Update on IAP's assistance with programs for Visually-Impaired Turners

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mark james

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This is an update for a very "under-the-radar" IAP project: IAP assistance with programs for Visually Impaired Turners.

The initial bulk purchase of 500 kits (Gatsby, Key Chair Rings, Mini-Touch Stylus; Letter openers and Slimlines) was more than adequate for the first year of this program. I suspect with one exception, the initial order will last two years (the key rings are very popular).

In summary - IAP is quietly supporting programs in Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Toronto, Atlanta, Phoenix, Tampa and Portland. We conduct the bulk purchase, donate the blanks, prep the blanks (drill, glue in tubes, mill the ends), and send out kits ready to be turned as requested. Most programs need kits ready to be turned due to safety precautions and our prep assistance has been a great asset.


So far:

KIts ordered - 500
Kits prepped - 330
Prepped kits mailed out - 215
Prepped kits available - 115
Unprepped kits available - 170

A huge shout-out to the following IAP members who have volunteered and have already assisted or are waiting in the shop for the next round of "Prep chores:"

dalecamino
EBorraga
Stonepecker
dieseldoc
swagopenturner
scissortail pens
MBroberg
Cwalker935
Magicbob
Tony L
Jim15
thewishman
TimMc

Thank you to all, and I'll update everyone in about 6 months.

NOTE: In support of this IAP Activity I will be assisting the founder of these programs - Andi Sullivan (Head of the Tampa Program also) at the 2019 AAW Symposium in Raleigh, NC in a few weeks. There will be several turning sessions where Andi is the lead teacher/demonstrator, and will be showing how individuals with visual impairments can teach (she is blind), learn to turn safely with assistance and within individual safety limits enjoy turning.

Edit: These pictures are from the program in Phoenix, headed up by IAP's own - sbwertz. (I visited last year and did ask permission prior to taking pictures.)
 

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sbwertz

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We here in Phoenix want to thank all the volunteers who participate in this program. Especially now while we are so short handed, having complete kits (already drilled, tubed and milled) makes all the difference in the world. We have changed the program so we can process four turners a day instead of two, but that means each turner only gets an hour. That makes it absolutely mandatory that the kits be lathe ready before the turner arrives. I do a lot of prep at home for the big stuff, but I relied on my trainees to prep the pen blanks when they had a little free time. Now we are going in one day a week just to do prep work trying to keep up.

I want to thank Renger Van Lindenberg for donating his bash prize from McKenzie Penworks. Those diamond dust blanks are awesome.
 

mark james

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We here in Phoenix want to thank all the volunteers who participate in this program. Especially now while we are so short handed, having complete kits (already drilled, tubed and milled) makes all the difference in the world. We have changed the program so we can process four turners a day instead of two, but that means each turner only gets an hour. That makes it absolutely mandatory that the kits be lathe ready before the turner arrives. I do a lot of prep at home for the big stuff, but I relied on my trainees to prep the pen blanks when they had a little free time. Now we are going in one day a week just to do prep work trying to keep up.

I want to thank Renger Van Lindenberg for donating his bash prize from McKenzie Penworks. Those diamond dust blanks are awesome.
As always, you can contact me personally for any needed prepped kits. I'm putting in an order for more key chain, but we have a good supply of the rest. Tomorrow a box is going out to Portland.
 

robutacion

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I would like to participate on that if possible, I know I'm a long way away but I would be more than happy to prepare the blanks where I will provide my own blanks my only issue is to know what tubes to use if double barrel or single barrel pens, someone like Mark could either send me the tubes for the kits that need to be prepared that you have planned for this, you can send me a couple of hundred if you want I would be OK with it, I will cover the costs of shipping them back to you Mark, Sharon or anyone else you would see fit.

I will also be putting together another 20kg box of gibber chunks of wood for the other type turnings done by these people, now that I have my "last" bunch of pieces of wood in my backward I will set a few pieces aside as I go through them, they will need to lose some weight from the rain they have been exposed to and as soon as they are ready/dry enough, I will make a donation request to the IAP members to cover the shipping costs as we did the last time, I will have to work out how much it is now...!

Anyway, these are the plans and as I said, I would like to get involved with the prep of the pen blanks for these visually impaired people that I have a great deal of admiration for together with those that guide and teach them...! 👍

Let me know,

PS: I have a big bag of brass for a kit that at the time I was going to use to showcase my blanks, the idea was to use multiple tubes of the same kit and change the barrels with the various woods I would turn and finish with CA but I never endup doing it so I still have the brass here, I have 30 sets of tubes but I will let you know the quantity, the kit in question was the "old" Olympian II Elite Roller Ball or Fountain Pen kit (PKOL2RBP) the upper tube is 1-9/16" diameter .492" the lower tube is1-7/8" and diameter of .445" the drill suggested/recommended are 33/64" for the shorter/upper tube and 31/64" for the longer/lower tube.
I don't know if these kits are still available or any similar kits that have the same size tubes, I would like to put these 30 pairs to good use if not, oh well...!

