Liars Club Contest - Entries and WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad


Jul 7, 2004
Ironton, Ohio, USA.

Note: All of the winners need to go to Andrew Jordan's profile and email him with:

1. Liars Club Contest in the title block of the email.
2. Your mailing address and
3. Phone number.(New requirement per Andrew as FedEx requires it for packages they carry.

I would like to remind each winner that the gift you will be receiving has been donated by a supporter of this forum. Please take a minute to email a note of appreciation when you receive your prize. Thanks.

We have the results of the Liars Club Contest.............and they are;

1st Place Winner is:
Philip Townsend

PRIZE: $100.00 gift certificate William Woodwrite

Wow I think I hit the fumes a little too hard last night. I fell asleep at
the desk while taking one last look at the IAP postings. Don't know if it
was the CA or the 3 alarm chili I had for dinner but I had the weirdest
dream ever. I was out in the shop finishing drilling out a blank of Rose
Wood burl I'd gotten from some guy with a forum name that always reminded me
of a Star Wars droid on my much treasured, platinum and gold filigreed,
titanium vise from PH designs when I heard a strange noise behind me. I
looked over my shoulder and somehow my little shop had grown enormously.
There was equipment and people everywhere.

There was a huge disembodied mustache waving a mug around yelling "the
states, the states you need to post the states." and some daffy dentist
yelling "copies we don't need no stinking copies" Some crazy rodent that
kept popping out of the trashcan with odd bits of trash mumbling about
princesses named Polly. An old guy in robes a fair way off in a field saying
in a haunting voice "Use the CA Luke." A sweet grandmotherly type with a
wooden head was loudly coursing out a gavel as it swung out of control on
her lathe. A couple of guys were passing among the crowd telling everyone
"Pictures we need pictures." and a couple more kept asking for tutorials.
Some guy named Jim parking a coupe de ville in the oak tree outside the
window, dodging an Eagle trying to peck his way in. There were two wild
debates going on over the relative merits of various paper towels and if the
BLO goes on before during or after the CA. I'm telling you I have a strict
no booze rule when the equipment is on in the shop. But I took a glance
towards my coffee mug just in case I had spilled a bottle of Bushmills into
it. It was full of wood and there was some guy in a barkers outfits waving
it around and yelling "Step right up folks you'll never see another one like
it The One- The Only. Mug O Blanks"

I was a bit surprised to find two grown men near the door talking in
acronyms that only a preteen girl could possible use so fluently. Not the
least bit peculiar was the band. A guy dressed in only a Texas flag was
waving a baton in the air vainly attempting to conduct a blues band from DC
while a company of riflemen tried in vain to fire a 1776 gun salute. The
noise should have been deafening but they were using pop guns and kept
loosing their corks to a bunch of crazy casters high on Alumilite and PR
fumes. There were some obvious cases of identity confusion. One was huddled
over a jacked up lathe muttering Firefyter, no EMT, no Firefyter, no EMT.
Sadly there was one guy looking all forlorn standing at a lectern in front
of a blackboard with Loosing 101 written on it. All the seats in his class
room were full of the most eclectic bunch you could ever imagine.

The really frightening part was that I felt no apprehension at all being
among these varied individuals. In fact I felt right at home as I stood
there with the fingers of my left hand CA'd together like a penguin's
flipper. It was like being at home for the holidays among family and
friends. So I turned to my bench and promptly cut myself on my freshly
sharpened mill. It was going to be a good day for playing in the shop.

2nd Place Winner is:

Ed Davidson

PRIZE: $25 gift certificate from Rockler

I was on a business trip to Juneau Alaska with my life-long good friend
George Bush, flying over the Andes at 145,000 feet, when all of a sudden,
the $1.49 Pelican ancient elephant tusk super-shank industrial strength
Slim-line I had been writing my Last Will and Testament with, blew up and
sent shrapnel all over the six-engine Cessna.

As the 4,600 fully-snockered and half-naked passengers panicked, I calmy
opened my suitcase and acquired my trusty auto-loading super-shooter cartage
rollerball and promptly put a round into the only crewmember who had a
parachute...Donald John Trump...yes Charlotte, it felt good, very good.

