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I retailer all of my pen-turning blanks in a particular cupboard. The number of colours and grain patterns is wonderful, and I like the symmetry of those little stacks of wooden.

Editor’s word: This article initially appeared in American Woodwork #142, June/July 2009.

I stumbled onto pen making seven years in the past, as I used to be scouring by my husband Jerry’s woodworking magazines and catalogs, in search of a particular Christmas present for him. I got here throughout a mini-lathe that was marketed as the proper software for making {custom} pens…and I knew I used to be hooked.

I envisioned myself sitting at slightly student-sized workbench with my new mini-lathe, diligently working away on tiny tasks. I ordered the lathe and lobbied Jerry for house in his basement workshop, assuring him that I might solely want a teeny little bit of room. I had no woodworking expertise, so I purchased some books about turning pens. When my lathe arrived, Jerry confirmed me the best way to maintain a gouge and skew.

My husband, Jerry, constructed the cupboards and helped me arrange my 12’ x 12’ store. All of my energy instruments are scaled for making pens and different small tasks, comparable to fishing lures, and recreation calls.

As my curiosity in pen turning grew, my notion of satisfactory house modified. Jerry and I now share the basement, with my space having grown right into a full-fledged 12′ by 12′ pen turning store. It accommodates all the things I have to make a pen—a big 8′ workbench and 4 different smaller work surfaces, 24 drawers and 18 cupboards. Jerry custom-built all of them for me—an important return on my funding for all these years of woodworking oriented Christmas presents!

The workbenches, cabinets and cupboards assist the scaled-down instruments of my 5 inch turning commerce: three mini lathes, a mini drill press, a mini disk sander, a mini shaper (for the pen packing containers), a mini air filter, a mini steel cut-off noticed (for brass tubes), a mini duplicator, mini air compressors and a mini vacuum.  Following my theme of small-scale instruments, I minimize my pen blanks to size with a Bosch fine-cut energy handsaw, as an alternative of a utilizing a miter noticed. In reality, the one full-size instruments in my space are my turning instruments.

In addition to pens, I now make a number of different “five inch” tasks, together with letter openers, wine bottle stoppers, fishing lures and recreation calls. These small tasks don’t throw loads of sawdust round, so my store is simple to maintain clear and neat.  I retailer my respirators, face safety, undertaking {hardware}, bits, calipers, rulers, information, glues, gloves, and sanding and ending provides inside cupboards and drawers, the place they keep mud free and simply accessible.

My tasks don’t require loads of materials (I can rise up to 12 blanks out of a small piece of bowl or turning inventory), so cupboard space isn’t a problem. I’ve collected over 100 completely different native and unique hardwood turning blanks. I research books and articles about their origins and the legends that encompass a few of them, and wherever Jerry and I’m going, I look ahead to anecdotes about how they’ve been or are getting used.  I write that data on playing cards that accompany my pens.

I get teased concerning the 144 sq. ft of house that I “need” to make a pen, however sharing woodworking with Jerry is among the excessive factors of our 40 years collectively. —Lynn Vanderpool


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