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With under twenty some days until the deadline, i decided to begin documenting my contest entry! As of today, i am currently 80% complete with my entry.

For those knot in the no: Article Describing the Contest && The Official Rules

There are a lot of 'Firsts' in my story and it begins with this contest being the "First Annual", so merely entering the contest is worth while! This is my very 'First' contest entry, my 'First' chance to work with maple, my 'First' time working with a couple of the various power tools used, my 'First' time attempting 3 different joinery techniques, and my 'First' time buying lumber "in the rough"!

Having studied the Official Rules this section seems to be the most important:

> WINNING:
> Judging Criteria. Among all qualified entries received, the judging organization (the "Judges")
> shall select the top twenty four (24) entries based on the criteria listed below on or about May 1, 2008.
>
> Entries shall be judged subjectively as follows:
> a. Quality of Design 60%
> b. Craftsmanship 40%
>
> The top twenty four (24) entries selected by the Judges shall be the "Semi-Finalists" and will have their
> projects displayed on the Website (the "Semi-Finalist Gallery") where consumers may cast their votes
> (see Consumer Voting paragraph below).

Knowing this, I spent a considerable amount of time in my Design phase, i began Christmas night and worked on my designs for almost 3 months! I have officially come up with 4 completely different design ideas using the allocated board footage! Despite taking 3 months to decide upon my chosen design, by far the hardest job was actually finding the stick that i wanted to work with.

I visited many of my local lumber yards in the Buffalo, NY South towns to look at the maple they had available and learned a lot! Most of the maple available was dressed and 3/4" dimensional lumber, and quite boring! All the local guys with lots of maple either didn't want to sell only 17board ft. or they had "none dried avail'able" (that isn't a misplaced hyphen!)

I finally found what i wanted right in downtown Buffalo, where i met 'Tony the Caveman' and explained the crazy dimensions of undressed maple i was after. We located the only 10" 8/4 Hard Maple stick they had, and i rescued it from its death sentence as a BMW pallet! My choice stick has lots of character, no end checks, a 1/4" of wane and a mighty bad cup. My designs choices were then considered based on these facts, and the approaching deadline!

Saturday March 30th was the first day i made a cut into my stick, and by the end of that day i cut and dressed every large piece needed to complete the project. I will hold out on spilling my design choice for a later installment, but if you visit my website there are some additional photos, and one of them has the answer!

Stay tuned for more details, these next few weeks will be very busy for me!

Gallery

Comments

· Registered
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5,163 Posts
Sounds like an interesting contest and you appear to be off to a good start. This is going to be interesting.

Thanks for the post.
 

· Registered
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114 Posts
Michael - good for you for participating in the challenge - looking forward to your progress reports.

Phil
 

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176 Posts
Michael Good Luck on the contest it would great if a Lumberjocks won, looking forward to seeing your finished piece. I entered the design contest that Lumberjocks and Popular Woodworking is having so I know how exciting but tense putting yourself out feels, check out my design if you get a chance.
http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/joey/blog/4002
 

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1,057 Posts
Looks like you're shooting for some kind of occasional table - good luck with the project!
 

· In Loving Memory
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2,704 Posts
Nice design, and iI love that maple. Nice website also. mike
 

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Wow! I'm a bit behind on my FWW reading. I didn't know about this contest. Let's see… I have 2 weeks to plan a project including how much lumber it will take, find and buy the lumber, probably have to learn a bunch of stuff I don't know how to do… and build it….. I'm in!!

Ok, I'm crazy I know, trying to do this in 2 weeks, but Mike, if you haven't started yours yet either, I think I can do this. Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Just an FYI….............but Mike made the final 24!!!!!! Nice job Mike!!!!! In doing so, he's got a Lumberjocks and a Canadian Woodworking link coming over from Fine Woodworking!!!!

Nice work Mike…......gotta be feeling real good…...Neil
 
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