WIN A LATHE: The No Lathe Pen Challenge

Pens are a very common woodworking project, but most are made on a lathe. I don’t have a lathe. Lots of people don’t have lathes. However,¬†you should never let that stop you:

So now we’re holding a contest. Make a pen without using a lathe and you could win a Rockler Excelsior lathe, bed extension, turning tools, and kit holder. Thank you Rockler!

The second place finisher takes home a set of custom carbide turning tools from Tommy G Workshop. Thanks Tommy! The image below is the DIY kit, but Tommy says he’d be happy to send fully assembled tools if that is what the winner desires.

Third place gets a grab bag of goodies from myself and Amy Davis Roth, aka Surly Amy, my co-host on Makers’ Hustle.

The Rules:

  1. Make a pen.
  2. Don’t use a lathe.
  3. Email me a link to your video (bill at onecarworkshop dot com)
  4. Get this done before February 19, 2017. That’s the deadline.


I’ll add questions here as they come in, but I’ve already received a few:

“Who can enter?”


“I don’t live in the USA/Canada. Can I enter?”

Yes! If you win, I’m going to ship this stuff all the way to wherever you are. It will cost money. I don’t care. I want the best possible entries, and that means no restrictions.

“Can I enter more than once?”

Yes! Do it! However please note that one video = one entry, so multiple pens in a single video will make for one very compelling entry but not multiple entries.

“Does it have to use a pen kit?”


“Does it have to be a ball-point pen?”


“How do you pick a winner?”

The winner will be selected based on (1) the quality of the project and (2) the quality of the video, in that order. I have selected a panel of judges who have agreed to remove themselves from the competition and evaluate the entries. I am not one of the judges.

5 thoughts on “WIN A LATHE: The No Lathe Pen Challenge

  1. Hi,
    I live in Europe, is Rockler prepared to provide a lathe that meets the different current requirements from American 110 to European 220?


      • Hi,
        Is this event open to people who already own lathes such as myself and if, since I own a lathe (it’s clear in some of my shots so far) will it be counted against me in judging?

      • Yes, this challenge is open to everyone. Everyone. It’s fine if you already own a lathe. Many of the other participants do, too.

  2. Hi,

    sorry to have put this on here, but I don’t know where else to go. I sent you my entry last night via g-mail, and i got up this morning and saw two new entries had been added but not mine, is there a problem i should be aware of?


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