Alan Turner - PFW's Founder
Alan Turner has been working wood for about 60 years, having been introduced to woodworking when he was 6 while shadowing his father around their home workshop. Turner's father was an excellent amateur woodworker, and a good teacher. Over the years, Turner honed his skills as an amateur, and when his family's homes were filled with his work, he hung out a shingle as a studio furniture maker. He still enjoys commission work.
About the same time, and after pursuing a long career in the law, Turner began teaching basic woodworking classes through an adult night-school program. His classes were run out of a former high school woodshop, which lacked any power tools and quality workbenches since woodworking had been dropped from the curriculum. As a result, he was limited to teaching the basics of hand tools, and small projects built with hand tools. Over those years, he dreamed of opening his own school, and eventually made good on his plans. PFW is the result; its first class ran in March 2006. And in 2014, in order that the school would continue after his retirement or death, he started a nonprofit, donated the school to the nonprofit of the same name, and secured a tax exempt determination from the IRS. Turner is now a recovering lawyer.
Turner has found that, in general, woodworkers are an honest and unusually community minded group, often willing to share their skills. You can't talk a joint into being tight. It is there for all to see, and no amount of talking will change it. For Turner, the sharing of woodworking skills is very much a labor of love; it is his commitment to the craft. He has done some writing, and some video work as well.