Some days lady luck won’t even look at you and other days she just smiles!
Cathy and John are good friends to us, and I have made few pieces for them, mostly from wood salvaged from their firewood pile. In return, I collect all my cutoffs for them, as they have a wood burner (and we don’t).
When I dropped off some more kindling on Saturday, Cathy mentioned that one of her patients was about to move house, downscale, and therefore they had all kinds of stuff for sale, amongst which were a lathe, a bunch of turning chisels and various turning blanks. She gave me the number and forewarned them. So on Sunday I called Colin, and as it turned out, I could see them right away.
The lathe was no good for me, and old Clarke model, the right size, but quite rusty, no speed control, no quick lock anywhere, and a very unusual headstock spindle. I am not even sure I could get anything to fit even if I wanted to. The turning chisels were in decent condition and I may still make them an offer for them.
However, the really good bit was the turning blanks. Colin is a woodworker, and therefore knew better than to throw them away or burn them, even though he doesn’t do any turning himself. There were 3 dozen blanks, ranging from a piece of ebony, measuring 37mm square and 135mm long (that’s 1.5″ x 5.5″ for the old guard( right through to some big bubinga and purple heart bowl blanks, 200mm diameter and 75mm thick. The list of species is long, including some I have never heard of and couldn’t even find on the internet (mushati, missanda, umbila). There is sonokeling (indian rosewood), zebrano, and padauk, and then the usual suspects as well.
I offered them £100 for the lot, which was accepted without any haggling. When I got home, I made a list and figured out current shop prices: in excess of £250. Lady luck was definitely smiling on me.