A Beautiful Pen for a First Woodworking Project

Many woodworkers fondly recall their first woodworking project. For many woodworkers, that first project might have been a spice rack, a small toy, or a simple carving. Recently, one woman decided to share the story of her first woodworking project. You might be surprised to learn about the project. Do you know what it was? It was a simple pen.


Kristen Page-Kirby shared her experiences taking the “Introduction to Pen Making” class at the Woodworkers Club in Rockville, Maryland. She admitted in the class her only previous experience with woodworking involved haphazardly putting together furniture from IKEA. Thankfully, this was no problem at all. No previous experience was required at all in the class.


Page-Kirby started out using a lathe to spin a 6-inch square of wood. She quickly realized the problems associated with pushing the gouge too much or too little. After she demonstrated she could handle the lathe and gouge, she was given a piece of maple wood to create her pen. This is the point where woodworkers around the world can take heart. The author marvels at the ability of a pen to hide inside of a small block of maple. How many woodworkers have marveled at the same idea with countless other designs? Woodworkers see beautiful things hiding in wood, and it is a woodworker’s job to allow those items to be free.


After the rough block of maple was tamed into the shape of a pen, Page-Kirby applied varnish and completed the job. She admits to making a few errors here and there. Thankfully, her teacher was able to rescue her pen from any major disasters.


The author’s pride in the completed pen is large enough to make her consider making it her profile picture on Facebook. At the very least, she enjoys sharing her woodworking pen with everyone she meets. Also, she admits it’s a joy to write with something created by her own hands. Maybe we all should make pens!