On my way back to earth, falling at the amazing rate of over 40 feet per
minute (nearly the speed of sound), as my flying companions cried like
little girls on the doomed Piedmont Air Tri-Plane, I decided to put pen to
paper and write an amendment to the USA Constitution, which as you know, was
made law last year...the 66th and a half amendment, stating that all pen
turners shall be granted tax-free status and shall never be bothered by
SHMBO's honey-do's, ever again.

And so it, and so it shall be.

3rd Place Winner is:

Andrew Jordan

PRIZE: sampler pack of 20 blanks Rob Curtis (BigRob777)

How a pirate named Seigmiller Harbisher created the first segmented pen.
The storm clouds of the night before had subsided sometime before the dawn, but in their place grew a thick, dense fog. The helmsman cursed the foggy veil that obscured the view before him; who knew what lurked in the gray beyond? The Jolly Roger fluttered weakly from its perch upon the mizzenmast – his empty smile hidden in the limp cowls of the flag.
Like many seamen, and most pirates, Captain Harbisher was a superstitious man. He stood on the forecastle of his stolen three-masted fighting ship, staring into the mist and hoping that the next ship to enter the bay would be his friend Henry, the Smuggler Lord of Penzance.
The Albatross had been a Spanish treasure galleon in one life, but had been resurrected as a pirate ship. Captain Seigmiller Harbisher had captured the Albatross from the Spaniards off the coast of Tortuga a month past, and, through heavy plundering of the Spanish Main, had earned a tidy fortune for his crew in the time since. The Spanish, however, had caught wind of his treachery, and had sent a fleet of ships to send Harbisher to the bottom of Davy Jones' locker! Harbisher had escaped by the skin of his teeth a few times before, but his luck could only last so long. Green timbers and thick tar showed the hasty repairs from some of his close calls. But there was fortune to be made!
The treasure on the ship was precious, and rare! Three tons of copper, the same of gold, a few cages of trained messenger parrots stolen from a rainforest village, and a vast store of octopi, captured from the depths of the sea and salted in brine. The salt-cured octopus could not last very long, so Harbisher had to unload his cargo quickly. Nonetheless, he could not escape through the blockade the Spaniards had likely made on the route between him and Tortuga harbor.
Two days before, Harbisher had used quill and ink to send a message to his contact in Tortuga. The message was carried by one of the trained parrots, who were bred by the Mayans for just this purpose. Having sent the bird, Harbisher could only wait and hope that it was not intercepted.
Harbisher was not one to carry a parrot on his shoulder, as was the latest style on the runways of Tortuga, as he was deathly afraid of talking birds. He knew that the men talked about this behind his back, and that was the real reason he got the parrots from that village…he would go down in the hold from time to time, before the crew woke up from their slumber, and practice having the bird sit on his shoulder.
It was during one of these early-morning training sessions that a cannonball barrage hit the Albatross. One canon ball hit a small cask of musket powder, and an explosion shook the hold of the ship. Harbisher was dazed, but quickly shook some sense back into himself. The Spanish had found him! His only chance was to send a message to his pirate friends, and hope that they were close enough to save him.
Harbisher looked around the hold, but all was in disarray. The parrots were vaporized, save the one on his shoulder. He couldn't pluck a writing quill from that parrot, as it needed all its feathers to fly!
The cargo had been decimated by the explosion. The gold and copper had fused together into a rose-coloured substance that now peppered the walls. He looked around frantically for something with which to write! In one of the green timbers, he saw the nib of a feather, stuck in the tar that held the unseasoned wood to the seasoned timbers. He took his trusty cutlass, pried at the wood, and with a resounding CRACK, the nib came free. With it came the wood and rose gold, forming the first segmented pen.
Like all first pens, Harbisher's was crude at best, but it wrote nicely, and he found that the tar-joined woods fit his hands much nicer than did the tail feather of a parrot. Dipping the nib in some octopus goo, he wrote a hasty note and sent the parrot off of his shoulder, and out of the hole made by the cannon ball, desperately hoping that he was not too late!

