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Old 07-07-2018, 07:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I'm pleased to see things are progressing nicely, I'm sure Mark being blindfolded while turning was something you never thought of doing some years back, huh...? it certainly gives a different perspective and appreciation to all those that are visually impaired or totally blind...!

Thanks for the pics.

Cheers
George
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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G'Day George, years ago the training at the Cleveland Society for the blind we we had to spend a full day blindfolded, guided by the visually impaired clients/staff. It included navigating across roads, hiking in the woods/fields, and eating several meals - soup, spaghetti... needless to say we needed bibs.

After the first few minutes of having your hands guided, it became much easier. Muscle memory kicked in, and I believe I paid more attention to the tool rest location (proper height, closer to the blank). I was just turning a square spindle round, so just a practice piece. Using the roughing gouge was interesting as I was able to feel when the edge started to cut much more noticably instead of relying on my vision.

Yes, a new experience.

The highlight was when Trevor finished his pen for his son. He couldn't stop grinning that he had made a gift for his son. Pretty emotional.
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark james View Post
G'Day George, years ago the training at the Cleveland Society for the blind we we had to spend a full day blindfolded, guided by the visually impaired clients/staff. It included navigating across roads, hiking in the woods/fields, and eating several meals - soup, spaghetti... needless to say we needed bibs.

After the first few minutes of having your hands guided, it became much easier. Muscle memory kicked in, and I believe I paid more attention to the tool rest location (proper height, closer to the blank). I was just turning a square spindle round, so just a practice piece. Using the roughing gouge was interesting as I was able to feel when the edge started to cut much more noticably instead of relying on my vision.

Yes, a new experience.

The highlight was when Trevor finished his pen for his son. He couldn't stop grinning that he had made a gift for his son. Pretty emotional.

G'day Mark,

Sometimes most of us need some sort of "reality check" to appreciate what we've got even if not "perfect" and you know, that is not a bad thing, we get easily surrounded/bogged/distracted in habits that are far from relevant or necessary while many others lack the relevant necessities...!

I have said this before and I will repeat it, I would gladly give some of my time to be a trainer in this sort of program, unfortunately, I'm on the other side of the world and there are no such programs close to my side of the pond...!

Cheers
George
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Mark, now you know why I say I take away much more than I give down there. It's the Trevors, and the Terrances, and the Deanas and the Franks that keep me going back week after week. You didn't get a chance to meet Fern. She is our 86 year old who has turned more than a hundred projects in the past 4 years. They are the real treasures. Then there is Dani who is blind and deaf. You should have seen the big grin on his face when he turned his first pen.

So far, six of my visually impaired turners have bought (or been given) their own lathes at home. Some of them are no longer at the center, having completed their training there, but often drop in to show me what they are making.

Mark, I'm sorry you picked the two hottest days we've had this year to come visit, Next time try
February.

George, I'd take you as a partner any day. But it would be rather a long commute.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Sharon:
How did you get involved with this?

I admire your dedication to helping the visually impaired. There is no doubt that you thoroughly enjoy your time spent there.

Thanks
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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In 2014 AAW had their annual symposium in Phoenix, and I attended. They had a shop set up with about a dozen little Jet lathes for kids to learn to turn on. One morning, a blind turner named Andi Sullivan came to one of the demos I was watching, and asked for volunteers to help a blind turner make a pen during the lunch break. I volunteered. After the session, she approached me and asked if I would be willing to help the local blind center start a turning project. A lathe and basic tools had already been donated, but they needed someone to teach their crafts instructor how to turn so he could teach the blind students.

Three or four months should do it, she said. So I said sure. I'm retired, so my time was pretty flexible. I started going down twice a week to teach Tom how to turn. He had turned a bit when in high school shop, so he learned pretty quickly. It actually took almost six months to get the whole project off the ground. We needed a LOT of equipment besides a lathe and chisels. I had just inherited my dad's 1946 Delta bandsaw, so I donated my other bandsaw to the center. Then my husband bought me a new drill press for Valentine's day. (There is a man who REALLY knows how to please his wife!) So I donated my old drill press and my 10 inch chop saw because I had been wanting to get a 12". We were beginning to look like a real wood shop!

An IAP member sent me $500 to buy whatever we needed, and I got a slow speed grinder and wolverine set for it, plus a belt sander and some other tools. Other IAP members sent us kits and blanks and tools. Several members gave us their bash prizes. The project was really beginning to take shape. We had more people than we could handle lined up waiting to turn.

Then disaster struck. Tom was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. I roped my friend Lori in as another trainer, and we managed to keep the project going. Slowly we have built a cadre of trainers. We were donated a second lathe, and now we keep two lathes busy two mornings a week, with a third day starting in September.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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As I get settled back home, I'll work in the next few weeks to contact/collate what each agency could use as to supplies. Tampa, Phoenix, Atlanta, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Portland, ??

There is no problem with supplying blanks, and even pre-tubed blanks. Many of us have an abundance of blanks and if sent tubes, most will drill, glue-in and mill for the visually impaired turners.

I need to get some estimates for key ring kits and single -tube kits, bought in bulk 100+ quantity, then dispersed between the agencies. We may be able to go up to 500+ in quantity; there are enough agencies that 100 kits are well within reach for their needs for 3-6 months.

This is easy peasy organizing.

... If we can assist others, we should assist others. Some day we will be in their shoes!
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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What a wonderful story and inspiration.
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