My daughter is now a pen turner...

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Project by jbswearingen posted 591 days ago 1484 views 1 time favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Emma has been bugging me for months to use my lathe, but understood that I wanted to wait until she was 10 (she will be in July). This weekend I gave in and figured we’d give it a try. Afterwards I realized she needs her hair tied back; it’ll be done next time. She was a bit nervous at first, especially as I repeated the dangers and what not to do over and over. She warmed up to it quickly and loves it. She turned another pen the next day (yesterday) and has already wrapped them as Christmas gifts for her mother and a favored teacher.

Looks like we’ll be making a new pen each weekend for a good long time to come! She’s hooked.

This is a simple Slimline in bocote.

-- Semper fi, Brad

27 comments so far

View sb194's profile (online now)


175 posts in 1623 days

#1 posted 591 days ago

Nothing better than getting the kids into the shop.


View Dubb's profile


76 posts in 597 days

#2 posted 591 days ago

Thats is awesome. Keep up the good work DAD.

-- Dubb , WV

View luv2learn's profile


1646 posts in 907 days

#3 posted 591 days ago

That is totally awesome Dad. You trained her and then had enough confidence in her skills to let her go. Congratulations to your daughter as well, she turned a awesome looking pen.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Marcus's profile


1041 posts in 624 days

#4 posted 591 days ago

I love seeing kids get involved with constructive work like this. She has some great pieces she can be proud of right now and a skill to take w/ her the rest of her life. Great job to both of you.

View woodshaver's profile


2739 posts in 1957 days

#5 posted 591 days ago

I love seeing the younsters in the shop learning and building. Teach them all the safty stuff too like keeping your hair in a hat or away from anyting moving! I could name a ton of things here I’m sure you have told her all this!
I see she had her safty glasses on!!!
And she has made a very nice pen! Good job!

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

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Monte Pittman

13367 posts in 942 days

#6 posted 591 days ago

Thank you for getting your daughter involved. You’ll love it and society will be better as well.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View blackcherry's profile


3148 posts in 2427 days

#7 posted 591 days ago

So cool to see maybe another woodworking star in the making, nice work on the pen as well…BC

View a1Jim's profile


112001 posts in 2181 days

#8 posted 591 days ago

Isn’t that great,I love to see folks spending time together with kids in the shop.

-- Custom furniture

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 780 days

#9 posted 591 days ago

Consider that an awesome bonding time !!! Great for the both of you.

View stefang's profile


12604 posts in 1938 days

#10 posted 591 days ago

Your daughter did a great job on that pen. You might find it difficult to get lathe time in the future! A wonderful way to share time with your kids. I also found your lathe very interesting. It looks like a very good quality and pretty beefy. Is it old?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jbswearingen's profile


87 posts in 764 days

#11 posted 591 days ago

It’s not new, but not really old. It’s a 1971 Delta Rockwell 46-201 that I found on Craigslist three years ago. It has a 3 phase motor, so I put a VFD on it. As it was, its lowest speed was ~915 rpm, high speed ~3k rpm. With the VFD, I can dial down the speed all the way to 0 rpm. It’s great when turning large, heavy blanks; I can spin it at around 200 rpm—just fast enough to cut the blank, but slow enough that the lathe doesn’t try dancing across the floor. It’s currently bolted to the floor, but I’ll eventually build a better stand for it and put a 1.5hp motor on it.

-- Semper fi, Brad

View BTimmons's profile


2078 posts in 1089 days

#12 posted 591 days ago

You must be really proud! My little girl is almost three. Too young to include during shop time, but she’s eager to “help” with anything I do at this stage. She knows what a hammer is for since she saw me work on my parents’ shed. She calls it a “tap tap”.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1719 days

#13 posted 591 days ago

your daughter did a great job :-)
so did you now your can relax a little on the honey to do list
and make a father to do list she can make … lol


View Hawaiilad's profile


1877 posts in 1625 days

#14 posted 591 days ago

Brad I love to see posts like yours. With so many schools not able to afford to teach youngsters to work in a wood shop, it’s up to people like us to teach them. I have worked with lots of kids showing them how to run a scroll saw.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View ohwoodeye's profile


998 posts in 1757 days

#15 posted 591 days ago

She did an awesome job on the pen. Yes definately… tied back and short sleeves.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

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