“Laguna Tools has played a pretty big role in the way my woodturning has advanced,” said Larry Marley of Marleyturned.com, the Mission Viejo, California’s jury-rated creator of teapots, bowls, Christmas ornaments and other examples of fine wood turning. “After all, I used to work there.” So begins the story of this former Laguna Tools sales representative and current Revo 10×16 Mini Lathe user.
“I worked in the publishing business most of my life,” began Marley. “But like a lot of industries, recent years have brought about many changes and widespread downsizing. I’ve been an enthusiastic woodturner for years. So when I learned Laguna Tools was increasing its sales force, I decided to apply for a position.”
The transition proved to be a good one. “Torben Helshoj (Laguna Tools president), and the staff taught me a lot about professional machine tools,” said Marley.
“Just as importantly, I also learned about the importance Laguna Tools bases on character, focus and doing the right thing for people. The personal and professional lessons I learned there have stayed with me, even after I left for what was to be my final position in publishing.”
Marley continued, “With publishing behind me, I began to consider the possibility of becoming a professional woodturner. I had a pretty well-equipped shop and had always used woodturning to supplement my income. So the transition went pretty smoothly. But as my skills and business grew, I realized that the basic lathe I used wasn’t meant for fine woodworking. I see a lathe as a really creative tool. So I bought the Revo Mini Lathe. It’s competitively priced, but it’s very well machined and every bit a Laguna Tools’ product.”
“It’s made at the level that people who know their tools expect.”
The Mini Lathe had a significant impact on Marley’s shop. “It’s ideal for the small finials and other precision pieces I turn on it,” he said. “Between the two lathes, I can establish a tandem work flow that helps increase my productivity. When I use it, I don’t have to worry about how the headstock and tailstock will align. I can reposition pieces and not worry about them not fitting. It’s dead on every time. In addition, techniques where you take the tailstock on and off are super easy. You can hold the tailstock in the palm of your hand, too. I like the way it doesn’t take a lot of physical energy to use it. What’s more, since the Revo lathe is portable, it’s ideal as a demonstration platform.
Marley has taken his Mini Lathe and his skills as a woodturner to events that range from traditional trade and woodworking shows to gatherings such as the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts. Marley is both a juried exhibitor at this prestigious event and an active participant who demonstrates the art of segmented turning, a process that involves gluing several pieces of wood together to create patterns and visual effects in turned projects. “Segmented turning is a way for me to go beyond just making ‘things’ and really start creating,” he explained.
Like every woodworker, Marley has a wish list of Laguna Tools’ equipment he hopes to add to his shop in the future. “I would love to get one of their dust collectors,” he said, then added, “I’d also like to get one of their large disk sanders. That’s a very handy tool to have.”
As with most woodturners, Marley enjoys sharing his knowledge with other enthusiasts. He is an active member of the Orange County Woodturners Association and published a technique-filled newsletter, available through his website. He downplayed his own skills but was quick to thank Laguna Tools for its support of the local woodturning community. “They host professional demonstrations in their warehouse and even let us store our chairs and tables with them. They’ve been hugely supportive of our club.”
• Revo 10×16 Mini Lathe
Call Us to Become a Laguna Tools Story or
Tell Us Your Laguna Tools Story.