Among the many entertaining and informative activities at the Woodworking in America: Hand Tools & Techniques conference was the Hand Tool Olympics, run by the Society of American Period Furniture Makers. In a booth set up in the marketplace, attendees got to test their hand-tool skills against competitors , or learn a new skill. I, for example, had never ripped a piece of rough lumber until this weekend. Thanks to Dean Jansa and Mike Siemsen (who were staffing the booth at the time along with Mark Arnold), I now know how…¦though I need a great deal of practice. I also saw a young man of perhaps 12 years old cut his first set of dovetails, with a helping hand from Dean , and the dovetails were quite good (which goes to show what you can do when you have no fear of failure).
First, thanks to the event sponsors, who provided tools for the participants to use, and for the winners:
– Lee Valley and Veritas for the low-angle jointer planes for the Shooting Sports
– Mike Siemsen School of Woodworking for the rip saws (sharpened by Mark Harrell at Technoprimitives) for the One-Meter Dash and for the crosscut saws (also sharpened by Mr. Harrell) for the Crosscut Extravaganza event.
– Mid-West Tool Collectors Association for the 10″-sweep braces for the Brace Yourself For a Hole in One event.
– Bad Axe Tool Works for the backsaws used for Greco-Roman Tenons event.
– Di legno Woodshop Supply for the marking knives and mallets for the Pins First or Tails First event.
And now, the champions and raffle winners in each category:
One-meter Dash (a 36″ rip cut through 1 x12): Champion Roger Wicks; raffle winner Jeff Hildebrand
Shooting Sports (square a ripped edge with a jointer plane): Champion Lowell Johnson; raffle winner Paul Dzioba
Crosscut Extravaganza (crosscut a piece of 1 x 12): Champion Paul Arnold; raffle winner David Gilbert
Brace Yourself for a Hole in One (bore a Ã?Â¾ hole in a piece of 2 x): Champion Bryce Gardner; raffle winner Emily Bonham
Pins First or Tails First (hand-cut a 3-pin dovetail joint): Champion Warren Mickley; raffle winner Andrew Hartley
Greco-Roman Tenons (3″-long, 3/4″-thick tenon on 2×4): Champion Graham Hughes; raffle winner Howard Steier.
And yes, that’s Arts & Mysteries author Adam Cherubini in the picture, trying his hand at the One-meter Dash. Even had Adam been eligible to win, Roger Wicks beat him handily.
Thanks again to our Hand Tool Olympic sponsors, and thanks to all of you who came to the conference. And for those of you who couldn’t make it this time, there are more stories and pictures to come.