No longer a hobby???

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Project by blmac4 posted 05-10-2012 08:23 PM 3031 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last December I got a request from a local lumber company for 12 pens and boxes made from a variety of different woods, to be given to their board members. The boxes I made were the flip style and I had their logo engraved in them. They were delighted with the pens and the boxes and said they had something else in mind after the first of the year for me to consider. In March, they contacted me to make 100 pens from some of the wood from the Louisiana State Champion LobLolly Pine tree that had to be cut down. The tree was on their timber property. They wanted the company name engraved on the pens which was a challenge. Pine is not an easy wood to engrave. I delivered the pens today and again, they were very pleased with them. Hopefully, this will lead to some other orders.

I have included some pictures of the boxes from the first order, I can’t locate pictures of the pens, and pictures of the order I delivered today.


14 comments so far

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 08:34 PM

Very nice, I like the box design and how it flips open.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View degoose's profile


7259 posts in 3891 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 09:05 PM

Welcome to the world of woodworking business.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View waho6o9's profile


8785 posts in 3113 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 09:19 PM

May you have continued success Blmac4, good job.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3041 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 10:52 PM

Really nice.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4430 days

#5 posted 05-11-2012 12:25 AM

Nice pens

make sure pandora isn’t hiding in the box as the odds of making money of a wooden pen, are slim to nil

people make sweet pens of passion, I rather doubt they are in it for the money………

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3150 days

#6 posted 05-11-2012 06:52 AM

great looking pens ,what a honor that was to be asked to make ,isee why you make some great looking pen .me being here in Louisiana make me proud for you to . if cotton was king here i think pine is right on its heels. great job

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2842 days

#7 posted 05-11-2012 12:08 PM

Very nicely done, feels nice to get paid for a talent you posses.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View eruby's profile


79 posts in 3311 days

#8 posted 05-11-2012 12:51 PM

Congratulations on the commission (and successful completion of the order).

What type of wood did you use for the box on the right hand side of the the second picture? The other two look like poplar and pine.

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View SirFatty's profile


545 posts in 2748 days

#9 posted 05-11-2012 01:21 PM

Someone wise once told me “Never make your hobby your job.”

I didn’t listen, and wish I had (I’m in IT).

-- Visit my blog at

View blmac4's profile


141 posts in 4477 days

#10 posted 05-11-2012 02:25 PM

Thanks for all of the comments, they are appreciated. My wife has for years has tried to get me to expand “my hobby” but I have a full time job and did not want a second job or turn what I enjoy doing into work. Now that I am thinking about retirement, orders and contacts like these are happening at just the right time. I know I cannot count on this as a steady income but as long as the orders pay for the materials and a little for the time I wouldn’t mind it and it would still be fun to do.
The wood used for the boxes are poplar, cypress and spalted oak. I also used red oak, and magnolia.

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 2860 days

#11 posted 05-11-2012 02:41 PM

Nice – Very nice. Best wishes on continued growth.

-- Michael and Matthew

View DrDirt's profile


4592 posts in 4279 days

#12 posted 05-11-2012 04:50 PM

If you really enjoy doing it….it doesn’t seem like work.

You may be asking yourself “Why didn’t I go pro sooner”

I would do both, collect the steady pay with benefits, let the economy recover – then retire into the pro woodworking side.

You are doing nice work – but there is a lot of competition with pens – - the cases are going to be more profitable (I think) as even other pen turners will buy cases – some plain some engraved for even their ‘NON professional stuff’ that they are just giving as gifts to family and co-workers.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Allanwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 3377 days

#13 posted 05-11-2012 06:14 PM


-- Ty, Up in Washington

View glen's profile


172 posts in 3090 days

#14 posted 05-13-2012 03:39 PM

well done man! that’s a lot of pens to turn… the pen is mightier than the sword, but along the way, a good lathe and chisel can do some damage too.

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