Ad Spot

Northern Alabama Wood Crafters ‘turn’ trash to pens for veterans

Northern Alabama Wood Crafters use scrap wood to make these attractive ink pens for soldiers. (PHOTO/TOM PROHASKA)
Northern Alabama Wood Crafters use scrap wood to make these attractive ink pens for soldiers. (PHOTO/TOM PROHASKA)
Tom Prohaska is publicist and photographer for Northern Alabama Wood Crafters. (CONTRIBUTED)
Tom Prohaska is publicist and photographer for Northern Alabama Wood Crafters. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Northern Alabama Wood Crafters use scrap wood to ‘turn’ that trash into treasured ink pens for war veterans.

With the scraps, the woodcrafters use kits from Nashville Woodcraft Store to fashion handsome ink pens for “Turn for Troops.” The 10-year-old project originally provided one-of-a-kind wooden pens to American troops at Christmas.

Stores now hold ‘turn-a-thons’ year-round to ship pens and notes of appreciation to military personnel on active duty or in rehabilitation.

Tom Prohaska, the woodworkers’ publicist/photographer, recently turned 20 of these pens. The store gave them “the kits or ‘guts'” with inner barrels, mechanism and ink. “We donate the wood, glue, finish and time,” he said.

Prohaska uses cut-down trees and scraps from hardwood floors and construction sites. The material may be cherry, Osage orange, black walnut and even Corian countertops. Turning ‘green’ wood is easier than dry/hard wood.

After cutting ‘blanks,’ he drills, epoxies brass, trims, mounts on a mandrel and turns wood to a comfortable shape.

In 10 years, Woodcraft has delivered 106,262 pens — this year, 11,124 pens.

Woodcraft shared a thank-you: Master Chief Samuel Rivera onboard the USS Harry S. Truman said 400 sailors were “excited to pick (a pen) and read attached notes. Something like this may seem small but actually means a lot.”

Prohaska has been woodworking since 1975 with his dad’s tools and eighth-grade woodshop class. Over the years, he added larger equipment.

“The hobby portion is making toys to give away and one-of-a-kind turning, usually bowls,” Prohaska said. First, he rounds the wood, removing as little as possible, and decides its shape.

After mastering pens, Prohaska advanced to bowls, platters and hollow forms. For a baseball bat stand, he turned a baseball-like finial and home plate for its base.

Other officers are president Greg Myers, vice president Tim Sullivan, secretary Russ Lakin, treasurer Nancy Chastanet and web coordinators Roy Bruton and J. Leko.

Founded 2.5 years ago, Northern Alabama Wood Crafters meet on second Tuesdays at Burritt on the Mountain. For more information, visit Facebook/tom.prohaska or nawoodcrafters.org.

LIFESTYLES -- FEATURE SPOT

What’s the significance of red poppies? American Legion has answers.

James Clemens High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology selects Yewon Lee for institute

Madison

Elementary students excel in play at State Scholastic Chess Championship

Harvest

Groups can apply for Master Gardeners grant for horticulture projects

James Clemens High School

Madison teens’ yearlong practice culminates in 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Alabama State Games Offer Academic Scholarships

Bob Jones High School

Exploravision regional win goes to James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Alabama State Games To Offer Academic Scholarships During Opening Ceremony

James Clemens High School

James Clemens shows its tech savvy in Science Olympiad

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Jets Press rates first at All American High School Film Festival

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – April 7, 2021

Bob Jones High School

Sam Uchitel at Bob Jones founds business for Madison CEO

Madison

City Chess Blitz Championship to decide victor on April 24

Bob Jones High School

Senior boys can apply for Alabama Boys State

Madison

VBC says scams targeting ticket seekers increasing, explains how to avoid them

Madison

State open records bill clears Senate committee

Madison

‘Essential business’ bill goes to governor

Madison

EDITORIAL: Fighting COVID-19 will require personal responsibility when mask mandate expires

Madison

Huntsville Ballet Company is back with Peter and the Wolf – April 16-18

Madison

Hubert Family Farms finding success with area’s first “pick your own tulip” experience

Madison

Community tips lead police to Harvest man accused of sexual abuse of a child

Madison

State Senate bill could send over $3.2 million to Madison City Schools

Madison

State health officials ‘encouraged’ by improving COVID-19 numbers

Madison

Digital version of The Madison Record – March 31, 2021

x