Sunday, December 21, 2014

End of the Year Party and Chopped Challenge Results

On one of the coldest evenings of this winter, we had our end of the year party and the Chopped Challenge contest.  There were close to 40 members and their guests and even though it was chilly outside, between the heater and the warm atmosphere in the room we had a wonderful time as you can see everyone just milling about the room, checking out the projects, enjoying food, drink, and conversation!

We did have a short business meeting and everyone paid attention as Jamie gave a re-cap of some of the years highlights and explained that this years prizes would be cold, hard cash rather than the traditional Lee Valley gift certificates.  We'd be interested to hear opinions on that move, cash is good anywhere and for any purpose whereas the gift certificates can only be used at Lee Valley.
One of the evenings highlights is the random drawing for donated prizes and CA$H!  The cash is the proceeds from our dues and raffles and to be eligible you simply had to pay the voluntary dues for the year.  In addition, if you did a featured presentation you had another chance to win for this drawing.  Speaking of that, Ted talked about the need for featured speakers for the following year and lined up several but ….. there's room for more on the schedule.  Please consider sharing what you know and do with the rest of the group and contact him.

Here are the evenings' winners:
  • Grand Prize of $100.00 went to Paul Yamada
  • Jimmy Clews -- $50.00
  • Doug O'Hair -- $50.00
  • Mel Hitzhusen -- $50.00
  • Pete Hauser -- $50.00
  • Bill Patten -- $50.00
  • John Eugster -- $50.00
  • Eric Felder -- $50.00
  • Richard Daugherty -- wheel marking gauge
  • Joe Hessling -- tool roll
  • Kate Pulling -- By Hand & Eye Book
When we arrived at the shop, all of the entries were laid out on the tables with the entry form and number for voting.  Once everyone had marked their ballot and placed it into the ballot box it was time for us to talk about the project made and how the Chopped Challenge ingredients were incorporated into it.  While the projects were being talked about the ballots were counted and the winners announced and here they are:
Chopped Challenge Winners

Lupe's  Chess Set First Place
John's  Pizza Peel Guitar Second Place
Jerald's Music Box Third Place Tie

John's Carved Shorts Third Place Tie

Lupe took the first place, People's Choice award with her beautifully crafted Chess Set.  Unfortunately, since she is the photographer we don't have a picture of her with the project but here she is, test relaxing in Beth's chair.  Lupe did a great write up on Facebook about her chess set, here's a  LINK to that.  For the "other material requirement" she found a marble chess board on Ebay that met the sizes for the box.  The box is made from Walnut with Maple accents.  She used brass hardware and turned the chess pieces on her lathe.  She took care to have the grain pattern follow around the corners of the box, excellent technique and as the peoples vote showed it is an award winning project!

John's guitar shaped pizza peel took second place.  It's really unique and began life as a commission for a pizza loving, guitar playing friend of his.  After completing that one he went ahead and created this one for the contest.  To satisfy the "other material requirement", John used a technique he learned from the Jimmy Clewes demonstration of making the inlay by the "sound hole" from powdered brass and turquoise and super glue.  The inlaid frets are spaced the same as a Les Paul guitar.  I wonder if this peel will ever see the inside of an oven?
  Jerald's project was this cabinet which houses two separate music box mechanisms which came from Switzerland.  He and I tied for third place.  The music boxes satisfied the "other material requirement" while the remainder of the box is constructed of walnut and Walnut Burl veneer with Maple banding.  Brass hinges and hardware, combined with the dowels used for the feet satisfied the rest of the ingredients for the challenge.  Jerald gave us a little history about the origin of the music boxes and wound them up so we could hear them play.

My entry are these sculptured shorts that are carved out of Basswood.  The metal hanger is attached to the shorts to  satisfy the "other material requirement".  The base is a piece of Poplar and is mounted on a lazy susan bearing so they can be rotated 360 degrees to see that they are a 3-D carve.  The dowel requirement is met with acrylic rods that support them on the stand almost invisibly.  As is my habit, these shorts were blogged about, now that the contest is over that blog was published and if you're interested here is a LINK to it.

Beth's creation was this chair which got a thumbs up from many who "test sat" in it!  She found the plans from an issue of Fine Woodworking (1987) and needed to scale it down to the amount of wood allowed for the challenge.  It consists of mainly 1" x 1" pieces held together with dowels and has many brass accents.  To satisfy the "other material requirement" upholstery materials were used as you can see.

Randy's entry  was this sculpted shirt combination Men's Valet box.  It was carved out of Basswood and the bottom section has been hollowed out so it can be used as a valet box.  Dowels are used to connect the top and bottom together while brass rivets are the fasteners.  The "other material requirement" is an IZOD label located in the neck just like it's supposed to.  Hope they don't go after him with an infringement letter from their lawyers like Woodcraft did to me!

Jim's entry is this beautifully crafted, Oak necklace cabinet.  It features dovetailed joinery with brass hardware.  The bottom is doweled to the case and glass satisfies the "other material requirement".  There was a story about the origin of the Shaker pegs but coming from a previous employer but since I don't want to get him in trouble I won't put that in print.

Pete's entry was this Cherry and Curly Cherry magazine table.  The legs are turned pine dowels which were painted black.  The leather magazine holder is suspended from the apron with brass rods while the leather satisfies the "other material requirement".  That piece of leather was found at Tandy along with someone ability to sew it for Pete's project.

Jamie showed off her "Stash Lamp", a rather ingenious design that allows you to hide your pistol right next to your bed!  One of her law enforcement students mentioned that in almost every burglary the main items taken are guns and computers.  The base of the lamp is hollow and can be lifted off to get access to the contents stored inside.  After finding that every lampshade available locally was a hideous affair, she fashioned her own of wood (what else) and copper wire -- those parts satisfy the "other material requirement".

Braxton  took a different approach to the Chopped Challenge.  Rather than making one item his goal was to see how many items he could create from the basket ingredients.  To satisfy the "other material requirement" he utilized brass, spade bits, and magnets.  He's holding an amplifier that you can place your smart phone in and as he demonstrated; it gives a much richer tone to you iTunes.

Other items he created were the marking knives at the lower left of the picture.  They are turned wood (Oak & Rosewood) with a sharpened, 1/2" spade bit.  Using a brass lamp coupling piece as a ferrule holds it all together.

The stands are for your iPad and have two angled notches in them so you can place the iPad at an angle making it easier to view.

The items at the upper left are a way to keep from losing your keys!  Instead of a traditional cup hook that you hang your key ring on, these have a rare earth magnet embedded in the bottom of the shelf that holds them in an updated way!

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