MiVT: Ted Beebe Woodworking

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Snowbirds returning to Vermont from Florida are required to quarantine for two weeks. It didn’t matter that Fletcher’s woodworkers were busy in the shop finding new ways to grab attention with their Made in Vermont bowls.

In the world of woodturning, Ted Beebe’s unique approach creates bowls of original wonder. “I like it because I can repeat the same process over and over again using different types of wood and never get the same results,” Beebe said.

Beebe has been a woodworker all his life, but it wasn’t until his wife, Kathy, persuaded him to start making wooden bowls about 10 years ago. He owned the lathe for decades, but he just collected dust. Now a lot of sawdust is produced.

Most of the wood comes from the family farm in Swanton, where Beebe grew up. Bowls made from wood are his favorite. It could take up to a year to see the finished product. Beebe puts the wood in the lathe while it’s still green, but after a few months, when the wood has dried out and can become misshapen, he spins it again. “This piece has been sitting around for a while, but you can see it’s no longer round. We’re going to give it a final spin,” he said.

Competition is the reason for his outside-the-box, or in this case, outside-the-bowl thinking. He won his first Intermediate Level Grand Prize at the Florida Show Ribbon six years ago. “I wasn’t expecting it, so I went in and saw it sitting there, and I was really surprised,” he said.

Beebe’s skills and work have been featured in magazines in the US and UK. American Woodturners magazine profile on Beebe The first of his three books will be published this month. This article will focus on his wood turn guitar. The first one took about three months to make. “Once we figured out how to build it, there was no going back, we just had to do it,” he said.

“The thing about woodturning is that you can never master it. There are a lot of options going forward for me and for you,” Beebe said.

Beebe likes to create things that haven’t been done before and make something special out of unpredictable situations.

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