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Shop Class: Alive and thriving, thank you very much

Iowa Industrial Tech Expo, woodworking competitionToday, my esteemed colleague, Craig Ruegsegger, and I had the distinct honor to act as judges in the woodworking category at the Iowa Industrial Technology Exposition. Craig and I live in the same community as the host school, so we were thrilled to participate. The middle school and high school industrial arts students, however, come from all across the state with (oftentimes large) projects in tow.

The categories of competition range from CAD-architectural drafting to electronics to vehicle restoration to robotics. We were two of many judges in the woodworking category. Two of many because, I’m happy to report, it took half of a gymnasium to house  the numerous entries and a good number of judges to consider them all. Woodworking was very well represented in the competition, both in quantity and quality. And both the students who built the projects and the teachers who mentored them should be very proud.

Here are a few of the entries that Craig and I got to judge. Believe me, it wasn’t an easy task:

The student that created this Lover’s clock spent the entire school year, one class hour at a time, completing the intricate scrollsaw work:

Scrollsawn Lover's clockThis drop-leaf table had matched turned legs, a very tight rule-joint, and even color:

Drop-leaf tableThe sides of this box were resawn and meticulously grain-wrapped; the top nicely framed a bold cathedral pattern—attention to detail that often takes years of experience to develop:

Grain-wrapped boxThe shape of this turned bowl is elegant, but just as impressive is the nearly paper-thin walls. It is light as a feather and the finish is nearly flawless:

Turned bowl

The esteemed judge, his honor LucasA modern take on the nightstandUnfortunately for us, this one was in the go-cart competition. But it featured some very nice woodwork, nonetheless:

Casket go-cartLucas @ WOOD Magazine

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One Response to “Shop Class: Alive and thriving, thank you very much”

  1. [...] we bring to any occasion (and the fact that we agreed to it), colleague Craig Ruegsegger and I were once again invited to help judge the Iowa Industrial Technology Exposition. This year, the expo was bigger [...]

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