In Shop Blog, Techniques

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As you might remember, we have a bit of a competition going among some of the women attending the Woodworking in America conference this week. Megan Fitzpatrick, Heather Griffin (one of the conference organizers) and Kari Hultman from the blog The Village Carpenter are all vying to be the best borer.

As a result, they’ll be competing in the Hand Tool Olympics, sinking a 3/4″ bit through yellow pine to see who is the fastest (points off for a hole that isn’t plumb).

Today we gave Heather a few pointers on boring, then Megan showed us how she was doing. Then Megan tried to kick Heather in the head. Really. It’s in the movie.

By the way, apologies to everyone in advance here. I called both of them “girls” during this short video. Yes it took only 1:09 for my Southerness to shine through. In Arkansas we call 70-year-old grandmothers “girls.” And until my voice changed, they called me “girl,” too.

In any case, the boring climax of this competition will occur at the Saturday-night banquet at Woodworking in America. It’s a full card: Roy Underhill and a catfight.

– Christopher Schwarz


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Showing 16 comments
  • Woodworking Hardware

    Haha, Nice kick, great form!!!

  • The Village Carpenter

    Yeah, but Megan doesn’t know about my cunning Canasta skills.
    There will be blood.
    Oh yes. There will.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    Megan spent four seasons in "The Octagon" as a mixed martial-arts fighter before she began her effort to get a doctorate in early modern drama.


  • The Village Carpenter

    LOL@ Ron! Alfred, I didn’t speed up my video, but the bit I was using had just been sharpened, so that probably helped. I’m sure this will be a photo finish between the three of us. I just hope I’m out of range of Megan’s fierce kicking boxing maneuvers.

  • Ron Boe

    Most of the women I know can bore right through me just using their eyes. Giving them a brace and a bit seems like over kill to me.

    (You get paid to do these movies?)

  • Alfred Kraemer

    Makes me wonder if Kari either had the better brace/bit, accelerated the speed on the video, drilled softer wood, or was just faster.
    My other suspicion, did someone give them a blunt drill bit or one of those with a rather high cutting angle. If the wood is yellow pine, I would use a Jennings-type bit which would require more turns but allows you to go faster.

    Will all the competitors get the same wood, brace, and bit?

  • megan

    Mike…pack your black & white striped shirt.

  • Mike Siemsen

    I am afraid to see the answer to Kevin’s question.

  • Kevin Thomas

    Just who is refereeing this title bout?

  • Christopher Schwarz


    1. Always hire a managing editor with a good command of both the English language and the roundhouse kick.

    2. Always be ready to duck.

    And that is what editing a woodworking magazine is all about.


  • Steve

    How can I place a bet?

  • Dano

    I wouldn’t dare give them all away.

    Not after seeing the round-house kick at the end. :^)

  • Megan

    Geez Dano! Give away all my secrets why don’t you!

  • Dano

    Not the I would play favorites (I do like Megan; any gal that would trade her panties for woodworking tools is a friend of mine 😉 ), but isn’t Heather boring into a harder section of that plank?

    Heather appears to be boring through a section of vertical latewood (riftsawn in nature), while Megan is boring through a section that is horizontal in section (flatsawn in nature). Is calling it end grain vs. face grain a fair statement?

    Given the choice, I think I would have opted for the section Megan is trying.

  • Heather

    Wow, that makes me feel so much better Kari!! No offense to Chris, he’s a great "girl" and all, albeit "boring", but Roy Underhill and Adam Cherubini, that’s just not fair!!!!

  • The Village Carpenter

    You two gals are lucky that Chris has been coaching you. I’ve only had Adam Cherubini and Roy Underhill giving me pointers. I’m sunk for sure.

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