I have been in woodworking for some 40 years or so. I am a self-taught wood turner. It started about two years ago when I turned my very first pen at a woodworking show in Indianapolis Indiana. Prior to this turning of a pen I had not turned anything on a lathe. I turn pens and other things on an older lathe that I refurbished myself. I love working with wood. I have turned pens from about 100 different species to date. (as of 8-2011) I have been known to turn about anything on my refurbished Jet1236 Jet Wood Lathe. I have turned pens and pencils from many woods as stated, acrylics and plastics including P.V.C. that's been recycled, plywood, bone, butcher blocks, aluminum and Solid-Surface Materials like those used for countertops. I have used Antlers from animals like Deer, Elk & Buffalo. Most of which are what I call "sheds" or those that fall off the animal and are replaced each year. I have made pens from snake skinsFor an interesting touch or something different to turn a pen from; I cruise junk shops, antique and Goodwill Stores, and flea markets looking for anything I can "recycle" into a pen. I have used bullet casings and real bullets in making pens.