Chris Schwarz's Blog

Woodworking in America: The First Boring Catfight

I mean, who doesn’t like a good girl fight?

In high school, fights among the boys were boring. Lots of posturing. Maybe some shoving. At best they might clasp into some Greco-Roman grip that would immobilize both of them for up to five minutes. Yawn.

Give me Heather “Cat Food” Barker vs. Tammy “Runs With Scissors” Gentry any day. There was always some hair pulling. The occasional dirty punch. And, if you got lucky, some good bloody fingernail scratches.

And that is exactly what you are going to see at Woodworking in America in Valley Forge, Pa., on Oct. 2-4. Heather Griffin, the conference’s organizer, and Megan Fitzpatrick, our managing editor, have vowed to compete head-to-head in the boring competition at the conference’s Hand Tool Olympics.

The two first met in boring battle at the Hand Tool Olympics in St. Charles, Ill., where they vied for last place (Megan came in third from last. Go Megan!)

This week in the office, things are getting ugly.

Heather stopped me in the lunch room and said she had three (printable) words for Megan: “Game on, girl!”

I took the message to Megan. She replied:

“Oh, she is going down!”

Quick side note: Megan issued this counter-challenge while snacking on a little spreadable goat cheese that was blended with Vermont butter and spread on a freshly baked herbed mini-baguette.

But before you put all your money on Heather, rest assured that Megan is going to practice at boring. I told her she didn’t need any practice.

I am so dead.

– Christopher Schwarz

27 thoughts on “Woodworking in America: The First Boring Catfight

  1. Tony

    Knot that I pine for the old days, when we only heard about men in woodworking, but there is a fine line easily crossed when it comes to sexism. My wife, the best trim carpenter I ever had, quit because of the "attention" men were paying toward her on the jobsites. We all appreciate the fine skills demonstrated by woodworkers regardless of gender. Let’s keep it that way. I figure treat women the way you want your daughter treated and you should do alright.

  2. Brady Seymore

    Calendar? What…wait a min…..where do I fill out the order form? You didn`t include the LINK!

    Now I`m depressed……..:(, was so hoping to get a copy before they all sold out.

  3. Larry

    That board looks like MDF

    Is that fair?

    Weight is all wrong, shoulder should be in line with bit, not in the middle, body is too far back, it should be over move the board closer to the body.

    And cheat if you must, dont drill on a knot.

  4. Heather

    Hello All-

    I’d like to make it known that I have never touched a hand tool in my life before the Pheasant Run event and I still came so close to beating Megan who has touched many a hand tool in her life….impressive???? I think so!!!!!


    P.S. I’d also like it to be known that I will NOT be wearing a swimsuit during this event!!!! What Chris does in his free time is his business.

  5. Mike Siemsen

    That would be Megan in the photo.
    The tools used in the competition are donated and are given to competitors at the awards ceremony. I agree the contest would be more interesting with plated braces and shell bits so I await your donation for WIA!

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