About Ron Browning
I have been a turner since I was a boy. I learned a little from my Dad then we moved and he didn't have a shop anymore. I did a little more turning in shop class in high school. Then life got in the way. 7 years in the US Navy where I helped put the submarine USS Trepang, SSN 674, into commission. When I got out of the Navy I got a job with Florida Power where I was able to put my Navy training to use at the nuclear power plant in Crystal River, Fl. A good job allowed me to build a home for my family. I included extra space in the garage for a shop and I was back into turning. My Dad retired a couple of years before I got out of the Navy. He built a woodworking shop on the back of his house and had started going to art shows selling his stuff. Woodturnings and wooden jewlery became his best selling items. He wanted to turn bigger bowls so he started doing glue ups then segmented. We traded lots of 'how to' about segmented over the next several years. I got involved with organized wood turning when I attended a meeting of Florida West Coast Wood Turners. I later became VP then President of that club. When a new friend moved into the area and found out that it was a 2 hour drive to the club meetings he declaired that it was too far and we should start a club of our own. I gave him some names and numbers of woodturners in the area with instructions to call them and set up a meeting to form a club. That lead to Hands-On Woodturners. But more importantly it lead to "sawdust sessions" in my shop every Sunday evening. A sawdust session was where anyone who wanted to show up did. And any woodturning problems that they had during the week they brought with them and we collectively solved during the session. If no problems came to sawdust then we just turned something. It turned into teaching and learning sessions with a little BS on the side. The friend who help form Hands-On Woodturners now declaired it was time for a Florida local symposium. We got 3 clubs kick in some seed money and now we are in our 15th year of Florida Woodturning Symposium. I took early retirement buyout from my job, moved to the Orlando area and opened a business with my olderst son. No more sawdust sessions. After 9 years the boys at Hands-On are still crying about it. I now do woodturning demonstrations for local clubs teach woodturning to individuals either in their shop or my studio.