No-one knows if Harbisher survived the wreckage of the Albatross, but the pen was found on shore by Spanish privateers who were plundering the ship. It was named a Seigmiller pen, in honour of Harbisher's first (and unfortunate) name. Over time, as our languages evolved, Seigmiller pen became Segmented pen, and the rest is history!

The rest of the Entries (in no certain order):

Name: Bobb Milligan
Screen Name: Ozzy

I do a lot of memento pens, a pen made from a grandfather's cane or a piece from a grandmother's rocking chair or anything else that has some sentimental value to someone. Anyways, last year a women contacted me about making two for her and she said that she had to show me what she wanted me to make the pen out of. When we met, she had what looked like a laundry bag and I could not make out what was in it but I could tell it was fairly odd shaped. She told me that this was going to seem really weird but she wanted two pens made out of, and as she said "this", she pulled a prosthetic leg out of the bag. She said that they were no longer together and this would help her to remember. I told her I would have them ready in about two weeks.
When she came to pick up her pens, I presented them to her and told her that I was sorry for her loss. With some what of a confused look on her face, she told me that he was not dead; they were getting divorced. She had walked in on him and her best friend in their bed, she was so mad that when she left she took his leg. They were going to court to finalize the divorce in a couple of weeks. The divorce decree said that they had to split everything 50/50 and she said that at least this way he could use his half of the leg.

Daniel Yourdon

I recently decided to take a hike up a nearby mountain, following a
fairly heavy snow fall. Not being a hunter it did not cross my mind
that deer hunting season was in full swing. About an hour into my walk
I was nearing the crest of a ridge when I was startled my the crack of
a rifle off to my left. At the same moment a growth of shrubs seemed
to explode right in front of me. A buck deer bolted past me so fast I
don?t even think it noticed me. Once I pulled myself together from the
double shock, I realized that a hunter must have been taking a shot at
a deer and very well could have shot me. I looked around and saw the
hunter making his way up the hill as fast as he could. Obviously
frightened, having noticed my presence only after having taken his
shot. I assured him I was OK. once he reached me, he could not help
but apologize repeatedly.
Once every one got settled down he mentioned that he was sure he
had hit the Buck although there was no sign of any kind that it had
been injured. I helped him search the brush for any sign of blood or
any indication that the deer had actually been shot. Eventually I
spotted something dangling in the limbs of one of the bushes. It was
a small portion of one of the bucks antlers. Snapped off quite cleanly
with a hole straight down it?s center as if it had been drilled for a
brass tube. I mentioned this to the hunter who had no idea what I was
talking about. I explained that I made writing pens and that this
piece of antler was cored as neatly as if it had been done on purpose.
Amazed himself that something like that could happen on accident, he
asked if I would try to make a pen from it as a memento of his most
amazing hunting memories. Considering that he had just nearly killed
me he was very generous in his offer of payment. I actually doubted
that the hole would be the correct size for any brass tube, but took
his phone number just in case.
As I started walking back home, I noticed the tracks from the
buck across the slope in front of me. Since the tracks where headed in
the direction I was going, I thought it would do no harm to engage in
a bit of tracking. Following the tracks for about 15 minutes I was
once again surprised that day. Laying right out in the open as if it
was asleep, was the buck, clearly with a chunk of antler missing. I
suspect the blow to the head that was hard enough to snap it?s antler
must have finally over come it and it fell unconscious where it was
now. Although I know that deer can be dangerous. My curiosity got the
better of me. I slowly approached until I was close enough to actually
reach out and touch the animal. It was obviously breathing and I
thought it was in no immediate danger. I was considering sticking
around at a safe distance, Until it woke, just to make sure it was OK,
when I notice something at the very end of the broken antler. Moving
even closer I realized it was the bullet the hunter had shot. Taking
out my pocket knife I was able to remove the bullet, amazingly it was
in one piece and actually in quite good shape. I noticed the deer was
beginning to move a bit and decided I had better put some distance
between it an myself. As I continued on my way, I started thinking to
myself. Wow I now have the piece of antler, the bullet that made the
hole through it, and with such unbelievable things happening, did I
think I could actually return to where I first saw the hunter take his
shot and find the casing the bullet came from. I decided my luck that
day would warrant at least an attempt. I went back to where I thought
the hunter had been at the time I had heard the shot. In the fresh
snow it was easy to locate where the hunter had been standing, and
nearly as easy to find the casing. Wow what a combination. This would
surly make the most unique pen ever made.
long story short I did manage to make a pen with the casing as the
upper barrel. Deer antler for the lower barrel, (Amazingly the brass
tube to an Americana fountain pen fit perfectly) and the bullet as the
nib. Bullet leaves casing goes through antler (get it) stop action
photo. I contacted the hunter and told that I did in fact make a pen
from the antler as well as the rest of the parts I found. I told him
that it was unlikely he could actually afford what such a one of a
kind pen was worth. He agreed and I currently am searching for a place
to list the pen for sale. So far my sources value the pen at 250 to
300 thousand dollars. I am currently looking for a good deal on some
ocean front property.

