Chappy Pitts is a prince of pen makers
Kevin “Chappy “ Pitts cutting out another piece of exotic wood for one of his handcrafted pens. Photo by Alan Hodge
By Alan Hodge
It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and in the case of the custom made pens by Kevin “Chappy” Pitts of the Iron Station community near Stanley, they are beautiful as well.
Pitts creates pens and other items primarily as a hobby. His “shop” is a converted, open air, former pop-up camper in his front yard. During inclement weather, he has tarp sides he can attach to enclose the arrangement.
The equipment he uses to make his pens and other handcrafted things is an eclectic blend of hand me down and economically procured lathes, saws, and grinders.
The wood that Pitts uses to make his pens comes from a variety of sources. Some comes from whiskey barrels with the aroma still wafting out of the wood. Brands include Jameson, Captain Morgan, Old Granddad, and Four Roses. Pens made from whiskey brands come with a certificate of authenticity naming the source.
Other chunks come from as far away as the Holy Land and Greece. BannerNews contributor and big Chicago Cubs fan Bill Ward thinks the best one is a pen made from authentic Wrigley field seat wood.
After fashioning the outer part of the pen on a lathe, Pitts finishes the product, depending on the barrel style, with the appropriate pen kit. On some pens he laser etches designs and logos.
Pitts got involved in pen making after seeing examples online and making the acquaintance of folks with a similar interest.
Besides pens, Pitts also makes down home style primitive guitars from cigar boxes.
“I don’t smoke but I have an affection for cigar boxes,” he says. “I like to smell them.”
Pitts is a big fan of coffee (he roasts his own beans), and makes coffee scoop handles from epoxy he blends and pours in a variety of swirling hues.
“I like playing around with the colors,” he says.
He also assembles coffee mill kits with his own special touches.
Pitts is a person in perpetual motion and his pens and other products prove it.
“I like to tinker with things,” he says. “I enjoy making things.”
Pitts is proud to offer his pens and things to the public. He has a Facebook Page RCO Productions. He sells the pens in a wide range of prices, depending on the cost of the materials. He lives at 4007 Orchard Road in Iron Station and if you are up that way and see him in his front yard shop, blow the horn and wave or better yet stop and see what he has to offer