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The LumberJocks/Popular Woodworking Bookcase Challenge is in full force. Since the full-fledged announcement in our March 26th newsletter, entries have been trickling in. We expect a plethora of entries as we approach the deadline due to woodworkers’ procrastination , my style of work , and because most of us want our designs to be a surprise. But whatever your excuse, I hope you’re working on your drawings and designs.

Just to give you a taste of the competition, if you haven’t been following the event at lumberjocks.com, I thought I would show a few of the early entrants. These woodworkers stepped up and delivered their designs right out of the gate. And, these few morsels should help to inspire your designs, but remember your design has to be original.

The first entry is from Gwurst (not his real name). Gwurst says he was stymied while trying to make a traditional design stand out. So, he did what any woodworker worth his salt would do, he turned to curves. He also says he couldn’t build this design, but it appears he has an eye for design. Will he get a chance to build his bookcase? How does his piece stack up against the competition?

Here’s another reason to participate in the contest. Huck and his spouse teamed up for their entry. Huck explains that his wife designed the bookcase and he did the SketchUp work. The original concept was to build the unit from sustainable material. Good idea! Now he is sure that he’ll have to build the bookcase whether it’s the winning design or not. I plan to stay tuned to this entry to see if Huck follows through and completes the bookcase. That’s a very nice “honeydo” for the list.

Next up is a look at Joey’s design. Joey decided to bypass Google SketchUp and put pencil to paper. (That’s in keeping with the rules; you don’t have to be a computer whiz or spend time learning a design program , although we think once you get a taste of SketchUp you’ll find many uses for the program while working wood.) Joey’s inspiration for design came from a huntboard that captured his eye, so he submitted a bookcase with loads of storage, many curves and smartly used sections of inlay banding. I hope he decides to build this design. I would enjoy seeing this project completed.

There’s more eye candy to see. Take a look at submitted designs (click here), then add your own. I wouldn’t wait until the last minute if I were you. The challenge ends on April 20th and there’s no sense taking chances. Besides, I think getting the comments from fellow LumberJocks and other woodworkers would be half the fun. What do you think? Do you see a design that has you stepping out to the shop to build?

, Glen D. Huey

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Showing 2 comments
  • Joey

    Hey Glen this is Joey, I just wanted to let you I am thinking about building my design, I am in the process of open a shop in Sabina Ohio, and I may use that as piece to show case my work. if I do I will send you some pictures of it.
    Thanks Joey

  • Bert Johansen

    Hey Glen, who won the bookcase contest? I can’t find info anywhere on this or the LumberJocks site.



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