Kyle Makes a Pen and Pencil Set


“I played it cool today, as my dad heart was bursting with happiness! #fathersonworkshopproject” is how I described this day in my workshop on social media recently. I love doing a joint project with a young person and hopefully passing along a little knowledge and some passion for working with wood. When that young person was my son, Kyle, it made this afternoon very special for me. Our project was for Kyle to create an ebony and titanium pen and pencil set for his friend and colleague back in San Francisco.

With a little direction, I was impressed at how quickly Kyle gained the necessary skills to produce a beautiful pen and pencil set that he could pass on with pride. For an example, Kyle’s hands told him of a subtle error in the setup of the pen blanks on the lathe’s mandrel, an error that my eyes did not see. He brought it to my attention, we made an adjustment to the setup, and the blanks ran perfectly true. Kyle experienced another common fact of shop life, when he turned the second set of pen blanks in about half the time it took him to turn the first set. Like Mr. Franke, my favorite band director used to say, “Repetition makes reputation!”