Here are the frequently asked questions answered by Glen Huey, Senior Editor of Popular Woodworking.
Can we enter an original design that we’ve recently executed and already built?
Yes, as long you’re willing to build the unit again or work with us as we build it to your winning plan.
How detailed does initial design need to be? A set of plans, or just a rough sketch?
This is, to a large extent, up to the you. We must to be able to determine from the drawings that the design is able to be built without problems. So, if a woodworker can build the project from the drawings you supply, that’s sufficient. But, the number one question we get at Popular Woodworking from readers is, “Do you have any further drawings or plans available for this project?”
I use eCabinet Systems software to do my designs. Is it OK to submit the file for my entry to the Bookcase Challenge as an eCabinet Systems file?
We would prefer the file be in DXF format (or Sketchup file as specified in the challenge announcement). However, if your eCabinets file cannot be converted to a DXF, we’ll accept PDF format. (There is a free program that allows one to save a file as opposed to printing the pages.)
Are there any different categories for the judging of the prizes, such as age groups or skill levels?
There are no categories. But I’ve seen many fascinating designs and projects built by woodworkers new to the craft. In fact, it’s the design in which we’re interested, and sometimes seasoned woodworkers develop habits or certain styles that stifle their ability to create new, fresh designs. Lack of experience may be to your benefit – so don’t let age or woodworking skill level dissuade you from entering.
Why do you need the SketchUp (or dxf) file at the end if you have the pictures of your work? What is difference between the two? My guess is that the SketchUp file allows contest judges to view your work in sketch-up?
This is correct. In SketchUp, we can take the drawings apart to see how the construction could work. This goes a long way toward understanding that a design is able to be built. It’s also easy to convert to CAD files.