May Demonstrator – Ken Conte

Ken took up woodturning in 2008 and has been a member of the AAW and the Woodturners of Olympia since then. He has served on the Board of the Woodturners of Olympia since he started turning and served as Club President from January 2014 through June 2018. Ken has lived and worked in Olympia most of his life. He retired in 2013 after a 35-year career in Washington State government.

In addition to general turning, Ken has always enjoyed finding ways to displays spheres. A few years ago, he took on the challenge of developing a method to make a sphere float in air. This led to him writing an article for the August 2022 edition of American Woodturner titled Levitating Spheres. Ken’s demonstration will show how he uses electromagnets and dipole magnets embedded in his turnings to make a sphere float in air. Due to time constraints, he won’t actually turn a sphere but, instead, will focus mostly on the steps he takes to prepare a sphere blank, dividing it in two and embedding a magnet in what will become the bottom of a sphere. He will discuss making the base that holds the electromagnet but, in less detail as it requires only basic woodturning skills.