Harder Than It Looks

Several years ago, while living in Oklahoma, my husband got involved in a new hobby.  Pen turning.  Now, you may ask yourself, “What in the world is pen turning??”  Well, it’s pretty self explanatory…you make ink pens, using a lathe to turn them.

My hubby refers to this as an “old man hobby”, because in the pen turning world, you find a lot of grandfatherly type men doing this in their retirement years.  We have a Fall Foliage Festival in the town where we live & every year, there are a few booths where the men bring the pens they’ve made and sell them.

They really turn out beautifully.  My husband has made countless pens in the past…gifts for family members, gifts for friends, gifts for the seniors in the youth group…he’s even sold a few.  He makes them out of different kinds of wood and acrylic. I like the acrylic best.  While the wood is beautiful, it’s hard to have it keep a shiny finish.  Once you sand and buff the acrylic, it will keep a shine forever.  

Because of the hobby, we get several sales circulars from a couple of companies.  They sell the supplies it takes to make pens, but it doesn’t just stop there.  You can make key chains, yo-yos, magnifying glasses, razors…and the list goes on.  A few weeks, or maybe a month ago, I saw in one of the circulars, a kit to make a pen & stylus.  I have a Kindle Fire & I have a stylus, but it’s nothing fancy.  I knew I had a project for my hubby!!

We stopped at a store that sells these supplies on our way home from our vacation on Sunday.  We don’t have one of those stores nearby, so we wanted to take full advantage of our vacation and stop in.  Luckily, they had the pen kit that I was wanting & a piece of acrylic in what has become my favorite color…pink!  I have a pink phone cover, I have a pink Kindle cover, but I didn’t have a pink pen…until now!

My husband makes turning a pen look so easy, so effortless.  So, naturally, I thought I could do it, despite the fact that he made close to one hundred pens over the years.  Last night, my hubby secured his award for husband of the century & stayed up late to help walk me through my first pen.

Now, I have to be honest, I did about 30% of the work & he did about 70%…not because he took over, but because I quickly discovered it’s harder than it looks!!!  You have to get everything perfect…the planets have to align & then, you can turn a pen!  I thought I would just step up to the lathe, pick up a chisel & go to town…yeah…didn’t happen.

After a couple hours, with the help and encouragement of a great teacher, I had a pen in my possession!!!  Instant gratification!!  Image

The pen writes like a dream!  I have even thought about writing a letter to someone…just so I can use it 🙂 The stylus on the end works so much better than the one I was using.  I can’t wait to read lots of books with it, to peruse the internet!

ImageNow my pink collection is complete!! As for picking up a new hobby, I think I’ll leave the lathe work to my wonderful hubby!!!!











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