A Road Trip to Melfort

A rumor persisted in turning circles that Melfort was the home of a new wood turning group. Advanced reconnaissance by Mel Genge (HCT member) ensured that this group existed and would welcome our invasion. Four members of Hub City Turners headed out on a road trip to investigate. We arrived at Al and Gerogia Jardine’s home and were immediately welcomed into the warm, well equipped wood shop. They had even made name tags for each of us. Nice touch Al. The advanced planning by Mel paid off as we were plied with cookies (always cookies), camaraderie, coffee and conversation.

Maybe it is because cookies are round? Maybe it is something in the Melfort air? The water? Who knows what has caused this group of intrepid wood turners to gather every week at Al Jardine’s shop and spin wood in circles, eat cookies, drink coffee and tell outrageous stories. We learned that every week 5-6 fellows load up their lathes, drive over to Al’s, set up in his shop and share turning ideas and make lots of shavings. The commitment to sharing, learning from each other and making things gives this group a solid foundation.

After a morning of sharing techniques and demonstrations by some HCT members our group was treated to lunch by the Melfort club. Another really nice touch. Discussions among wood turners inevitably brings up the pros and cons of what tools to acquire, what steel is best, what manufacturer to trust, tool shape and purpose. Universal agreement centered on the need to ‘spend hours behind the lathe’ if you want to become a better turner.

Paul Schroeder and Trent Watts doing demos.
Thanks to Al and Ken for sending in the photos.

Al Jardine is an accomplished wood carver and consistent with his generous spirit of giving and sharing he also made a gift for Trent as a thank you for doing demos.

Thank you so much Al for the beautiful, extremely sharp carving knife.

A most enjoyable day ended with a startling discovery of an invasion of ‘Snerks’ that have seemed to center on Melfort and curiously appear to be made up of pieces similar to various failed turning projects. I’m convinced that we will be hearing more about this ‘Snerk’ invasion….so stay tuned.  

A sneak peek at a Snerk from Melfort.

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