John kaner

I don't lie, but I'll try...

I work for "You Poop, We Pump". Come winter we had pumped most of our customers tanks several times. Normally, we only pump out once per year. What with the E Coli outbreaks and the Asian Flu and the Water Well infestations of Gardia, folks were just plain going more and this affected my pen turning.

I was pumping out this ladies tank and she didn't have a pen to sign the Master Card Form. That's right, Cash, Master or Visa. Seeing my pen, she asked where I bought it? I proudly told her I was a pen turner. Do I sell pens? Why yes I do. How much for this one, $55.00. She was impressed and told me she was the Vice President of Employee Enhancement for British Petroleum. Could I possibly have 2500 pens available in 3 months? I told her I needed to order kits. She asked me if $50,000 would cover my expenses? I told her it would and we agreed to meet at the bank.

I called all the pen suppliers and included rush delivery. The next day the parts were there, I called Lynn, he's my boss, (parents must have hated him) and told him I had the Flu bad and was not to work.
I then called the Boy Scout recall roster, I'm Scout Master, and we met at the Old Folks Home. I had assisted in setting up a wood shop. With 24 Scouts and 20 Old Timers, we ripped Alaskan Birch and cut, drilled, glued up 800 blanks that Saturday and Sunday. Every day after school and holidays too, we worked on those pens.

Finally, two months later, the last pen was assembled and ready to be delivered. I went to BP and found that Ronda had been fired. She had embezzled $1.5 Million! They knew nothing about the pens!

I went down to my Van where I had dozens of boxes of pens. The Van was gone! When the police found the van, it was empty. No boxes of pens, seats, tape deck, wheels, spare tire, jack, lug wrench. Under the hood found no battery, alternator or starter. Parts are ready cash.
GEICO refused to pay, no evidence of break in, therefore, the keys must have been in the vehicle with the doors unlocked.

With the $20,000 remaining, I gave $5000.00 to the Old Folks Home and New Uniforms and Tents for the Scouts. Old tents were so repaired, there was no original fabric. So, Monday back to poop pumping. Told Lynn about an idea for pet owners. Pets poop, we scoop! Lynn told me a guy had come by selling pens like mine, said they were a steal at $25.00 each....

Jon Piper

I have created the most original pen ever! Biro would be shocked at the advancement in function and design, Skiprat would be amazed at the craftsmanship, BTBoone would be shocked at the design elements fusing metal, wood and acrylic in one stunning pen. The stained glass inlays are astounding! The basis for the components comes from scouring the archives for every designer’s best work, casting my own parts from only the best precious metals. I am even willing to post a photo here, try to copy if you like, I don’t think any here can even get close to my workmanship, see for yourself…

