Offbeat: Pen Maker

RECTOR, AR (KAIT)--Eugene Hynds is a self described piddler.  After more than 45 years as a machine shop owner/operator, Hynds now piddles with pens.  He uses natural wood and turns it into beautifully hand craffted pens and pencils.

"I just wanted to make something special for my 50 year high school reunion," said Hynds.  "My dad bought the old Rector school house in 1954.  He and I tore it down when I was a kid, and I kept some of the wood all these years.  I started messing around with making a pen out of wood and after a little trial and error it turned out pretty good."

Hynds' school pens are made from the wood around the door casings and the oak floor planks.  He also uses black locust burl, cedar, mesquite, and box wood to make pens and pencils.  Hynds buys the pen kits that provide the inner workings, then turns the wood on a lathe to make the casings.

"My favorite pen is the corn cob pen," said Hynds.  "I take a red corn cob hull and turn it on the lathe to make a pen.  They are very different and seem to catch people's eyes.  I call them the 'farmers' pens."

After Hynds turns the pen on the lathe, he begins the sanding process, then uses 4 coats of super glue to fill in the gaps and smooth things out.  After that he puts on 4 coats of polish and 4 coats of was.  From start to finish, Hynds says it takes him 2-3 hours to completely finish a pen.

Hynds does sell some of his creation at the local gift store in Rector for $25-$35. You can contact Eugene Hynds at (870) 595-3130, if you'd like a custom pen or pencil.