Meet Andrew Perillo – Local Atlanta, Georgia Woodturning Expert
Local Atlanta, Georgia Woodturning expert Andrew Perillo is our next craftsman to be featured for our #featurefriday series. His unique approach to woodworking and woodturning has lead to unique creations, as seen on the right. From a very young age, he had always been fascinated by creating “something out of nothing.” His father, an industrial electrician and engineer, would create full functional items out of seemingly worthless materials. This is what sparked Andrew’s interest in woodturning and woodworking. With his father’s guidance, Andrew began to develop woodturning skills to experiment with taking ordinary objects and making something beautiful out of them.
However, in 2007, Andrew underwent surgery that would greatly limit his general mobility. For years following, he would need a cane just to stand and a variety of medications just to function day-to-day. Thankfully, the doctors were able to find the right treatment plan to get him back on his feet and woodturning again. With this renewed energy, Andrew analyzed his creations’ potential and considered turning it into a side business. Though he loves his day job, woodturning and woodworking, in general, is his real passion.
Start of A Woodturning Business
After a lot of feedback from friends and family, discussing with his fiancé, and posting his woodturning work on social media, the interest in his work was high enough to start a profitable side business. Though this pushed him out of his comfort zone, it allowed his creativity and woodturning and woodworking abilities to grow tremendously. As he says, “I’m truly thankful for making it to this point in my life and am happy that I have the support of my loving, soon-to-be wife, my family, friends, and now this ever-growing community of followers who appreciate quality handcrafted items and want to be a part of AP Woodturning’s journey.”
Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity
In his business venture, Andrew needed a bit of an upgrade in his woodturning equipment. That’s where he turned to a Laguna lathe. Since he produces high quality exotic and domestic wood-turned bowls, platters, goblets, hollow-forms, vases, and boxes, he needed a wood lathe machine that would be reliable and allow him to create detailed pieces. His first machine was a good starting point, but as Andrew developed his woodturning abilities, using more exotic materials, his Laguna lathe machine could handle an 18″ 60lb piece of Osage and “not even bat an eye.” To even further extend his creation capabilities, he’s purchased a 14|12 Bandsaw. Though the machine upgrades haven’t necessarily cut costs or reduced man hours, that’s mostly due to wanting to outfit both machines with all the bells and whistles offered and wanting to spend more time on each machine.
Andrew is confident in the future and expansion of his business with Laguna machine being the center of his woodturning production. Everything he makes is now done on the Laguna REVO 18|36With the addition of the 14|12 bandsaw, he sees his woodworking abilities evolving even beyond woodturning and experimenting with new techniques and materials that were previously impossible to work with.
Advice for New/Fellow Woodworkers and Woodturning Enthusiasts
Andrew’s advice for new or professional woodworkers and woodturning enthusiasts is, “The best advice I can give to anyone who is interested in woodworking, whether making a living doing it or just as a hobby, to save up and buy the better tool/equipment first rather than buy the cheaper stuff and have to upgrade later. I realized within a month that I had made the wrong decision buying my Rikon Midi lathe as I quickly outgrew its potential and could not do what I wanted to do. I now have a very expensive buffing system as a result (which serves a valuable purpose) but if you are doing this to make a profit, or are just limited on funds for a hobby and want to enjoy the most out of what you have, go as big and as high quality as you can afford from the start so you’re not rebuying later. As for recommendations, I cannot recommend the LAGUNA REVO series lathes enough! They are fantastic machines that do everything the “big name brands” do and more! I will also say that the only regret I have is not buying the LAGUNA REVO 24/36 for the extra swing and the tailstock remote switch, but the 18/36 is still one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! If you can afford the 24/36, pull the trigger! If you can’t, the 18/36 is the way to go!”