Les Smith

-Begin Now-

I was going to keep this a secret until I was finished, but I decided to share it for this contest. All of this is completely true, but we’ll assume it’s a lie for the sake of the competition.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />
I’ve been working on a pen that when finished I will submit to the Guinness World Record officials. I hope I will be able to capture the World Record for creating a pen with the most CA finish layers while still being completely clear. I’ve been working on this pen for a year and a half now and I’ve successfully applied TWO FREAKING layers. What the heck is going on. COME ON, I’m pulling my hair out here. No, literally. I keep gluing my fingers to my hair because I’m scratching my head as to why this stuff keeps clouding up. And now my next door neighbor thinks I’m a sissy. Yeah that’s right. He comes over when I’m putting on a nice thick layer of CA and the fumes have my eyes tearing up like I’m a three year old that just lost his mommy. And to top it off, I have to live with the fact that I pawned my best lawn ornament in order to buy a truck load of CA glue. I look at my work bench and I’ve got 213 bottles of CA left and I pray this stuff doesn’t go bad with age. Does it? Oh man, this is going down hill quick. Oh well, Wish me luck

Mark Elmer

"What would you like for your birthday? SWMBO asked. "I've wanted a subscription to Beautiful Pens magazine so I can get some good ideas on pen designs" I replied.

Well a few weeks later here came the first issue filled with all kinds of beautiful pens and pen accessories from around the world. I poured over each article making the every effort to absorb as much inspiration as I could. And then I turned my attention to my shop. Looking at each piece of wood with my "new eyes" seeing beyond the surface of each wood blank. Imagining what lay inside waiting for my vision to reveal it.

Now if you were to visit my shop you would find it clean and neatly organized and full of all kinds of exotic materials that I continue to discover with my "new eyes". Materials that before I never even considered having potential for making pens. I feel as if I am channeling Thomas Edison, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

What a wonderful new life. Thank you Beautiful Pen magazine and SWMBO. I owe it all to you.

Micah R,

Most are likely not aware that the International Association of Penturners (IAP) is under the subtle and surreptitious rule of the one and only Hello – that’s me, by the way. As the prodigal prince of penturning I easily pierce the prohibitions of probable physics with previously unknown precision. I’ve recruited the efforts of the worlds greatest scientists to modify the physical characteristics of the diamond. As we all know, diamond is the hardest substance on earth and must be cleaved for the most beautiful visual effect. My power as soul influence of the IAP has come to benefit us all. I’ve encouraged the greatest minds on the planet to devise a diamond that can be turned on a lathe! The 4 C’s still apply. On their perfectly smooth, glass-like round surfaces, one can see brilliant color and clarity. They’re each designed to have an internal structure that resembles any of the currently available diamond cuts one might choose. Each blank is sold by carat weight (at a highly reduced price for IAP members). Best of all, I’m giving everyone a bland from the geode I harvested from Melogics’ backyard!

Michael Hinshaw

Outside the Box
After a poor night of solid sleep, (“sawing logs†as my wife declares), I awoke to a bright overcast day with the urge to follow the crowd and turn a pen that was very different. The presenter at our last turners club meeting had said “When you look at a piece of wood, try to think of what it can become-Think outside the boxâ€. All the natural edge bowls he had on display looked alike but I chalked that up to a freak coincidence. Anyway, whether it was from a dream or just pure genius creative inspiration I was thinking why not take a round piece of wood and make a square pen. Now that would be Different and maybe I could market it with the slant that it wouldn't roll off your workbench. How to tackle this feat I had no idea so I started to brainstorm my procedure (this would not be an easy task).
After taking my teeth, brushing my shower, and getting dressed, I headed upstairs to my basement workshop and looked for the perfect piece of wood. “Hmmm, something round but not too round, it'll have to be squareable “ I thought. I spotted a piece of spotted maple in the corner thinking “If that wasn't so spalted maybe I would never have seen itâ€. Then I got down on my hands & knees under my lathe and started pulling out chunks from amongst the shavings, (would you believe I found 18 bushings and a skew chisel and 3 knurl nuts while I was down there?) but most of these blow-outs I mean chunks were too small for this project. I bumped my noggin on the lathe as I was trying to get up and as I was shaking my head, there it was-it caught the corner of my eye-a piece of Boxwood, laying beside the microwave. “How perfect is that for a square

