Popular Woodworking/LumberJocks Challenge 01 - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Popular Woodworking/LumberJocks Challenge 01

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LumberJocks is an online community of woodworkers that have a common thread. They enjoy sharing with one another, they appreciate one another’s work, and a good challenge doesn’t go unanswered. We know firsthand about their penchant for a challenge because Popular Woodworking, with some urging from LumberJocks members, issued a challenge. Immediately, many members were off to the shop to plan their entries, and try to goad others into revealing their ideas.

The challenge was to use the Thorsen House Table from the February 2007 (Issue #160) of Popular Woodworking as inspiration to build a project using the Greene & Greene design, while adding personal design details. We knew from the chatter on the LumberJocks web site the challenge was going to be great.

Normally the LumberJocks members judge themselves. This time, however, the Popular Woodworking editors were handed the honor. As the projects made their way onto the web site, we realized the task was not going to be easy. Then as the deadline passed, we knew we had a tough job in front of us.  

After careful scrutiny we awarded the top position. That honor goes to Neil Lamens. In the LumberJocks circle, as well as elsewhere, he is known as “Furniturologist.” Lamens has a history in woodworking that began in his college days at Oswego University in New York. The woodworking bug followed him throughout his career until choices finally lead him to where he is today. Click here to read his story.

We liked the way Lamens included a drawer, and the way the pegs added to the drawer continued the Greene & Greene look in the design. He also converted the piece to a size that was more functional for his needs. By trimming the thickness of the top and breadboard ends, he lightened the overall look without sacrificing the design. If time had permitted, it would have been nice to see a bit more detail work on the table.

The honorable-mention tables were extremely nice as well. John Hoyt’s entry (he’s “jackh” to the LumberJocks) was very elegant and built according to plan. If this were a reproduction contest he’d have taken the prize. We particularly liked the way he used different species of mahogany to highlight aspects of the table. The Brothers Greene would have liked it as well.

The table submitted by Mark Schroeder (aka “schroeder” to the LumberJocks) shows many of the original design ideas and he too decided to add a drawer to the table. It was a nice touch to make it concealed. We especially applaud the book-matched top and the additional work put into the shelf.

Popular Woodworking salutes all the entries. Everyone did great work. To see the entire list of entries from the LumberJocks community visit challenge 01 at their web site. But, while you’re there, check out the rest of the site. And keep an eye out for future challenges from Popular Woodworking and the LumberJocks.

Thanks to all who participated.

, Glen D. Huey

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Showing 5 comments
  • Bill

    Thank you to Popular Woodworking and Lumberjocks for creating this challenge. There were so many great entries, choosing a winner was an even greater challenge. Congratulations to the winners, as well as everyone who entered the challenge.

  • oscorner

    It was a great challenge and lots of fun competing against my fellow LumberJocks. I thank Popular Woodworking for their part in the challenge and judging of the great entries. Congradulations to everyone who met the challenge and the winners! Thank you, Glen for the nice writeup!

  • Mot

    Thanks to Popular Woodworking and to all the Lumberjocks that created such a great group entries. And Glen, great writeup. The judging for this challenge must have been difficult!

  • Karson Morrison

    Glen: I applaud you and Popular Woodworking for your assistance in making the LumberJock Woodworking Challenge what I hoped it would be. Probably in no other magazines history has so many people used your plans, so fast, to come up with a personalized version of what your magazine presented.

    It was a fun project and we still have people attempting to complete theirs.

  • RobS

    Way to go LumberJocks! Congrats to all who entered. Super job by all! RobS

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