Welcome To Tazwell's Woodworking Blog

Posted by on 6/4/2014 to News
After retiring in 2001 I moved to Santa Fe and established Tazwell’s Woodworks to build custom furniture. Most of the business has been commissions with private individuals although there have been some commercial customers. More recently I have concentrated on wood turning and making tooling related to wood turning.

Starting in 2008 I became a student in the wood turning program at the Santa Fe Community College (SFCC). Although I am a self-taught woodworker, the wood lathe was not an intuitive machine for me. I learned more in six weeks in the beginner class than I had in six years of trial and error, never understanding what I was doing wrong. I have been a participant in this program for eight years.

During this time I acquired a 1947 Atlas metal lathe (which was also marketed as a wood lathe) that had been “stored” outside in Santa Fe for eleven years. After eighteen months of restoration with the help of the Yahoo Atlas Metal Lather Group I was ready to begin making some lathe turning tools for my classmates at SFCC. Metal working was not foreign to me as I had taken machine shop courses at Georgia Tech and had also worked for a die casting company while an undergraduate. My metal working equipment has been significantly upgraded since that humble beginning with the Atlas lathe.

While at SFCC one of my classmates (in his 80’s) expressed concerns that he did not know how much longer he would be able to turn because of decreased hand strength and shoulder problems. I designed and built a system to control the vertical and rotational forces encounter while hollowing; it did not work! The problems were too much friction and tolerances that were too loose. A number of design iterations (seven at last count) have led to the current configuration. It has been tested extensively by professional turners as well as near novice turners.

With the help of Patent Attorneys at the Technology Ventures Corporation in Albuquerque, NM a Patent Application has been submitted to the USPTO. A Market Analysis was completed by the Arrowhead Center at the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) Program. A promotional video has been prepared that describes the TAZ-ULTRA WOOD HOLLOWING SYSTEM. Several presentations have been given to the Albuquerque and Santa AAW Chapters, the SFCC woodturning group, and various private individuals. The system will be demonstrated at the 2016 AAW INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM to be held in Atlanta, Georgia.