pen?†I thought. I remembered the joy I'd had cutting down this old boxwood and twenty-some other overgrown shrubs that weren't so scratch-friendly on that sweltering August day in the 99 degree 99% humiditiddity weather. That chainsaw was having a bad day which really gave me an excuse to put it out of it's misery. I still find pieces of that old “pieceofhachi†scattered around, in the trees, on the house, across the street, etc.from time to time. but enough about that little anger problem, back to my story.
I took that rounded piece of boxwood over to my mortising machine and made a hole right down the length of it. The hole wasn't round enough so I filed on it a while with my rats-tail file and it looked “betterâ€so I repeated this on the second piece of boxwood and it looked just as bad. It took a lot (I mean a Whole bunch) of epoxy but I finally got the tubes glued in and was ready to make the blanks square. I thought this should be done on the lathe since I'm a wood TURNer, so I mounted them on my mandrel and put it on the lathe. I brought the tailstock up tight against the mandrel and tightened it down. Then I got out the portable planer (which I had bought to plane down some portables but then realized I didn't have a permanent place for my portables so never did plane them down.)
I locked the indexing jig in on the first notch and turned on the planer to take a cut off the top of the rounded boxwood blanks. I must have started a bit too soon and stopped a bit too late with that first pass because I noticed that the top half of the knurl nut and the indexing knob were gone right after that. “So that's what all that noise was†I thought to myself. Well, now I have an indexing kNUB and an easy to tighten knurl nut.

Things always work out, don't they? I turned this flat side ninety degrees and replaned and repeated this until I had a pair of pretty square square blanks. I was looking for the perfect finish for this pen and thought “I've almost got it LICKED†so decided to put some TUNG oil on them (it took real nice to the epoxy and the boxwood). Now I had a problem with the rounded metal parts matching the square wood. To remedy this, I got out my two pound hammer and laid them on my piano bench vise and two-pounded them into shape. The plating on that kit wasn't the best, but my hammer and the top of my vise have a nice shine to them now. The pen came out great. It is different. The alignment between the two haves is easy to mate-just rotate 90 degrees. All in all it was a good experience thinking outside the box with my pen turning. I must warn those considering it however it can be really hard on your tools and equipment, also it can be really dangerous and possibly discouraging, so I'd suggest wearing your rose colored safety glasses. By the way, I made a round box ON which to display this square pen and can't wait for someone to ask me how to get it in the box!

Mike Spence
(Mikes Pens)

I am not one to lie. I was brought up in a house where lying did not go unpunished. The first book my mom read to me was Pinocchio. That story frightened me. I did not want my nose to grow as big as Pinocchio’s. Of course, I would love to run into that wooden puppet as I could make many a fine pen out of him. Why his nose alone would make the most sensational pen in the world. Think of it, a pen that grew every time you lied. Imagine the uses of that fine writing instrument. Anyways, on with my tale of woe!

I was down in my workshop back in 2005 when I got this incredible idea for a new and spectacular pen blank. It was going to be sensational! The idea danced through my brain like ribbons of shavings coming off the lathe while turning wet wood. This was going to be the best idea since Jeff and Scott came up with the spandex turning smocks back in 2004. It was going to be a world beater. I decided to call it Pentarsea. Why Pentarsea you ask? Great question - to which I will share the answer at some other point in time. I worked hard in the shop. I slaved over that blank. Hours turned into weeks which soon turned into months. Wood laminates were glued to my fingers not to mention my forehead. How long had I been in the shop working on that blank? Well, the dog hadn’t been fed in so long that it was a mere skeleton of itself. My wife thought I had died so she remarried. Bush had found Sadam Hussein and gave him a rope neck tie (hey, that is a good idea - a pen made out of string!). Finally, the blank was done. I was so excited! I told my friend Hawk about it. I had met Hawk on the MPG and he seemed like a pleasant enough fellow. He respected my work and never had anything but a kind word to say about anyone. Well, Hawk asked me if I could send it to him so he could have a close look at it. I was naive (notice I didn’t use the double dot over the “i†in naive like Cav does - is that wrong?). Next thing I knew, he turned my gorgeous blank on his lathe and posted it on the IAP site staking claim to it. I was furious! I was angry! I was out of my Pentarsea blank and no one would believe I made it. I called up the Hawk to chew him out. He got mad. He got very mad! He called me all sorts of names. I decided to let it go. I am after all, a benevolent person (plus, he is one big bugger). I had never known him to get mad. I had heard stories about how he had circumcised a bunch of gnats with his skew chisel and used them in one of his blanks. Ah, the gnat blank. That was almost as nasty as the pickle pen. I am a person who has had a lot go wrong in my life so what was one more thing. What’s gone wrong in my life you ask? I remember when a girl handcuffed me to a bed (in my underwear). Uh, forget that story. Okay, there was the time I went swimming and the water was cold and there was significant shrinkage. Yeh, we better let that story go also since this is a public forum. Well, there was the marble rye incident with the fishing pole. No, you wouldn’t believe that. Lets face it, the story of the Pentarsea pen would just be just another tale of woe in my sad and sorry life as a stocky, slow-witted bald man. I wonder what ever happened to that blank that the Hawk turned into a pen?

