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Tony Pemberton


My name is Tony Pemberton, born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1950. I went to school in Taita, served a Tool making apprenticeship with Simon Metal Products then spent 10 years in the drawing office. After this I went into Research & Development in the Medical & Dental area. When this company down sized I went back to tool making with a plastic injection moulding company.

In 1996 I was looking for a hobby and a challenge; I had acquired a Myford Wood Lathe - type ML7. Then Bill Watson, (my boss) lent me a book "WOOD TURNING WIZARDRY." This was the challenge I needed. I worked my way through the book making the tools to make most of the balls illustrated. Then Bill lent me another book in 1997 called Principles & Practices of Ornamental Turning by John Jacob Holtzapffel. This book had the same affect as the first book he showed me and I have been making parts for my lathe ever since.

Some of the parts I have made are:

  1. Drill chuck to fit on tool post.

  2. Eccentric cutter for tool post.

  3. Slide rest

  4. Drill.

  5. Universal cutting frame.

  6. Eccentric cutting frame.

  7. Oval chuck.

In October 1998 I won a scholarship from the National Association of Woodworkers to go to the "LYNN HISTORICAL WOODWORKING TRUST MUSEUM" in Ashburton for a week to learn from Bob Lynn all I could on Ornamental Turning. I visited many people, took many photos and a video of the museum. I am now using these as references when making tools and doing wood turning.

In September 2000 I entered two pieces of Ornamental Turning in the National Wood skills Festival at Kawerau, and won 1st and 2nd prizes in this section.

I came across a picture in a book "Ornamental Turning." By T.D ALSWHAW of a French swash plate turning lathe of 1790. With what I had seen and learnt in Ashburton I thought I could combine the principles of this lathe and the other types of lathes together to make one lathe to do most of what I wanted to do in Ornamental Turning. I bought a SouthBen lathe bed and head stock casting. By putting Linier Bearings in the head stock, turning up the main shaft with the same thread as the Myford lathe allows me to move chucks and work between lathes, Also all the attachments can be used on both lathes, saving me having to make them twice.

Each time I make something new for my lathes and start to learn how to use them it sends me off in a different direction of Ornamental Turning. This is what makes my hobby so interesting.

My ambition is to have made all the attachments I need by the time I retire, then I will be able to go out to my shed and create all day long.

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