My name is Ed Rohr, I am the owner of Paradise Valley Woodturning, located in Belle Plaine, Kansas (about 30 minutes south of Wichita). For over 45 years I've been working with wood or metal encompassing a variety of interests. Whether building my first bookcase at 16, restoring my beloved 1957 Chevy Bel Air, constructing my home from the ground up, or working the evening shift for forty-seven years at Beechcraft in Wichita helping assemble some of the world's finest engineered personal and military aircraft, working with my hands has always been something I loved.
Several years before retiring, I decided to turn my rural shop into a wood turning business which I could devote my interests to when I left the day to day aircraft industry. Now, my workday is a short walk from my house in the country to my workshop, where I can lose myself in my wood creations.
Ed Rohr Owner
When I first started turning wood, I used solid pieces to sculpt from. This was fun, but somewhat limiting to my creativity. After attending several symposiums on segmented wood turning in Utah and Tennessee, I decided to turn my interests to this process.
I plan a vessel out by drawing it on paper. I then decide what woods to use to compliment the design. After calculating angles and dimensions to cut the pieces that will go into it, I "dry fit" them to assure a perfect circle. When the rings are completed, the next step is to sand them to the desired thickness. Then I glue the rings together, paying attention to the joint rotation. Now the fun begins, I attach the vessel to my lathe and start turning! I find as I am turning, the wood grains take on new and totally different aspects. The finished product is sometimes a surprise, even when it is built as planned.
I look forward to sending you one of my custom creations or working in collaboration with you from one of your ideas.
In these pictures you see a cedar tree being cut and moved after the limbs have been removed. This tree was grown in Missouri.
Here a log of walnut is being trimmed in preparation for the lathe and then being placed on the lathe. It has to be placed so that it is balanced and secure. The last picture is after some turning has occurred making it somewhat round but still needing the rest of the bark to be removed and shaped.
On the left is a pear log. It is ready to be placed on the lathe to see what appears. The center is some of the bark off. On the right there is a cut from a chain saw and the grain is beginning to show itself.
As the block of wood is turned with the bark coming off the grain is seen. The picture on the rt has most of the bark off and will appear as a lidded box.
Here are three views of the pear log after being turned and a food safe finish applied.
These are rings that have been cut from various boards at precise angles, sanded and glued together to form them. They are then placed in a particular way paying attention to the grain to produce the look that is desired.The look can change as the wood is removed as it is being turned.
Here the rings are placed on a special chuck to glue them together before they are turned on the lathe to achieve the look that is desired.
The picture on the left is another view of the same bowl before it has been turned. The pictures in the center and on the right are another bowl that of the same design but of different colors, therefore making each one different.
These are the bowls after being turned and the finish applied. The finish on two of the bowls is a low luster, two have a glossy finish.
The views of the bowls provides a feel for how they look before being turned. It is always amazing to see the bowls as they change with the sharpness of the tools and the expertise of the handler.
The bowl on the left is on the lathe being turned. The center shows the outer edges off, but the center is still to be turned. The right picture shows the bowl is the process of becoming one of the bowls below.
These bowls are now ready to come off the chuck and be finished after the finish is applied while on the lathe.
These pieces of wood have been cut and glued together to create special looks for handles for pizza cutters and ice cream scoops. The picture on the right shows how they look after being turned.
The picture on the left shows a handle on the lathe in the process of being turned to the size and shape desired. The center is a handle ready for finishing. The picture on the right has two handles finished and two ready for the finish to go on.
All the tools in the above three pictures are specific for making pens.
In the picture on the left you see more of the tools. The small packages are the parts of the pens that are inside and outside of the pen blank after it is turned. The center picture is of acrylic pen blanks. The right picture is a kit to make a pen blank.
The pictures on the left and center are of special pens. The picture on the right is of the tools, instructions and pen blanks.
Preparing to turn a pen blank.
The above four pictures depict the actual turning of a pen blank.
The planer is used to prepare the wood for cutting.
The three different sanders shown here are used in the different steps of making a piece of art.
The different saws are used for different types of cutting.
These are the "jigs" used to cut the boards on certain angles.
These are the tools used to cut the wood as it is turned.
The wood on the left is boards purchased for the beautiful grain that presented at the time of purchase. On the right are pieces to make smaller pieces of segmented art.
The help are being fed on the left. This is very important!! They work very hard, just ask them. With out the help of these beautiful girls none of this would happen.