Pen #40 - OR - "The Circus Act"

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 08-12-2019 07:28 AM 1394 views 3 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday, I was thinking about making a segmented pen, inspired as I was, by a guy named Gabe. Yesterday, it was a dream. Yesterday, by the bye, after almost sixteen-thousand trips logged, something entirely new happened. Now, as of yesterday, if anyone asks me, “Can you tell me how to get – how to get – to Sesame Street?,” I can say, “Yes, I can.” Here’s the proof:

Today, I woke up, much to my surprise, having intended to take the day off and make something. I repaired to the Dungeon at about 10:30, and began preparing a sled with which to cut small parts. That took far longer than I thought it should have, and I got hungry. I cooked myownbadself some breakfast, and ate it, forthwith. (No photos.)

Then, I began cutting the small parts aforementioned. Many, many small parts. There are 84 pieces of wood in this pen. That’s a lot of parts. It’s been a really long time since I’ve spent that much time leaning over my table saw. My back is wasted, now. (No photos.)

Then, I began gluing and cutting and sanding, gluing and cutting and sanding, gluing and cutting and sanding, gluing and cutting and sanding,gluing and cutting and sanding… This went on for some time. VOD came out and said, “It’s 6:00. Are we gonna go eat?” “Yeah. When I’m done putting this together. I’m almost done, now.”

Forty-five minutes later, I was done gluing, cutting and sanding…

and the voice spake:

You should drill and insert the tubes now, so after dinner, they’ll be well-cured, and ready to turn.

And, so I shall.

I mounted the upper tube in the jaws.

And, before the drill got 1/8” into it…

The piece that is called a “scallop” landed, gently on the floor. I glued it back on, and took VOD to dinner, by way of the liquor store, where VOD does his Lottery ticket shopping. That’s where this happened:

The plane jumped over the moon.

Then, when we got to where we were going for dinner, I spied this with my little eye:

And a few steps away, this:

After dinner, I continued with this pen. It case you forgot, this is what it looks like:

I made two blanks. So there’s another on the way. I expect it to be even more impressive. Golly. I could not be more uppity about this one. Sycamore, Purpleheart, and Maple, those 84 pieces. It’s a Pioneer model. Smooth as a baby’s butt, and shiny a the morning star, it is.

This is what Mr. Beethoven looked like when he was getting his mojo on:

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

21 comments so far

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3354 days

#1 posted 08-12-2019 09:44 AM

Never seen such an elegant Slime Line pen! Outstanding thanks for sharing.

-- Bill

View Ivan's profile


16967 posts in 4087 days

#2 posted 08-12-2019 10:49 AM

This one looks great!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View leafherder's profile


1986 posts in 3172 days

#3 posted 08-12-2019 11:49 AM

Oh, Wow! Have you been holding out on us? Have you secretly been practicing segmented pens? Great job and a very appropriate subtitle – I see the Circus Tent without being smothered by it, kind of a 1940s late Art Deco vibe going on. Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8226 posts in 4573 days

#4 posted 08-12-2019 12:14 PM

This is a huge step up from your other fine pens. It looks great! I think your on to something great here!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View BrentH's profile


76 posts in 2259 days

#5 posted 08-12-2019 12:17 PM

Absolutely beautiful, Mark. Segmenting is fun! Never tried it with a pen, and have done little of anything else lately, but I love the creativity that comes from a segmented project.

-- Brent H. --"This retirement stuff is hard work. I need to go get a job so I can get some rest!"

View lew's profile


13413 posts in 4975 days

#6 posted 08-12-2019 12:24 PM

That. Is. Awesome!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26670 posts in 4325 days

#7 posted 08-12-2019 12:31 PM

WOW… hit a home run with that pen, Mark!!!!!!!!!!! Beautiful design…............Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleDD's profile


10643 posts in 3263 days

#8 posted 08-12-2019 01:02 PM

This has to be the coolest pen I’ve ever seen. Excellent work Mark.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View pottz's profile


20250 posts in 2204 days

#9 posted 08-12-2019 02:16 PM

now your showin what a spectacular pen,84 pieces though,i dont think id have the patience to pull that one off.youve taken pen making to the highest level my friend.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View luv2learn's profile


3139 posts in 3523 days

#10 posted 08-12-2019 02:29 PM

Wow, wow!! Truly one-of-a-kind Mark!!

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

View Andre's profile


4686 posts in 3026 days

#11 posted 08-12-2019 03:12 PM

Wow! I knew turning pens would reduce the wood in the burn box, now it could be a very cold winter? Were is the Pic of the sled?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View PaulDoug's profile


2610 posts in 2923 days

#12 posted 08-12-2019 03:14 PM

Very well done!!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2869 days

#13 posted 08-12-2019 06:51 PM

omg,its incredible
now we must call you maestro

-- bambi

View DocSavage45's profile


9068 posts in 4062 days

#14 posted 08-12-2019 07:54 PM

Mark has his mojo back! LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22187 posts in 4896 days

#15 posted 08-12-2019 11:37 PM

Wild and crazy! Should be Top 3. You could sell those to Lumberjocks ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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