Most of my work uses wood from Lodgepole pine that was killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic that swept western Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and further north over the last 20 years. The mountain pine beetle is endemic to our area and in normal times, attacks only a few random trees in pine forests. In times of drought and warmer temperatures, beetles are more successful in attacking pine trees due to lower sap pressure in the tree. The fungus carried by the beetle leaves a blue-black stain that makes beautiful patterns in the wood but also disrupts the circulation of the tree to the point that the tree dies.
I was exposed to the wood lathe in junior high shop class, and for years after, I wanted to get a lathe and learn more about how to use it, but job, family, and other pressures prevailed. In 2007, I retired from my job as sheriff of Boulder County, and one of the first things I did was buy a lathe.
I use beetle kill Lodgepole for most of my work, but other woods native to our area find their way into my shop, including juniper, aspen, and cottonwood. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoyed making it.