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About Me

 My name is Colin Spain and I love turning wood.

I’m now 65 years old, have been married to my wife Gillian for 40+ years, and have two smashing sons. I took up woodturning as a hobby in 1999 and got hooked. I have always had a feel for wooden objects, the various textures, colours and smells. I was once given a piece of old broken scaffolding board, turned out to be Ash, to practice on, this is now one of my favorite pieces, the natural colour of the wood and the rust stain where an old nail came out. There is a surprise inside each lump.

I specialize in hollow forms and fruit bowls. I consider myself lucky as on the 1st January 2004 I left work taking voluntary redundancy and now I am a house husband which gives me the time to turn. The passion was realized when I was building a model Vosper KD Perkasa motor torpedo boat, a beast of some four-foot length with twin electric motors. I had a small lathe attachment for a power drill to make some of the parts. You guessed it, next came a small but proper lathe with 12 inch bed for the next project, this broke down and was replaced under warranty by a much larger 3 foot bed lathe of a similar price by the supplier who had been having trouble with the smaller lathes. Of course, once I had the larger lathe the model boats went out the window, I was hooked, but this lathe lacked precision. My finance director (wife) agreed to let me buy  a Record CL3-36 lathe this enables me to do most of the things requested of me. I gradually built up a comprehensive workshop in my garage. During the year I purchased and built with the help of my wife and boys a cabin in the garden 3.5 by 3 meters not the biggest but perfectly adequate, I have now moved my lathe and turning equipment into it, so much easier than the garage, and so much warmer in the cold weather.

I manage to sell most of what I make, this helps pay for raw materials and new tools. Sales are made by word of mouth and by talking to folk. I take commissions for bowls etc. Now my time is my own I hope to produce enough stock to do craft fairs and to sell through galleries. Since early 2005 I have been an elected committee member of The Surrey Association of Wood turners, S.A.W. for short, their web site is at: http://www.sawoodturners.org/, I am still an active committee member, having done a year as Chairman and been Vice President of the club. I act as steward at wood turning shows and enjoy talking to people with similar interests and have now started demonstrating at club shows. My first was at W.L.West & Sons Ltd where I get most of my wood, they have a good range of turning supplies; all their wood is from sustainable sources. Occasionally people give me trunks of small trees they have cut down in their gardens, Apple, Cherry, Lime and Yew so far. My favorite woods are Sycamore, Ash, and Lace wood (a London Plane tree cut on the quarter which gives the lacey effect).

In 2010 I won the S.A.W. turner of the year award and earlier I won 2nd prize of £250 in the wood turning enthusiasts class at the Alexandra Palace Woodworking show.

I make shavings in the name of Spinwood Turnery; I jokingly call my workshop “The Old Mankey Workshop” after “The New Yankee Workshop” on the Discovery Channel.

In September 2004 we got our dog Bracken, he is a Rough Collie German Shepherd cross in other words a very Rough Collie, or as we call him a Collation. He is super, he can be naughty but with loads of character. He sneaks in to the cabin and nicks bits of wood and then shoots out wanting to play.