Idaho Woodturner Wins Woodcraft Prize at Penturner’s Rendezvous

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Nick Beahm is ready for some serious turning on the Rikon lathe he won at the 2018 Penturner’s Rendezvous.

Idaho woodturner Nick Beahm and his family are enjoying the benefits of having a third, larger lathe for their projects after he won the Penturner’s Rendezvous Grand Prize donated by Woodcraft. 

“We had a great event, with plenty of penturners sharing their work and techniques,” Rendezvous organizer Kurt Hertzog said when announcing Beahm as Grand Prize winner of a Rikon Mini Lathe. “I know Nick is excited about winning the lathe and anxious to be working on it.”

The Penturner’s Rendezvous was held Wednesday evening, May 9, prior to the Utah Woodturning Symposium on the Utah Valley University campus in Orem, Utah. Organized by the Pen Maker’s Guild, the informal environment of the Rendezvous is designed to promote open discussions and exchange of knowledge.

Woodturners who chose to display their works were eligible for the Woodcraft Grand Prize drawing for the Rikon Lathe held at the end of the evening.

“We actually own two of the little apprentice lathes we bought from Woodcraft, and we will REALLY enjoy a larger lathe for the bigger projects,” Idaho Falls resident Beahm said after he learned he was the 2018 Grand Prize winner. “My kids and I are all excited to try more and more stuff.”

Nick said woodworking is in his blood. “My grandpa Tom Barker, who is 86, owned Barker Building Supply in Island Park, Idaho, for 45 years. He built furniture and turned bowls and other pieces. My uncle, Thomas Barker, also owns a cabinet shop and has been turning for as long as I can remember. He is the one who pushed my dad (Paul Beahm) and I to start turning about 10 years ago, and he invited us to the woodturning symposium and the Penturner’s Rendezvous. We have made pens mostly and sell them online or to a little boutique store in Jackson Hole.”

Kurt Hertzog, Penturner’s Rendezvous organizer, presents Beahm with 2018 Grand Prize folder. This was Beahm’s third year to attend the Rendezvous, and he said, “I love it.”

Continuing the Legacy

Now, Nick said, his children are following in the family woodworking tradition. He and his wife Autumn have six children: sons, Kade 22, Carter 18, Makei 17 and Kelton 15, and daughters, Chelsea 21 and Alexis 20 – all woodturners and builders.

“We have made pens, teachers’ gifts, neighbor gifts and many other fun items ‘just because,’ ” he said. “We also love to build things and are pretty good at it. We just built a quilt hanging ladder for my daughter. We have built our own house and for Lexi's senior project, she wired most of our basement after helping to frame it and afterwards doing the sheetrock.”

Autumn has done some woodworking, and Nick says, “She loves to be with us when we do woodworking and watch us turn too.”

Nick’s mother, Lynn, has never turned yet, even though she grew up in a woodworking/woodturning environment as the senior Tom Barker’s daughter. “She would like to start turning,” Beahm said, and there will be plenty of space for her in the new shop I am building. I will be able to have space for everyone to turn and do their woodworking projects.”

Discovering and Using Different Materials

Nick has a ready supply of SpectraPly and antler for his first projects on his new lathe.

“I am kind of a Pen Nerd,” Nick said. “I love pens and enjoy making pens. BUT... now with a larger Lathe, I might try a bunch of new things.”

Trying new things often involves materials Nick finds during his travel for work – he has been a sales rep for Eagle Eye Produce in Idaho Falls for nine years – and when vacationing.

“I went to Mexico and brought back a Marlin Swordfish and turned a beautiful pen from it. I brought Cactus and Ironwood from Mexico and turned them also. We live in an area where there is lots of sagebrush, and we stabilized some of that and turned it. I have also turned pens from antler, and once you get past the smell, that’s pretty cool too.”

Nick Beahm and His Woodworking Family

LEFT: Nick Beahm and his wife Autumn.
CENTER: bottom, son Makei Beahm; first row (from left), sons, Kelton Beahm and Kade Schaat, and Jeff Howe, daughter Lexi’s boyfriend; second row, son Carter Schaat and daughter Lexi Beahm; and top, Lacey Schaat, Kade’s wife.
RIGHT: daughter Chelsea Meikle and her husband, Dustin Meikle.

Congratulations, Nick! 

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