The other end of the spectrum

The last post was about a huge lathe by most standards. This one is about work produced at the exact opposite end of the scale.  

Yesterday I attended the “open shop” for Art Liestman’s new shop/studio at his home in Coquitlam, BC. Art is an internationally acclaimed woodturner who just happens to be one of the guys. Great shop, great event, great cookies. Thanks, Art!  

It only stands to reason that an open house at Art’s new shop would draw all of our guild luminaries and among them was Maarten Meerman. Maarten (Max) has defined for himself a very unusual niche: nano turning. Maarten first came to us with scale models of satellites he designed and worked on in his day job as a Space Mission Designer. I would say that this clearly qualifies him as the guild’s only rocket scientist. Gradually his scale models morphed themselves into tinier and weenier turnings until his standard became 1/144 scale. That’s small.  

It works!!!

Maarten had with him a 1/144 model of a pole lathe that he copied from the real thing as a challenge, then he challenged himself to make it a working model. Note that I said “had with him”. Not that many turners can produce their latest endeavour from their pocket. When I saw Maarten, not having seen him for a couple of months, I asked him “What’s up?” He produced his usual tiny clear acrylic pill bottle-like container with the pole lathe inside. By comparison, the massive stand that the lathe perched on was the size of a large button. I quietly admired his work trying very hard not to gush too much about how he could not only produce such high quality work but also have the patience to work in such fine detail. To listen to him explain it, it’s just that easy. Right, Maarten.  

If I were to admire only one thing about Maarten’s approach it is that his cost for tools and materials must be less than a good pub lunch – for a whole year!   As a matter of fact, he would get a lifetime supply of wood if he swept my shop floor once.  

Anyway, the best way I can describe his work is to direct you to his website Make sure you take the time to check out the You Tube video of his working pole lathe and also take the time to really explore the detailed nano world of Maarten Meerman.

As always, I encourage your comments and questions, so please refer to the tag line at the bottom of the article to post a comment.

About Ed Pretty

I am a professional woodturner, specializing in gallery work, commercial work, teaching and demonstrating. I have been turning since 1958, so... a long time. I use this site to present my work to the public at large and to let people know that I am available for teaching private lessons in woodturning. Wood turning is one of my passions (the other is motorcycle touring). It is my desire to pass on everything that I have learned over the years to others so that the craft of woodturning will grow.
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