When I logged on this morning to start voting for the LJ contest, I couldn’t help feeling that something is not quite right. I am not criticizing the Contest itself. I think the Contest is a great idea to promote woodworking and friendship among us woodchips all over the world. It can only be done over the Internet with the right site. Not even the best print magazine can come close to what the LJ is providing for us. That’s definitely an “Atta Boy”!
What I think it’s not quite right is to lump all categories of woodworking, all levels of skill and experience, from the first time novice to the professional masters in their field. If you‘d allow me to draw an analogy, wouldn’t it be like pitting an occasional backyard griller against the Executive Chef, or a sub-compact against a full size sedan, or a pickup truck against a motor cycle? Someone’s first attempt at a cigar box, no matter how beautiful it turned out (for example) won’t stand a chance against the best of the best (such as Gary of the Lazy Susan)? On the flip side, to compare the accomplished Lazy Susan with someone’s first attempt at anything just doesn’t seem fair or on the level playing grounds. What do you think?
So, what IF the contest were to be divided into different categories such as:
Boxes – of all sizes; some of us have achieved unbelievable results by making just boxes
Furniture – general home furniture, desks, chairs, tables, except workbenches
Workbenches – we make one in a life time, unless you’re in that business
Musical Instruments – this is an area probably most of us won’t even attempt or have the skill and experience to even try.
Turnings – bowls, vases, plates, pens – obviously this is limited to those who have lathes and require a whole different set of expertise
Carvings – is it fair to put these in the same category as furniture?
Toys – are great and fun, but on a whole different world from musical instruments or cabinetry, aren’t they?
Caricatures – this too is in a world of its own, from the type of wood (very soft) to the skill level
Inlays, marquetry – take the Lazy Susan for example; isn’t it the best of the best? So, how many of us would even attempt it, much less be compared against it?
Cutting boards, Bandsaw & Scrollsaw projects
And perhaps even more categories
You might argue that LJ is about having fun sharing experience and knowledge in woodworking and not about any serious competition. Sure, but still, would you want your backyard football team to go against the Dolphins or other such teams? What do you think? Don’t get mad, guy and gals. It’s only a topic for discussion at the fire place, y’know!
-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.