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Member Spotlight  | Charlie Stickney

Charlie Stickney Segmented Turner Extraordinaire

 

Charlie has been a celebrated member of NCWW for over eleven years. His great work and willingness to teach and help is an inspiration for all. We wanted to share a little bit of who Charles is, where he comes from, and of course, his love for turning.

 

Background
While growing up, Charlie's father ran the best Ford shop in upstate New York. His experience watching and helping his father served him well as he landed a job as a Maintenance Tech with Potters Industries. Over the next thirty one years with Potters, Charlie rose from doing repairs, to sometimes doing designing when required,and finally to managing entire plant construction worldwide for Potters.

When not working Charlie was always busy during his off hours as an avid hunter, boater, auto restorer and woodworker, but in 1991 he sold the cars and the boat and built his shop to focus on woodworking only (there is some advice here that I should take).

Charlie’s first woodworking projects were furnishings for his lovely home. Here are a few:

In March of 2009 a magazine article about segmented turning caught his eye and he gave it a try. A fairly simple platter of less than twenty pieces - a far cry from his works today.

Please look closely, there are no gaps, no misalignments and this was his first! Now Charlie is working on his 250th piece Lets do the math - 250 segmented turnings in 10 years = less than two weeks each and each piece requiring 1000s of perfect pieces plus he designed each one himself and each is unique. As I said Always Busy But how does he maintain this level of productivity?

Engineered Art

Charlie has developed an exact process for each step and constantly strives to improve each. i.e.: he used to sand each side of each piece, now he tosses them in a tumbler and they are done in less that 20 minutes.

Charlies Advice

I keep coming back to the numbers - 250 completed pieces x 1000 segments each = Charlie has done this a few times

 

What is Charlie's take on mastering his work:

 

"JUST TRY IT"

Interview hosted by Phil Soper

Here is a another simple solution Charlie came up with for clamping angled pieces. This is something many of us struggled with yet Charlie made it so easy, and of course was more than happy to teach me. Thanks Charlie!
 

  • Hot melt glue blocks with corners exactly aligned with the center of the joint Clamp across glue blocks and the joint will not shift

This is crosscut sled designed and built by Charlie to accurately, quickly and safely cut the thousands of small pieces that are required for a segmented turning. Every tool Charlie owns has been expertly improved to meet his exacting requirements. Plus every tool has been modified to extract the dust.

 

When I say his shop is clean that is a complete understatement. How clean you say? The local hospitals have Charlie’s shop on the list for a backup surgical suite.