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Thread: Advanced Pen Turning Class

  1. #1

    Advanced Pen Turning Class


    This weekend I taught an advanced pen turning class at the Lee Valley Burlington store. The class was a Friday evening/all day Saturday class. The intent of the class was to allow the students a chance to turn pen kits and materials that were new to them. The class was full, 7 students with a variety of experience from never turning a pen, to turning a few, to one student who had 40 pens under his belt.

    On Friday evening I went through a discussion on pen design, hardware and material option, discussing what works and what can be added to a design to compliment the look of a pen. We then shared our thoughts and ideas on making a custom pen that went beyond the control of the hardware. I turned two pens Friday night to show both options to the class of what we would do on Saturday.

    Saturday morning we turned an El Grande pen, a new challenge for every one, a capped pen with an acrylic pen body, one student chose a stabilized maple.

    In the afternoon we turned our custom pens, I turned two pens at the lunch break to illustrate the opportunities for a custom pen, one of the popular ones being a design made famous by Ed Davidson (Yoyo Spin). Ed is known for a large twist pen design that uses rubber plumbing O Rings for a finger grip and it was the most popular choice. One student made a slim line pen following along the lines of a picture I shared of one of Russ Fairfield’s pens, she used a desert iron wood.

    Again it was a bust day yesterday, finding many opportunities for teaching moments and utilizing a lot of opportunities to demonstrate some of my learnt repair methods. The students were great, all very patient and helpful.

    I drove home pretty happy with my reflections of the days events and the class, sat down on the family room chesterfield and enjoyed an evening watching hockey and knowing that all went well.

    Teaching a skill you enjoy is a great opportunity to not only spend some time working with and meeting new people but it is also a way to allow others to feel they have accomplished something special….the best feed back I could hear in the class was that several students were going to go out and buy a lathe and get more involved…That feeling is priceless.

    My Thanks to the staff at the Burlington Lee Valley store, special thanks to Syl.
    Take care,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    I've taken a few classes similar to this. I always appreciated the time the instructor took out of his schedule to teach. It's nice to hear that the instructors are having as much fun as the students!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Goodland, Kansas
    Yep looks like everyone had fun and most of all looks like they learned something. Nice looking pens.

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Doing a thing is usually fun but sharing it is really satisfying in its own unique way. Looks like you all had a good experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Roanoke, Illinois
    You should be ashamed of yourself. Sucking those poor people into the vortex.

  6. #6
    Jim, very nice pens, good looking students, and thanks for those like you that take the time to push those like me into the spinning vortex!
    Question, do you glue the rubber o rings onto the nib? Any problems of the glue disintegrating the o ring? Thanks in advance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    While I'm not a student of yours Jim....I'd like to thank you and others like you for teaching others the skills and methods!

    Nice pens and group of students.

  8. #8
    Thanks Guys...

    It really is a pleasure to teach, even more to see the excitment in the eyes of a student when they complete their pena nd the moment they realize it's theirs...That is a great feeling for both of us.

    Terry....shhhhhhhhhhhhh ....yeah, I tried to quite making them 5 years ago, that's about 1400 pens!!
    Last edited by Jim Shaver, Oakville Ont; 02-12-2007 at 9:16 AM.
    Take care,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Brentwood & Altamont, TN
    Hi Jim,

    Looks like it was a great class. I like penturning as a first lathe project for newbees, my daughter turned her first pen when she was 7.

    I see that your class was using the new General Maxi Lathes. What are your thoughts on this lathe?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    decatur, ga
    Must be a darn good instructor! Those students turned out some sweet pens.

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