Volume: 132
Issue: April - May 2011

February Meeting: Hand Tool Olympics 2011

Story by David Mitchell
Photos by Paul Schalekamp

The February Woodworkers Guild meeting featured the annual hand tool Olympics event. This is the second year for the event; hosted for the second time by Forest Products (www.forestproductssupply.com) in Maplewood and sponsored by Mike Siemson’s School of Woodworking (www.schoolofwood.com).

The meeting started with food delivered by Jimmy John’s. The door prizes were supplied by Rockler Woodworking (www.rockler.com). The door prize winners were:

Name Door Prize
John Larson Small Piece Holder
Loren Kothrade Miter Gauge
Tom Opdahl Clamp, 10" Screw
Andy Scherrer Clamp, 10" Screw
Dean Jansa Bench Cookies
Rutager West Tool Bag
Jacob Harder Bessy Clamp, 12" parallel jaw


The competition was structured around four teams and six events. The six events consisted of:

Event Description
Dovetailing Two workbenches were set up with equivalent tools and the dovetailing contestant created a single two tail/three pin dovetail
Ripping A saw bench and a rip saw were supplied to each contestant
Crosscutting A cross-cut saw and the saw benches were used
Boring A brace with a 3/4 inch bit were used
Tenoning Equivalent tools consisting of gauges, marking, and saw were used to cut a single tenon to fit an existing mortise
Jointing This year a wooden try plane was used vs a Stanley jointing plane. The blade was cambered as explained by Mike. The boards used were all stacked and taken out of sqaure by roughing them as a unit.


Judging was done by official timers and judges. A number of people stepped forward to volunteer their time and effort to make this a successful event. The Guild recognizes their efforts.

Each event was timed and judged for fit or straightness. The number of cards that fit into any crack or void that should be tight was added to the elapsed time as penalty points.

Team Standings and Accomplishments

Team Name: The Winning Team
Captain: Andy Holst
Member Competition Time Cards Notes
Steve Schwabacher Dovetail 480 9  
Andy Holst Ripping 24 17 Best Time
Mark Greninger Crosscut 12 15 Best Time, Best Overall
Jon Perko Boring 14 1 Best Accuracy, Best Overall
Jon Walkowaik Tenon 344 5  
Steve McLoon Jointing 91 3  
Team Totals    965 50  
Team Name: Team Ross
Captain: Ross Larson
Member Competition Time Cards Notes
Dave Samboski Dovetail 569 6 Best Accuracy
Jon Cumpton Ripping 64 14  
Rutager West Crosscut 23 13 Best Accuracy
John Osen Boring 14 55  
Ross Larson Tenon 243 1 Tie for Best Accuracy
Dave Samboski Jointing 48 2  
Team Totals    961 41 Best Accuracy
Team Name: Jeff's Hacks
Captain: Jeff Anderson
Member Competition Time Cards Notes
Bob Bridigum Dovetail 1446 13  
George Schwartzbauer Ripping 32 6 Best Accuracy, Best Overall
Jim Norrix Crosscut 19 14  
George Schwartzbauer Boring 14 8  
Jeff Anderson Tenon 208 1 Best Time, Best Accuracy, Best Overall
Jeff Anderson Jointing 42 1 Best Time, Tie for Best Accuracy, Best Overall
Team Totals    1751 43  
Team Name: Board Busters
Captain: Charlie Kocourek
Member Competition Time Cards Notes
Ed Neu Dovetail 462 7 Best Time, Best Overall
Jerry Beutel Ripping 27 14  
Frank Wood Crosscut 23 15  
Ray Ayotte Boring 13 8 Best Time
Charlie Kocourek Tenon 250 10  
Jeff Hand Jointing 95 1 Tie for Best Accuracy
Team Totals    870 55 Best Time, Best Overall


The competition was focused and heckling and second-guessing from the peanut gallery was competitive. All had fun.

The accolades go to the team Board Busters led by Charlie. They took both Best Overall and Best Time. Team Ross showed with the fewest penalty cards.