Irvine, California – Dr. Richard Hoard thought he’d be retiring to the “links” after a highly successful 33-year teaching career at UCLA where he taught dentistry. However, severe back issues forced him off the golf courses he loved and in search of another hobby to occupy his time.
“Being a dentist, I always loved working with my hands, so I rented a shop in Santa Monica, purchased some wonderful woodworking machinery from Laguna Tools, and began working on my skills,” he said. “It was a very steep learning curve, since I hadn’t done anything related to woodworking since Junior High.”
“I use the shop not only to create my wood-turning art, but to exhibit many of my stylized, natural-edge bowls made of rosewood, ebony, cocobolo and other South American hardwoods,” says Richard, who attended a number of woodworking trade shows before deciding upon Laguna Tools to outfit his shop. “A few years ago, I sold 43 pieces in two hours. Of course, the champagne I served at my showing probably helped to boost sales.
“Selling my works occasionally certainly helps to validate my efforts and is very flattering, but if I were to get involved with galleries and alike… it would become a business, and that’s the last thing I want,” says Richard, who spends about four to six hours a day, four days a week at his craft.
Richard purchased not one, but two Laguna Tools Italian LT 24×24 Bandsaws, along with a 2HP Laguna Dust Collector, all designed with the serious wood-turner in mind.
“The Laguna Tools equipment is absolutely indispensable to my art,” he said. “For example, they have two feet of resawing capacity, which means if I can visualize a piece, I can prepare any blank perfectly for the lathe – even very large bowls. Of course, the fact that Laguna Tools offered me the best value… and fantastic customer service has made me an enthusiastic and vocal Laguna Tools supporter over the years.”
Aside from purchasing special hardwoods for his projects, he also has a more local source – the Green Dump. “Lots of downed trees from gardens and elsewhere wind up at the green dump, such as mesquite, ash and carob trees,” he says. “When the foreman spots something he thinks I might like, I get a call… and he gets a tip. Instead of these pieces winding up as sawdust… they become lasting art objects.”
“You know, Mother Nature paints a beautiful canvas for wood-turners… we just make it round,” he laughed. “I try to let each piece tell me what I should do, by letting the natural grain and defects in the wood shine through.”
Call Us to “Become a Laguna Tools Story” or
“Tell Us Your Laguna Tools Story.”