Maybe the Best Bridge City Contest Ever?


“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

— Henry Ford



First, a big thanks to all for the congratulations regarding the 2013 exhibition–your words and encouragement are really appreciated.


As you might imagine, there is a lot of work to make all this happen, and if you are going to work, why not make it fun? So, every now and then I will post some behind-the-scenes information so you don’t run out of drivel. We never want to run out of drivel… that would be bad.


Today I met with Nicole from the Museum of Contemporary Craft to discuss the educational component of the exhibition. We agreed that it might be really fun to have a couple of Jointmaker Pro’s in the museum workshop area making squiggle marble track. Then, much like our noisy video of the same ilk, we would, over a period of weeks and months, create a giant kinetic marble maze mounted vertically on the wall. The idea of course is to get people acquainted, or in some cases, reacquainted with non-powered tools and spontaneously create a collaborative, and fun sculpture for young and old alike.


Next, we discussed JMP projects and I shared with her the CAD drawings of the chess set I have been working on for the past couple of years. So it looks like that is going to be on display too. (FYI, for those of you taking my JMP class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking next Spring, you will make this project.) A pic of the King and Queen is below. All JMP cuts and block plane work–now you know how the Precision Fence System came to be…


This discussion awakened the muse. I proposed the following contest idea to Nicole; what if Bridge City sponsored a contest for those folks who own, or use a Jointmaker Pro? All you need to do is design and make a project that primarily relies on the JMP and the winning entries would be included in the exhibition and our upcoming book! Furthermore, if your work is gallery quality, Nicole is open to including your work in the sales gallery! How cool is that?


So that is exactly what we are going to do. If you like contests with meaty prizes this is a good one. All entries need to be received by April 15th, 2013–I picked this date because I know it is your favorite date. The museum curator will judge all entries.


So, what is gallery quality? At the bare minimum it is stellar craftsmanship–that is a given. Next, your work needs to evoke an emotional response–which means it needs to resonate, good and bad vibes work–the world is your oyster.


What if there are only four successful entries? Well, then I know we will sell at least 4 copies of our book. Unless of course the entries are all from San Diego…


Let the questions begin…



71 comments on this post:

  1. Rutager,

    I need to buy a bike first! I have a two wheeled thing but it has 1,500 CC of engine on it. Will that count? I suppose with the weather this week it might as long as hypothermia doesn’t set in..

    PS: I think you may be right about Masood. He seems a little shady to me….JUST KIDDING Masood…

  2. Dennis,

    I can help with a few of the ingredients, I know it contains poblano and jalapeño peppers and four cheeses: I only remembered 2; cream cheese and Velveeta.

    Good luck, please share,

  3. John,

    You need to be more careful with your #1 tool buyer here.. You need to stop saying NO all the time and start saying something like “it will come with your next order”.. He WILL bite on that one!

  4. Michael,

    I’m not much into tuxedo’s as Rutager is, but with the recent weather in your neck of the woods I’m thinking there may be some high quality BCT rain gear coming?


  5. Dennis,

    John always says yes to Fred.

    Now go figure out that mac & cheese recipe; we’re getting hungry.


  6. Rutager

    22 ideas?!! You will need a few more JMP’s and HP6 bodies.

    Can you share the issue number for the Popular WW article that features you? Or the cover photo if it is not you in a tux?


  7. Neil,

    Apparently the PW folks think that Tommy MacDonald is better looking than me and decided to put him on the cover. The issue is #201 Dec. 2012. Of course I already shared how to make the inlays on the BCTW forum, so you guys are way ahead.

    22 ideas came out of some intensive brainstorming while the contest was fresh in my mind- I wrote every one down and will see which 3 or 4 need to be realized. I have already ordered a duplicate HP-6 sole to modify or destroy, depending on if my vision is good.


  8. Rutager,

    Kidding aside, the only way I know how to have a great idea is to have many ideas–and most will be discarded.

    Can’t wait to see what you cooked up.

    I have also heard from Peter Franks and apparently he is having trouble sleeping because of this contest.

    Dennis, I would enter your stamp boxes–they are cool.

    DSN: Wake up and enter!

    I hope you folks realize how cool this could be… Should be fun!


  9. John,

    I guess I have dibbs on that one. I did plan to do that. I’m also working on a new idea or two. This really is the best opportunity!


  10. Geez Peter,

    If you are loosing sleep and you took the entire rare wood contest without breaking a sweat, it looks like Rutager’s 25 ideas are not out of line (or nearly enough)! Heavy hitter in the ring now guys!

    I have to go – I’m falling behind fast.


  11. John,

    I know we still have lots of time and most of us probably haven’t made anything yet, but do you have any more information on how we get our entries in?


  12. I will announce something real soon–they have to be in before the book goes to press–probably the first of March.


  13. OK,

    that just pushed the pressure meter up a bit. I was thinking more like May or so. Thanks for the tip John!


  14. John,
    “I will announce something real soon–they have to be in before the book goes to press–probably the first of March.”
    How does this bode for the “metric minority” recipients of the Precision Fence?

    Realistically speaking?
    (I’m hearing rumors from the depths of Portland)

  15. John,

    Your hard work paid off and my fence arrived today. Thank you.

    My mind is still working hard on this contest, although it has switched from generating ideas to refining my favorites.

    Pin gauges are on their way and the HP-6 sole I modified works as I wanted.

    My trip to visit Masood is also falling in place- we will either end up making a cool entry or getting arrested, anyone’s bet at this point!


  16. John,

    I’m a kid again- couldn’t wait to get home to play on the JMP! I got the feeling that I had in junior high, when I just couldn’t wait until school let out to get home to my 150 in 1 electronic set, you know the ones where you push wires and components into sockets to make simple circuits. I would do my homework on the bus so I could spent the rest of the day wiring. What a great feeling, now if someone could let my bald spot know that I’m young again!


  17. Rutager: I still have the fingerjointed wood box of my brother’s 100(?)-in-1 kit (they were plastic when I got mine). Did you know they make a 500-in-1 kit now–by my reckoning it’s a 333.3% upgrade.

  18. David,

    Pretty cool, I didn’t know how much of that sort of stuff was still available; here’s hoping the science kits out number video games and smart phones this holiday season!


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