Paul Sabourin

My story concerns one of the first pens I made. I needed some advice from the board but was too shy to ask my questions. Doc Stram told me not to get down on myself, and have the confidence to find out what I need. He told me nobody was out to get me and everyone on the board always treated him with the utmost respect. He then sent me to Ed Brown. He said Ed is very shy about giving his opinion, but he would talk to him, and try to get Ed to come out of his shell. Ed was very quiet and it was very hard to get Ed to give an opinion. He finally told me I should make my first pen out of wood. He said don't bother with "plastics." He said real men made wood pens and referred me to Steve Roberts for help. He assured me Steve enjoys sharing his ideas, and would look forward to helping me. So I contacted Steve who gave me so many ideas I didn't know where to start. He sent me at least 100 pictures of his work and told me to feel free copying any of his pens.
I was so proud of my first pen, but not knowing much about computers I didn't know how to post my picture. I was told to ask Cav as he was very knowledgeable. So here it is guys my first pen!!!!!!!!!

Paul Sherman

I’ve had a very long career in penturning which I would like to recount for your reading pleasure. I began turning while I was quite young. Pen kits had not been invented yet. Matter of fact, neither were ball point pens or fountain pens. The pens we made were dip pens, created exclusively for the ‘well to do’ society.
Turning was very tedious back then because of the lathes that were in existence.
The spindle of these lathes was turned by a long pole acting as a spring. A
treadle was pumped by the lathe operator to rotate the pole. This design
produced a back and forth rotation of the spindle. Thus, cutting could only be
achieved for a small portion of the time, when the spindle had come up to speed
in the forward direction. It took a long time to complete a pen and required a
great deal of balance, strength and energy to power the treadle while turning
the blank at the same time.

I got tired of being tired at the end of every day so I used my superior mind to
invent a better lathe. The spindle of this new lathe was turned, always in the
forward direction, by a large flywheel. A crank handle was connected to the
flywheel by a set of gears. Several helpers, only one at a time, turned the
handle to provide power. This allowed the lathe operator to firmly plant his
feet on the ground and concentrate on the turning without having to provide
power. Productivity greatly increased since the lathe now turned in the forward
direction continuously and the turner could work for longer hours. The helpers,
however, did not fair so well. They tired quickly, so many were needed.
Fortunately poverty levels were high so there was an abundant supply of laborers

With the coming of the industrial age, there was an increased demand for pens.
To satisfy this need, I designed and built the first pen manufacturing plant. A
water wheel was used to provide power to several dozens of lathes packed in
rows. Since the laborers were no longer needed, only the turners needed to be
paid. This greatly reduced costs so that even the average citizen could afford
to own a pen. This led to an increase in the educational level of the people.
They began to learn, think, and invent.

