Friday, July 20, 2012

Woodworkers carve pens for soldiers to write letters - WFAA

by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on July 20, 2012 at 11:42 PM

DALLAS - If ever a name encapsulated a store, then Wood World in North Dallas could be it.

It has exotic cuts from around the globe, mostly used for custom cabinets, furniture, mantles, guitars and even bottle stoppers.

"It gives you great satisfaction to be able to make something that other people look at and say, 'Wow, you made that?!'" explained owner Craig Fyock.

But once a year, these artists make something that's not for sale.

"We'll usually have between 100 to 150 people and they'll be turning pens that get sent to the troops in Afghanistan now," Fyock said.

Turning is the age-old process these woodworkers use to create the pens.

"The simplest way to put it is, you're taking a square object and making it round," he said.

Woodworkers will spend all day Saturday fashioning rough cuts of rectangular forest into slim, attractive ink pens. Each has a red, white and blue center band.

All of them will be packaged and sent to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

"This way they can write letters home," Fyock said. "I know writing letters home is archaic, but some people still do it."

Volunteers hope to carve up 500 pens in the annual event this weekend. Each takes about a half hour to produce.

When woodworkers complete each pen, they use it to sign their own name and write a brief note to the soldier who will receive it.

"I hope they think we appreciate what they're doing for us," said John Lamb, woodworker and retired Garland Police Officer.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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