Woodturning Design – June 2013 – Issue #43

Woodturning Design - June 2013 - Issue #43

Woodturning Design – June 2013 – Issue #43

Hi to my fellow pen turners.

The June issue of Woodturning Design (Issue #43) doesn’t disappoint in providing pen turning coverage, in fact I’d say it received much respect, but more on that later. I’m pleased to see three well written and illustrated articles directly relating to pen turning with several other articles that will appeal to many turners that also like to turn bowls and other small projects. So Kudos to the Woodturning Design team for publishing another great issue.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Woodturning Design magazine yet, here’s what you’re missing from June’s issue (August is now out so it looks like I have some catching up to do).

Pinecone Pen – Part 1 by Raymond Sprouse

Pinecone Pen - Raymond Sprouse

Pinecone Pen – Raymond Sprouse

I’ve been tempted to try the pinecone pen blanks before and now with the knowledge from this article I’m ready to try this method. Raymond does a good job explaining the type of pinecone needed for this project and how to prepare the blank. I like this particular approach because it keeps the pinecone more natural than casting it in resin, which is the more common approach. In Part 2 (August issue) Raymond describes how the blanks are turned.

About Raymond – Woodturner since 1999. What started out as a simple hobby and born of necessity, he started turning table legs and other furniture to furnish his house, quickly became a passion for spending time at the lathe. He has sold pieces to collectors in over 25 countries on 6 continents.

Raymond has several woodturning articles published in Woodturning Design magazine. The first article is a tutorial on building a shop made pen squaring jig and can be found in issue # 37. The second article is on creating a pen made from a paperback book and is found in issue # 38. The third article is on making pens from pine cones. This was split into 3 separate issues #43, #44, and #45.

Vist Raymond at www.rizaydog.webs.com

Penturners Get No Respect by Kurt Hertzog

Please don’t shot the messenger and give Kurt a chance to explain. His article is a must read for unique perspective on this topic.


For many in the woodturning community, a penturner is often perceived as someone without sufficient skills to become a “real woodturner”. In their eyes, it is a form of turning that is best suited for an introduction into real woodturning….

Kurt does an excellent job of exploring why some woodturners may feel this way as well as sharing his view point on the topic. Personally, I think the point of “respect” is made loud and clear by the amount of attention pen turning receives in Woodturning Design magazine. Three articles specific to pen turning and at least 10 advertisers speaks for itself.

About Kurt – A professional woodturner, Kurt enjoys the continuum of woodturning from making his own turning tools to photographing his finished turnings. He is a frequent demonstrator and instructor on all facets of woodturning, he particularly enjoys teaching tool sharpening, workholding, and advanced penmaking.

Kurt writes two regular feature columns for Woodturning Design Magazine and a series for Woodturning Magazine. You can see the range of his work on www.kurthertzog.com, and on www.penmakersguild.com.

Denim Pen by Chris Rolke

Denim pen - Chris Rolke

Denim pen – Chris Rolke

Years back I made a pen using a commercially made denim blank. The results were nice but the blank was somewhat pricey. Using the technique described by Chris you can make your own denim blanks using old jeans at virtually no cost. This method should work with other fabrics as well. Hmm, I wonder what a tie-dye shirt would look like?

About Chris – For Chris, woodturning started out as something to try after inheriting a Craftsman round-tube lathe from his Grandfather. He later upgraded to his current lathe, a JET 1642 (that is a long way from a round-tube!!!) Most of his first pieces were segmented bowls using left over scraps from flat work. Chris started turning pen in 2004 as a side shot from turning bowls.

Pen turning gives me an instant gratification. Up until that point I was doing a lot of segmented work, so I had some scraps left around, but it was just a quicker thing to do when I felt like being creative. Some of my favorite materials to make pens from are things that will make someone guess what they are made from: deer antler, corncob, corian, trex decking material, etc.–Chris

Visit Chris at www.cjrdesigns.net

Other stuff of interest

Rolling Pin by Robert Staat

As a home chef myself, kitchen items from the shop interest me. This is an excellent article on how to make a rolling pin with sealed bearings.

Silver Wire Inlays by John Koch

In this article John provides details on how to add wire inlay pattern to a turned bowl. With some modifications in the techniques I believe this method could be applied to pen turning with stunning results. Definitely worth the read for some inspiration.

Shop Tips by Robert Gulley

Great tips on how to improve your experience in the shop. Worth the read.

Product Reviews – Interesting Items from SWAT, part 1 by Kurt Hertzog

Nice collection of products from August 2012 SWAT symposium in Waco, Texas. Two items in particular that caught my attention were the Shoe Covers by Kay–keeps wood chips out of your shoes (contact her at kayl99417@gmail.com), and the new dog series laser kits from Kallenshaan Woods.

Thanks for reading. Coming soon is review of August 2013 issue. Comments and feedback are welcome.

If you have made a pinecone pen or denim pen I would love to see photos of your work.

Happy turning,
Tim McGill

About the author /

Pen turner, pen designer, custom pen artist, writer, publisher, father, husband, avid book reader, office man, outdoorsman, handyman, runner....these are just a few of the things that define me.

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