Then along comes Edison with his electricity generators and motors. At first
they were very expensive and did not have any affect on my business. But, all
things must come to an end. In time the electricity and motors became an
economical alternative to water power. This began the eventual decline of my
business. I was forced to retire because I could not keep up with the new mass
production manufacturing plants. However, with the new pen kits and electric
lathes, I can still produce pens on a smaller scale even though I don’t have the
strength and stamina I once did. With my failing eyesight, I wonder how long I
can keep this up. Someday I will have to totally give up penturning. That is the
day that my life will end, because I could not live without being able to make

Richard Anthony

We all know pen turning is an exacting discipline which requires fore thought followed by step by step quality control to achieve pen perfection. Yet in the end, most will admire the natural beauty never realizing the precision and dedication needed to achieve a fine writing instrument. This lack of understanding doesn't bother the pen turner. The journey, so to speak, is more important than the destination, or as Einstein said, "God is in the details". It may surprise you then, when I tell you that my most prized pen came about, let's see, how should I put it; by throwing caution to the wind.

It was my junior year at university, and after a week of all-nighters followed by exams, my roommate and I decided it was time for a road trip. It was just after midnight, and we figured if we drove all night, stopping only for gas and snickers bars, we could make the largest outdoor party in the world known as the annual Georgia/Florida football game. With the top down to my Triumph Spitfire and Georgia bulldog flag proudly hung from the antennae on the rear fender, we made it across the Florida border into Tallahassee in record time. It wasn't until after we had stopped for breakfast once the sun came up, that I noticed my Bulldog flag had been ripped away from it's shaft. I'm a trusting sort, so I refused to believe some unscrupulous Floridian had desecrated my flag while we were pit stopped. I guessed it must have blown off during the night. The rest of this story is also a guess, but there can be no denying the end result.

You have to understand, what was left of the flag was merely a small hollow brass tube with a bit of red cloth attached. How it happened I can't say for sure, because I didn't discover it until we had made it home, but there on my antennae was the most incredible pen blank I had ever set my eyes on. They have a saying in Florida which goes something like, "if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change". This must have contributed the condition of the brass tube with a bit of red cloth as it spun or I should say turned in the wind during the journey. Like a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly, the elements of rain, sand and sea salt honed the frayed edges silky smooth. The bits of black fleck must have come from our experience with Florida's famous love bugs. They arrive each year like clock work and coat everything in their path. I don't recommend sticking your head out the window to feel the breeze on your face, nor smiling while sticking your head out the window to feel the breeze in your face. I hear the car wash people look forward to the love bug invasion which also must have contributed to the making of my pen as I choose the high luster hot wax option each time through the auto wash.

It was a simple matter removing the masterpiece from the mandrel, erm, antennae, then cutting the tube in half and pressing in the black titanium slimline fittings into what has become my daily writer which I named the Red Barron. You might doubt my story, but don't doubt me when I tell you, nature will find a way.

Scott King
(Blind Squirrel)

It was a dark and stormy night...suddenly a shot rang out! I was standing inside my garage turning yet another masterpice of a pen when I heard the shot.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />
I bolstered up my courage by taking another swig of my moonshine (I always drink when turning pens; it makes me more creative) and glanced outside. Since there was no one to be seen I decided to take a look around.

After a "through" search (sneaking from bush to bush) the only thing I found was a spent .30-06 rifle casing. I picked it up and thought to myself “this sure would make a good pen.â€

And that is how I invented the rifle cartridge pen.

I would like to thank everyone for all of the entries. This was a tough decision, but the judges did a wonderful job.
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad


Dec 22, 2006
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Wow! I've often been told that I'm full of BS but this is the first time it has actually paid off! I feel really honored as I was hoping for an honorable mention at best knowing the competition would be tough. From what I've seen so far pen turners hold a close second to fishermen in the veracity department. Thank you to Melogic and his judges for having that second drink before deciding on the winner. A great BIG thanks To William Woodwrite for such a generous prize. I would also like to thank... What? You need me to get away from the podium but I'm just getting started..


Feb 16, 2006
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to write your entries. We're enjoying ourselves as we read the tales. Not only are the stories creative, but they are well written. One or two of them are exceptional pieces of literary work. Great job!!


Sep 30, 2006
Congatulations to you winners and other great story tellers. I am glad I wasn't a judge for this one.
Top Bottom