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Mike Siemsen is a woodworking expert set to speak at the Woodworking in America 2015 event in Kansas City.

Mike Siemsen with a vital shop tool.

I just talked with Mike Siemsen about running the Hand Tool Olympics (HTO) at Popular Woodworking in America 2016. Once again, he’s graciously agreed to wrangle his crew of expert hand-tool woodworkers to run the competition (and teach folks who are new to the included “sports”) for the 2016 conference (in the Marketplace Sept. 16-17, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center).

And then I came across this altogether embarrassing video that Christopher Schwarz filmed in 2008 of me and Heather Bowron preparing to go head-to-head at that year’s conference (which was our first WIA). If I recall correctly, the on-site throw-down also included Kari Hultman.

My boring and other hand tool skills have improved in the intervening years. This year, I’ll do my best to prove that; I’ll try my hand at each of the HTO events (more on those to come), and you can test your times against mine. Nothing like offering oneself up to the risk of public humiliation. Again.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. Here’s a palate cleanser (that actually shows something useful): Frank Klausz “Mortising Through Glass” (also from the first WIA).

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Showing 8 comments
  • goldesta


  • hmerkle

    What wood and thickness is used for the “boring” HTO?

    What is the time to beat?

  • TimmyGriffin

    I cant’ remember the last time I used a hand drill…wow this takes me back. It also gave me an idea for the workshop. We can organise a competition for who can drill fastest.

  • Alysha Smith

    Great Work!

  • Christopher Schwarz

    Public humiliation?

    I’ll have to post some photos of you arm wrestling Roy Underhill. (Hint: We all lost.)

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