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Robert Starliper

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Bio

By profession, I am an IT worker - primarily focused on network communications and specialty systems for a large multi-national manufacturing company.  To paraphrase the old BASF commercials - you may not know our name, but you use our products every day.

I was introduced to woodworking in general in my teen years by a master cabinet maker, who also happened to be my great uncle.  While he did not exactly teach me, he did help guide me and offer bits of wisdom and knowledge.  If I had known then what I know now, I would have worked at keeping him from selling his Milwaukee Delta shop.  He only kept the drill press (dates to approx 1952-1954, still runs perfectly).  Lathe, cabinet saw, band saw, mortise machine - all sold.  He later started acquiring tools again - but nowhere near the quality.  One of these was a Harbor Freight lathe.  It is on that lathe that I more or less taught myself to turn.  The rest, as they say, is history.  I now have a nice big (but never big enough) workshop, the Harbor Freight lathe is long gone - replaced by a Delta midi, which was in turn replaced by a Nova DVR XP that I bought used quite a few years ago.  Still running strong.

I started out turning pens, and that type of turning is still what I do a lot of.  I also do bowl turning, but readily admit I need a lot more practice with a bowl gouge.  I have turned some lamps (some of which started as other projects, but the wood had other ideas), and other decorative and useful things.  During the outdoor craft show season, I go with my father-in-law to a number of shows in our area and share booth space with him - his sterling silver and stone jewelry (all hand made in his shop) and my wood turning.  Both of us have grown to the point we now need a 10 x 20 booth space at each show to fit everything in!

I am married, and have been since 1993.  I know, not something common in this age.  Have 2 daughters, the eldest graduated from college with a degree in politics and is working for our state department of education.  The youngest is in college studying environmental science.  We have had cats in the house since shortly after buying our house, currently have only 1.  All but the first have been rescues - the first was a pseudo-rescue, I suppose: she came to us from a co-worker and friend of my wife.  The friend had a baby and found the baby was allergic to the cat, so she was rehomed with us (the cat, not the baby) shortly after we bought our first (and current) house in 1994.

A number of years ago I learned of our local AAW chapter, attended a meeting, and promptly joined.  As of October 2021, I am president of that chapter - Susquehanna Woodturners in Harrisburg, PA (Club Website).