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Archive for the ‘Events, Classes, and Clinics’ Category

Woodworking Contest Update: First Prize Is 14″ Oliver Bandsaw

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
This 14" Oliver Bandsaw is the first prize in our next woodworking contest. Winners announced November 14, 2015

This 14″ Oliver Bandsaw is the first prize in our next woodworking contest. Winners announced November 14, 2015

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If you’re registered for our latest woodworking contest, I’d like to report that this staunch 14″ bandsaw from Oliver Machinery is the first place prize.

This baby has a 12″ resawing capacity, and her 1.5 horses run on 110 volts of juice. It’s perfect for the home shop if you want to get serious about resawing. It’s street price is $1,499, and it’s a very well reviewed tool, making this the most exciting prize we’ve been able to offer in our woodworking contests.

In short, the first place winner of the contest gets to take this home.

Get more info about the woodworking contest here, and be sure to register if you want to enter. The project theme is wall hangings, and it comes due on November 7 – so I hope you’re hard at work building something incredible.

The competition is sure to be stiff. We have nearly 100 people registered already, and it’s going to be limited to 150 entries.

I have numerous other prizes from our esteemed vendors, which I’ll announce shortly here.

Save the Date: November 14, 2015

Awards ceremony will take place at our Phoenix, AZ location (I-17 and Bell Road). We’ll have some hors d’oeuvres and beverages, and provide a pleasant space for a public show of all the pieces entered in the contest.

“And The Winners Are . . .” Here are The Top 10 Lidded Boxes in This Woodworking Contest

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Entries at Practical Art

What good is a lidded box if you can’t open it to see the details? You’re allowed to handle the artwork at this event.  It was a packed house on March 21 in which visitors to the reception could check out the box contest entries and vote for their 3 favorites. The top 10 boxes are below.

We host two woodworking contests per year, and if nothing else, we’re having an awful lot of fun admiring and showcasing the beautiful work our customers do. In this third installment, we asked people to make a lidded box no larger than 16″ in any direction. It could be any shape or style – it just needed a lid.

So who won, right?

Below is a gallery of the top 10 winners as decided by the general public. Even though these 10 had the honor of taking home a prize, every participant deserves recognition and thanks for being willing to put their effort and creativity on display for critique. But I’m sure you’ll agree (more or less) with the finalists below.

How Voting Worked

There were two ways to vote, and voting was open to the public. Vote online, or in person at Practical Art in downtown Phoenix where the boxes were on display. The ballot system was the same for both venues though:

  • Choose your three favorite boxes
  • You must pick three, and they must be different boxes
  • Ballots that voted for the same box more than once were discarded

In these contests we want to reward effort, skill, and creativity, which is a task that’s easier said than done. Therefore we believe that if you come in to see the boxes in person that your vote should be worth more than a vote submitted online. Makes sense right? Those who take the time to admire these boxes with their eyes and feel the lids, joints and finishes with their hands have a better perspective than those who see a picture online or just make a few clicks in favor of their friends. So all the votes that were made in person at Practical Art were worth two.

Total Votes: 1,924

1,512 votes came in online, and 412 came in in person. The “bonus” for voting in person made a big difference in the results. And I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

ribbon-blue 1st: The Guitar by Dale Schmitt

Woods used: Curly maple, Pacific quilted maple, purple heart, cherry

Finish: Catalyzed lacquer (spray)

Dale’s small jewelry box easily stands out from the rest because of its guitar shape. But lift the lid and you’ll find a unique tray that spins and reveals hidden storage underneath. In Dale’s words: “I find that paying attention to detail is very important to achieve the best results.” Indeed, click the images to get up close to this winning box. You’ll see he built a snug display stand, made authentic guitar parts like the bridge, neck and frets, and sprayed a glass-smooth clear finish. Congratulations to Dale.

Prize: Tormek T-4 wet grinder sharpener

Click to enlarge:

ribbon-red2nd: Art Deco Box by Bill Barrand

Woods used: Mahogany, zebrawood

Finish: Conversion varnish (spray)

You can rely on Bill to produce a completely original design when he’s faced with the challenge of a woodworking show. He’s entered a piece in every one of our contests, and for this one he chose a bent lamination project. Bill used some mahogany from his 25-year-old stash of the good stuff to contrast with the striped zebrawood.

Prize: Wilton Tradesman Vise

Click to enlarge:

ribbon-yellow3rd: Jewelry Box by Ron Beauregard

Woods used: Lacewood, curly maple, bubinga, black palm

Finish: Tung oil

Ron put his skills to the test to create this sophisticated jewelry box. While he used several types of woods with different colors and grain types, it’s not overboard.  The lacewood sides feature some gentle angles instead of strong perpendicular lines and the corners are reinforced with contrasting splines. But look at the lid. It’s just a nicely figured piece of curly maple but the narrow and off-center inlay strip of lacewood ties it to the box sides without much fanfare. The interior top tray is attached to the lid with a pin-and-arm hinge that lifts and supports it as the lid is opened. The black palm knobs are rounded and slightly tapered. These little details, and more, tells the story of the time and energy he put into this box – he earned every vote with this stunning box.

