Turning Pens for the Troops

Every year our local Woodcraft store sponsors the Turn for the Troops program on Veterans Day. The goal of the program, at least for me, is both providing pens that can be send to our soldiers and also teaching people to turn something that they didn’t think they could do when they came into the store.

This year I was the main teacher on Veterans Day and there were already some people there when I arrived. Woodcraft had set up all their lathes, provided all the pen kits and had prepared all the wooden pen blanks, ready to go.


© 2011 Ed Malesky - Future Assistant

This was my first student. He had never turned a pen before, but after he completed his first pen successfully, he asked if he could do another. By the time he finished his third pen, we had a lot of people wanting to turn, so I made him my assistant. He helped teach for a couple of hours, and even bought me lunch.

One thing that was a bit different this year was the number of young people that wanted to turn a pen.

© 2011 Ed Malesky - Father & daughter Team

Hannah was the first. I taught her and then she and her Dad worked on her first pen. Then he did one and they enjoyed it so much they bought some pen kits on there own and made a father and daughter pen set to take home.

© 2011 Ed Malesky – Happy Girl

I think this picture gives an indication of how proud she was of her efforts.

We also had a young brother and sister team. Since they were in a bit of a hurry I had one do the top of the pen and the other do the bottom.

© 2011 Ed Malesky - Brother & Sister

They too were pretty proud of their efforts. Both wrote a nice note to the service person who will receive the pen and wondered if Santa might bring them a lathe for Christmas.

© 2011 Ed Malesky - Pen Turning Team

Even my new assistant helped a father and son team complete their first pen.

© 2011 Ed Malesky - Glad for the help

Lots of smile and focus were the order of the day and we ended up with a good number of pens to send to our fighting men and women and in the process, might have turned on some folks to woodturning. It couldn’t have been a better day.


© 2011 Ed Malesky - Happy with his first pen


© 2011 Ed Malesky - Another pen down


© 2011 Ed Malesky - Sanding my pen





© 2011 Ed Malesky - That's concentration


© 2011 Ed Malesky - Turning with tunes








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