Contest Time?

We’ve been talking among the crew here at the shop and we think it’s time to have another building contest, like the 5-board bench we did a couple of years ago.  Problem is, we can’t agree on what this build should be.  So, we’re looking to you for suggestions….

Should include –

  • Mandatory Joinery – such as dovetails, pegged mortise & tenon?
  • Something unique – an inlay, a carving?
  • Something useful – a box, a table, a chest?
  • Shop Time – 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 2 months?

Let us hear your thoughts and ideas……feel free to brainstorm with us.


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12 Responses to Contest Time?

  1. DocSavage45 says:

    Great Idea!

    Maybe the prize for a semi complex but creative piece could be attending a Charles Neil workshop on building a piece? There are a few LJ’s out there who admire charles work and that could be a motivator? My other thought is categories of build? Level of skill of entrant ?

    Maybe Jim or Stumpy can let people know?

    I was just thinking about making a couple of short benches because I need them LOL! And I remembered the contest.

  2. Okay, we have some nice prizes from sponsors lined up, we just have to figure out what the contest should be. Charles is getting a few emails, but no suggestions here 😦

  3. Well I guess I’m with Tom on this about skill level,even though that might be hard to monitor..
    How about having it along the lines of a week end project and leaving it wide open but limit the cost of the materials . Of course boxes seem to be in right now you could have contoured boxes as one category ,best finish,,best band saw boxes tool boxes,,best modern,best traditional etc.., another thing that’s in is using recycled material ., or some item with a certain style that yo make up that’s open to interpretation like best circus chest or sea chest or pirate chest ,gypsy chest.
    Of course ,there’s always best off and most of things that can be used in contest like: best use of joinery or most woods,used. That’s enough of my ramblings, I know you and troops will come up with great ideas for the contest Charles.

  4. Jim says:

    I’d vote for a one month time limit. Much shorter than that gives the more advanced woodworkers an advantage. I like the idea of a chest. That could be anything from a jewelry box to a blanket chest. I would not make anything mandatory but extra points could be awarded based on types/appropriateness of joinery, wood selection, etc. Maybe judging could be divided into categories by size so like items are being compared, with somebody winning a grand prize of all entries.

  5. Brian Loucks says:

    How about a Shaker or otherwise inspired lap desk?

  6. Pat McNulty says:

    No matter what, it should include another person, especially a younger child or a senior citizen–with the project aimed at something they need, want or would like to have. Being made of materials already on hand or recycled.


  7. Bill Wayland says:

    I like a lot of the ideas, I would add the requirement of a photo journal of the build so the judges and the members can see and learn how it was accomplished. nothing fancy, just at logical steps in the process. Charles says “it’s all about learning”.

  8. Marty Miller says:

    A lot of good ideas. My take on it would be some kind of box or chest with a set of minimum requirements of specific joinery and some form of embellishment such as carving or inlay. I like Pat’s idea of something to meet a specific need of a senior or child. Geezer’s idea of photo documentation is also a good one to include.

  9. DocSavage45 says:

    I’ve got Charles’ Bombey Box DVD. And Stumpy built an interesting contemporary box which he filmed. It was a significant difference in skill? But it also raised interest and you guys were able to auction it off for a great cause.

    Some folks are artists and artisans? Others make less exotic things. I’ve learned “A box is not a box” A stool can be a bench? And chairs? Building it with handtools only, or shop power equipment? I like documenting it. But that might be a problem as well?

    I probably will not be ready for this, as I’m actually assembling my shop equipment, and life is still getting in the way.

    I’ve figured out my first furniture project. Night Stands! They contain all of the above techniques, and they will be functional. I’m also thinking of a coffee table for my office with rounded corners so the kids won’t get hurt if they are playing and have an accident.

    I liked the shaker clock build as I do like clocks, even if a real mechanism is slightly pricey.

    Hope these are of interest to others.


  10. Bill Wayland says:

    I hear there’s a pile of oyster shells in the shop and I think they would make a cool inlay to accent Charles demonstration piece for the contest.

  11. Bill Wayland says:

    I just thought of one, We can always use another plant stand, as a matter of fact, my spouse’s honey-do list includes a pair to go either side of the front door. Lots of different ideas and styles come to mind. My daughter just put in an order for a coffee table?

    How will the judging happen? Photo’s? Good photo’s have an advantage? How-a-bout Charles and Sherri fly all the entrants to a nice resort for the weekend, they ship all the projects there also and then the judging will be in person. Who needs prizes, everybody wins 🙂
    Just need to sell a few hundred clocks and we’re good.

    Are we having fun yet? Geezer

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