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The heart of your home is probably the kitchen.

That’s where you greet the kids in the morning, toast to a new job, gather for Thanksgiving, brew the ever-important cup of coffee to kickstart your day. The kitchen is a special place because that’s where you talk and eat with the most important people in your life.

So here’s a woodworking challenge that I feel aims to help you make that space in your home even warmer, kinder and more beautiful with the touch of your handiwork.

For this contest, make a platter, tray or trivet. Believe it or not, give it a little thought and you can probably dream up something pretty cool to make. See the gallery at the bottom for a little inspiration.

This is a relatively small project, and I bet you can create a great project in a weekend or two. Challenge yourself to do something different, unique, and as stunning as you can make it.

Why enter? First, we’re going to host a public display of all the projects because we really want to expose the world at large to the wonderful craft of making artful home projects out of wood. Second, there’s no fee – in fact, we give you $50 of store credit just for entering. Third, we’ll be handing out prizes for the projects, too. More than that, this is a fun event that gives you another reason to make something out of wood just for fun.

4 Steps to Submit Your Project

  1. Register for the contest at the top of the page. It’s free.
  2. Check your email immediately. You’ll receive confirmation and an entry form you’ll need to fill out with your project.
  3. Deliver your project on or before November 5, 2016 to any Woodworkers Source location.
  4. Complete an entry form to deliver with your project

Your project is yours to keep after the contest. You’ll either pick it up at the reception or pick it up at the store you delivered it to.

Public Display of Entries & Public Voting

We’re going to exhibit all the projects for the public to view! Come see for yourself, and send your friends and family.

When: November 7 – 12, 2016

Where: Woodworkers Source
18115 N. Black Canyon Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85023

Reception & Awards Night

November 12, 2016, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

We’ll host an awards ceremony with hors d’oeuvres and a casual atmosphere. Prizes will be awarded for the top 10 entries, plus various honorable mention awards.

*** Frequently Asked Questions & Other Details ***

Your project can look like anything you want. Take a look at the gallery of ideas below to grease your gears. It’s just some ideas, nothing more. Do what ever you want. Your project can be turned, sculpted, carved, scrolled, laminated, segmented, routed . . . or you can include inlay, laser cutting, burning, or anything that strikes you. Get creative and use any decorative techniques you’d like to draw attention your project.

Size limit: no project larger than 30″ in any dimension.

Let your creativity go wild, but remember this is a woodworking contest. You are welcome to include materials other than wood in your project, however your primary goal should be to demonstrate your enthusiasm for wood more than, say, stone or tile.

Even if you’re not certain you can complete your project by the deadline, please register anyway. You may drop out later if needed. It’s better to register and drop out of the contest than it is to wait to register after the contest is full.

How Is The Contest Judged?

Winning entries are decided by public vote. We don’t have a team of critics. This contest is more or less for fun, so we simply gather votes from anyone who comes to view the projects. That also means we encourage you to invite your friends and family to come down to browse the projects and log a vote.

Why Do I Get $50 Store Credit Just for Participating?

Basically because we want to promote the craft of woodworking. We’ll create a show of projects that is open to the public in a place where people can view a whole variety of real woodworking projects.

We view this as a two-way street:

  1. You get a space to share your work and get $50 to spend in our store, and
  2. we get to promote the craft of woodworking to the world at large.

However, we really do enjoying seeing the projects you create – so we figure this contest is a cool way to celebrate art, promote the craft, give you an event to show off your work, and give us a fun and different way to say thank you to our esteemed customers.

When Are Prizes Awarded?

November 12, 2016, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

You should come if you can! We’ll provide a little food and drink for a short Happy Hour event where we get to chat with the makers, pat each other on the back for a job well done . . . and we’ll host a quick awards ceremony to announce the winners. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 voted entries, plus we like to give out 10 “honorable mention” award prizes for the projects that stand out to the Woodworkers Source crew.

It’ll be fun, and I hope you’ll plan on coming.

Do I Have To Buy Anything From Woodworkers Source?

You do not need to buy your wood from Woodworkers Source in order to enter the contest. Wood is the focus of this project and you may use any wood you’d like, and I encourage you to use something unusual or special. Incorporate other materials if you want, but this is a woodworking show so your project should emphasize your creativity in wood.

Does My Project Have to Be New?

I prefer that you enter a project you build specifically for this contest, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. So, if you want to enter a project you have already built, take a close look at it and determine if it needs to be refinished, waxed or polished. If it’s scratched or faded from time and use, do what it takes to refresh it so that it makes the best impression – this is, after all, a show.

Can I Enter More Than One?

One entry per person, please. Focus on building one project that’s as fantastic as you can make it.

However, your one entry can be a set with multiple parts. For example if you make a server with a matching hand made cutting knife, enter the whole enchilada.

What If I’m Not in Arizona? Can I Ship My Entry?

Send your entry to us at:
Woodworkers Source
Attn Mark Stephens
3200 N. Hayden Road, Suite 280
Scottsdale, Az 85251

We will ship your project back to you, but will deduct the UPS charge from your store credit. Your store credit may be used on our website or over the phone.


Need Inspiration?  Check Out These Project Ideas


Vice President of Operations – Woodworkers Source
We’re a family-owned lumber & woodworking supply retailer with 3 delightful stores in Arizona, and 35 friendly employees.
Mark oversees the company and creates tutorials on wood finishing and woodworking tips for hardwood lumber.

Woodworkers Source is a division of MacBeath Hardwood Co.

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