There were dozens of participants in the 2011 Hand Tool Olympics at Woodworking in America – many of whom had never before picked up a handsaw or handplane. But thanks to the expert coaching and encouragement of Mike Siemsen and other members of the Minnesota chapter of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers: Dean Jansa, Tom Howard, Jeff Hand, Steve Schwabacher, John Griffin-Wiesner, Nick Stahlmann, who were joined by Emily Bonhan Owen, Bob Rozaieski and Mark Hochstein and Tom Iovino, everyone walked away a winner with their new skills.
But we do have six people who excelled in the games and six raffle winners, each of whom won a fabulous prize:
• In the One Meter Dash (rip a 36″ piece of 1×12 stock using a ripcut panel saw), the top performer was Aaron Marshall. He took home a Lie-Nielsen Toolworks 7 points-per-inch panel saw. as did raffle winner Ian McKay.
• In Shooting Sports (plane to straighten and square an edge using a jointer plane), the top performer was Willard Anderson. He took home a Veritas bevel-up jointer planes donated by Veritas/Lee Valley, as did raffle winner Matt Gradwohl.
• In Crosscut Extravaganza (crosscut a piece of 1×12 lumber), the top performer was Lloyd Parker. He won an expertly filed and sharpened crosscut panel saw donated by WIA speaker and saw sharpener extraordinaire Ron Herman of Antiquity Builders of Ohio. The raffle winner was Mark Enderle.
• In Brace Yourself For a Hole in One (bore a 3/4″ hole in a plank, straight and square to the surface of the plank), the winner was Simon Stark, who won a vintage reconditioned brace also donated by Ron Herman. Steve Taylor was the raffle winner.
• Pins First or Tails First. In the dovetail event, the big winner was Frank Strazza, who took home a Gramercy Tools dovetail saws donated by Tools for Working Wood. The raffle winner was Ryan Sather.
• In Greco-Roman Tenons (cut a 3″-long, 3/4″-thick tenon on the end of a piece of 2×4 stock), Warren Mickley came out on top, and won a 16″ tenon saws donated by Bad Axe Tool Works. The raffle winner was Rob Bois.
• And one lucky winner…who’s name I don’t have…won a beautiful belt buckle hand-engraved by Catharine Kennedy.
And this year, there was also the added fun of the Blogger Challenge – five teams of three woodworking bloggers each. “This generated a lot of energy at the event and I am sure it will be in more than a few blog posts. We will make woodworkers out of them yet!” said Siemsen. The winning Blogger Challenge team was the Sons of Birches, with Shannon Rogers, Bob Rozaieski and Kyle Barton.
Congratulations to everyone who participated – and again, thanks to those who donated the incredibly generous prizes, and to Mike Siemsen and the members of the Society of America Period Furniture Makers who volunteered their time and talents to help make the fourth annual Hand Tool Olympics a success.
p.s. The video is mostly from the Hand Tool Olympics though a few shots snuck in from the Tools for Working Wood booth.