Prize: Tenryu Gold Medal Table Saw Blade

Click to enlarge:

4th Place: Nature’s Gift Keepsake Box by John Porter

Woods used: Cherry, bubinga, satinwood, curly maple

Finish: Satin lacquer

As you can surmise, John made this box as part of a birthday gift. It worked as the presentation of his wife’s new iPhone. To create the bow, he laminated blanks of bubinga and satinwood cut them to the shape, but drilled out the inner loops and used a bandsaw to cut out the remainder. The gift tag is laser engraved curly maple, and the lid is simply a fitted left-off lid. Naturally, this box drew a lot of attention for its unique lid. John happens to be the manager of the Woodworkers Source store on I-17 in north Phoenix.

Prize: Bessey clamps

Click to enlarge:

5th Place: Rustic Live Edge Box by Rick West

Materials used: Eucalyptus, ebony

Finish: Laquer

Rick used some unique eucalyptus from a tree that fell down in his friend’s yard. Working with eucalyptus is tricky, as Rick says, because it’s hard and brittle. Plus the wood formed numerous cracks, but he filled them with epoxy and crushed turquiose. While the figure and wild look of the box lid grabbed a lot of attention, Rick applied a flawless finish to the box that really helps make it looks its best.

Prize: General Tools Moisture Meter

Click to enlarge:

6th Place: Memory Box by Betsi Packwood

Woods used: Chakte kok, walnut, lacewood, sirari, bamboo, ebony, holly

Finish: Old Masters Gel polyurethane

Betsi worked long and hard to create this segmented masterpiece that’s 12″ in diameter. Her style is to turn in a way that leaves the facets on the sides while also including numerous intricate designs throughout. In case you didn’t think she did enough, Betsi also included a fitted, removable tray. Her finish is a satin sheen wipe-on gel polyurethane.

Prize: Portamate Roller Stand

Click to enlarge:

7th Place: Small Jewelry Box by Brett Eichmann

Woods used: Wenge, zebrawood

Finish: Satin lacquer (spray)

Brett chose the stunning combination of zebrawood and wenge for his box. At first glance, the box just looks like a simple rectangle, but he knows how to pay attention to details. Brett cut and assembled the box sides in way that forces the grain to wrap around it in sequence. He also crafted removable trays that are just flawless. Two things draw your attention to this box. First, the perfect lacquer finish. Second, Brett’s command of proportions. It’s a small box, and therefore the parts are thin – such as the 1/2″ thick sides, the 1/4″ thick lid, and trays assembled from 1/8″ thick wenge strips.

Prize: 3-piece Chisel Set

Click to enlarge:

8th Place: Triangular Box by Oscar Witham

Woods used: Fall offs

Finish: Danish oil

The lid on Oscar’s box is a captivating visual puzzle, much like a mosaic. He used just small pieces that fell off from a different project and came up with this unique box.

Prize: Zona Miter Box and Saw

Click to enlarge:

 

9th Place: Displacement by Chris Ewald

Woods used: Walnut, maple

Finish: Boiled linseed oil

The basic design of this box is a rectangle with an inward angled bottom. You can see the inspiration on the cover of AJ Hamler’s book The Box Builder’s Handbook. But Chris basically “displaced” it on a peculiar axis. It’s certainly a whimsical take on the basic lidded box. Chris’s work turned a lot of heads.

Prize: General Tools digital t-bevel

Click to enlarge:

10th Place: Scrolled Jewelry Cabinet by James Butler

Woods used: Oak, walnut, bloodwood

Finish: Satin lacquer (spray)

A scroll sawn box takes a lot of time and patience, but it paid off here. While James says the pattern was “relatively simple” (side note: that’s simple?!), attaching the sides to the legs was tricky thanks to the angle.

Prize: Powermatic shop apron

Click to enlarge:

See The Entries in The Woodworkers Source Box Contest

Monday, March 9th, 2015

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For months, 100 woodworkers from all over Arizona immersed themselves in building custom hand-crafted decorative boxes for entry into our woodworking contest. The only constraints to the project were that it must have a lid, and it must be no larger than 16″.  From there, the entrants enjoyed the wide open space of creative freedom to carve, turn, shape and polish to their heart’s content. You should come see what they’ve built.

The exhibit lasts from March 17 – 21, it’s open to the public, and you’re invited to come see it.

You’re sure to be overwhelmed by the variety of interpretations, attention to the finest details, choices of designs, and skillful uses of woods that each participant put effort into. In fact, you’ll be asked to cast your vote for your favorites, in turn we’ll award prizes to the top entries.

Come check it out:

Come See The Display of Custom Hand Made Decorative Boxes

When

March 17 – 21, 2015
11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Where

Practical Art
5070 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 264-1414

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