Cheers
George
 

randyrls

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Mark; Let me know as well. I can certainly do some. I have bulk tubes in most of the common sizes, and more blanks than I will use in my lifetime. I always order a few extra when getting blanks (and kits too)
 
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sbwertz

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We normally don't need the slimlines because we have volunteers who prep them for us, but right now, we could use some. Also gatsbys. We still have some keychains and stylus kits, because we got a donation of them from a local turner. Hopefully, if we can get through til September, several of our "snowbird" volunteers will be back and can help us out. The four remaining trainers went in on a non-turning day and did three hours of prep, but it wasn't all pens...we were also prepping for all the other things we make. Unlike some of the other lighthouse groups, we make a full range of items including pens, peppermills/salt shakers bottle openers, ice cream scoops, pizza wheels, letter openers, fan pulls, garden tools, bbq sets, etc. We have started making matching salt shakers for PSI's antique style peppermills....same shape and wood with one of Rockler's salt shaker tops...lined with a plastic test-tube shot glass from the dollar store LOL.
 

mark james

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Sharon, I can box up 20 Funline and 20 Gatsby in the AM. I'll check the inventory, but my records show these are prepped and ready to go. I'll see if there are some bushings ava.
 

sbwertz

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Sharon, I can box up 20 Funline and 20 Gatsby in the AM. I'll check the inventory, but my records show these are prepped and ready to go. I'll see if there are some bushings ava.
Thanks Mark, that will help a lot. Bushings are always welcome. We go through them like salted peanuts. We have plenty of Gatsby bushings, but always need slimline bushings. They get turned down so they are too small because the turners don't know they are at the bushings until they hear metal on metal. The slimline bushings seem to be softer than the Gatsbys.
 

mark james

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Thanks Mark, that will help a lot. Bushings are always welcome. We go through them like salted peanuts. We have plenty of Gatsby bushings, but always need slimline bushings. They get turned down so they are too small because the turners don't know they are at the bushings until they hear metal on metal. The slimline bushings seem to be softer than the Gatsbys.
I got ya covered Sharon. Be well.
 

sbwertz

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Got the box Mark. Thanks so much. We are really short handed right now and having the prepped kits makes a world of difference.
 

mark james

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Got the box Mark. Thanks so much. We are really short handed right now and having the prepped kits makes a world of difference.
You are very welcome. I am prepping some later today for the new group in Raleigh (Key Rings). I also just got 100 more key rings delivered, so I now will have 85 more. Don't hesitate to let me know if you want more - the other groups are not asking for much, so I have letter openers, stylus, Gatsby, slimlines and now again key rings.
 

sbwertz

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We had a lot of key rings donated to us by Woodcraft, so we are ok for them. We could use some more letter openers and slimline bushings next time. We do really appreciate all IAP does for us. We are struggling right now, but it will be better in September when the "snowbirds" come back! Also a couple of our teachers are out with medical problems, and hopefully they will be back soon.
 

mark james

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We had a lot of key rings donated to us by Woodcraft, so we are ok for them. We could use some more letter openers and slimline bushings next time. We do really appreciate all IAP does for us. We are struggling right now, but it will be better in September when the "snowbirds" come back! Also a couple of our teachers are out with medical problems, and hopefully they will be back soon.
Sharon, I believe I have 15 prepped letter opener kits ready to be packaged and mailed, these were prepped by Mbroberg. If so, they will go out on Monday. I will be out of the shop until the beginning of August, but can then catch up quickly with more materials. I also will include more slimline bushings - sheesh, you folks must eat them! ;) ;)
 

sbwertz

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I will be gone most of August. That is also our semester break, so we will be shut down for a couple of weeks, also. We usually shut down during the August semester break because so many people go on vacation then.

We turn more slimlines than anything else, and the only way they know when they are at the bushings is when they hear the tool hit the bushings. So they get turned down. We go through two or three sets a month. The slimline bushings seem to be made of softer metal than other bushings, too. Plus we use them for key rings and styluses and fan pulls, too. AND they are very small and bounce. Hence the magnetic pickup tool......
 

sbwertz

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We use some of the old undersized bushings as spacers, and I paint them with fingernail polish so they don't accidentally get used as bushings.
 

Curly

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I would think a few small centre punch marks would provide tactile information for a blind turner or do you or the assistants do all the setups for them?
 

sbwertz

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Because of our limited time schedule, we have the blanks already on the mandrels when they come in so that they can get maximum turning time. All our teachers are at least partially sighted. Several have close vision but poor distance vision, and one has only central vision, no peripheral vision, so the fingernail polish works well.
 
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