you work on the lathe more, and with the rolltop, you use the table saw, chop saw, nails and screws," he said.

When working with the lathe, "it's cool because you can see what form you're making and you can make different designs."

Edgar Garcia, a 16-year-old junior at PHS, is taking advanced woodshop and said working on the lathe "is really hard, but it gives you lots of experience. The pen is really complicated because it's a smaller piece of wood and you have more complex parts and you can't mess up."

Freshman Jordan Anderson, 14, is one of a couple of girls taking the woodshop class, and watched intently as Cohee instructed her on how to make her pen.

She is enjoying woodshop because "not a lot of girls do it, and instead of just going out and buying something, you can make it how you want."

When making her rolltop, "I really enjoyed working with the lathe, so I wanted to do more. I like the lathe because it doesn't do it all for you. You can design things the way you want."

Cohee said Anderson did really well at working with the lathe "once she got over the jitters."

He added, "Females are often better wood turners than males because they have a lighter touch, naturally."

Smiling, Anderson nodded her head in agreement."

Contact the reporter at rbump@prescottaz.com