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The always popular Hand Tool Olympics competition will be held in the Marketplace at Woodworking in America West, taking place in Pasadena, California, next weekend, Oct. 12-14 at the convention center. Four skill elements will make up the Olympics and everyone attending the event is invited to participate. The Pasadena Hand Tool Olympics is being organized and hosted by the Modern Woodworkers Association.

The four competitions include crosscutting a board, rip-sawing a board, using a jointer plane to square and straighten a sawn edge, and, finally, cutting through-dovetails joining two boards. Prizes will be awarded for each event. Event winners will be based on a combination of time and accuracy. A second winner for each event will be selected in a random drawing from those competing in the event.

But the Hand Tool Olympics is not just about demonstrating one’s skills, it’s also a skill-building opportunity for woodworkers who may not have the sharpest hand tool skills. The Modern Woodworkers Association members running the Olympics are there to teach skills in addition to organizing and scoring the event.


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