A toast to Steve Earis

Last Saturday I went to meet Steve Earis, a fellow woodturner from Slough. This was in response to his announcement that he would have plenty of boxwood to share.

Now Slough isn’t exactly my backyard, it’s a one-way trip of over 100 miles. However, the promise of (almost) free boxwood in decent sizes was good.

When I arrived there (and after rousing Steve, who, like me, is not a morning person) we quickly got talking about all things wood. Let me tell you, this guy has a phenomenal knowledge of the various types of wood. He is also a strong supporter of (and contributor to) the wood-database, a site with tons of information about hundreds of useful types of wood.

He makes a living out of turning skittle sets for traditional bowling alleys, and in consequence has (literally) tons of sycamore and beech in his backyard. But there’s also a significant pile of all sorts, and an entire 6’x8′ shed with cured slabs of just about anything you care to mention.

I brought him a boot full of “mystery” wood, which he thinks is some kind of prunus, possibly a cherry. He might be right. In any case, he decided to keep most of that cherry, and in turn I was allowed to get myself some stuff from his “firewood” pile. I can’t even remember all the names of the species I walked away with, in addition to some fine piece of wenge. In fact, I think I left with more wood in the car than I arrived with. To be fair, though, I did pay him some money, too.

On the whole, I must say, Steve is one of the nicest guys you will meet in woodturning, and he makes some pretty decent bowls, too. So here’s a toast to Steve!

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