top of page

Bob Reynolds- "Go Big or Go Home!"

I recently had the opportunity to have a discussion with Bob Reynolds, a long term member of our Club. Bob, otherwise known as, “the maker of very large and fancy bowls”, joined CCW in 2008, and has been actively involved ever since. Bob maintains a relationship with a couple of large tree service companies and often secures wood for the Club raffles and wood swaps. In addition he often hosts fellow turners in his shop to share his techniques. While a weekly Wednesday evening orchestra rehearsal, Bob plays clarinet, regularly causes him to miss our monthly meetings, he does attend whenever possible, and has provided a number of meeting demonstrations; including one on thin walled vases where he used light

and color to measure wall thickness, very cool!

During his career as an analyst for the CIA, Bob served in England, South Korea, as well as, Austria and Israel, and later, in his role as a more senior manager visited some 60 countries worldwide. Bob and Betsy came to the Cape from Virginia, where he was very active in the Regional AAW chapter, and really got his start in woodturning. Bob and his wife Betsy, had attended the Campbell Folk School to participate in craft classes, including stained glass (Bob’s previous hobby). While at Campbell, he happened upon the woodturning classes and after participating in six classes, eventually was asked to assist and instruct.

Bob uses a Powermatic 42-36 to create his turnings; and he genuinely embraces the ideology of “Go Big or Go Home! “ , often creating approximately 80 bowls annually, as well as charcuterie platters and other challenging projects. He turns about 50 of those bowls a year of 14 inches and up, including perhaps six over 20 inches. His only venue for sales is the annual three day Chatham Arts Show. Participating in this juried show results in annual sales of 70 to 80 of his inventory. He spends the rest of the year turning and preparing inventory for this event. In addition to his sales, Bob also generously donates a number of his bowls to the Chatham Arts Association, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, and other charitable causes and organizations.

Turning provides Bob with the opportunity to create and sculpt wood, and he loves the planning and design that goes into each piece. He mentioned ambrosia maple as being one of his favorite woods, but he turns pieces from a wide variety of species. In addition to bowls, Bob has also enjoyed turning lampshades, thin walled vases, charcuterie platters, and a dozen cowboy hats. He notes that he prefers penetrating finishes and generally uses Waterlox pure Tung Oil, and finishes by buffing the surface.

He mentions Jimmy Clews, as one of the demonstrators who had a strong influence on his turning, as well as, the classes he took at Campbell and some of the folks who mentored him in the Virginia club. In return, Bob is always willing to assist new turners and demonstrate his turning techniques.

When asked about our Club, Bob notes that he most enjoys the interaction with fellow Club members and seeing everyone else’s work and turning ideas. In addition to turning, Bob has been active in his neighborhood association, the local pickle ball league, and the Cape Cod Toy Museum. We are very fortunate to have members like Bob in our turning community.


bottom of page