Amateur

First Prize Secretary Ed Stuckey Detroit, Ml

Ed Stuckey enjoys making reproduction furniture, but he doesn't copy period pieces slavishly. MI like to give myself the same design freedom that the original makers had," he explains.

An amateur furniture maker for 25 years, Stuckey likes to challenge himself with every new project. This 92-in.-high curly cherry secretary is his most difficult piece to date.

For this design, Stuckey married the top and bottom cases from two different late-18th-century pieces, modifying the bonnet, waist and some of the carvings to suit his taste. He worked from photographs and examined period pieces in museums and antique shops.

The secretary took Stuckey 800 hours to design and make. He shaped the bonnet molding using an overhead pin router and templates. Half-blind dovetails join much of the casework. The compartment dividers are dadoed into the case sides rather than slipped in as a prcbuilt unit. Twelve coats of shellac top off an aniline dye stain.

Second Prize 1931 Model A Ford Coupe George Gartner Billings, MT

George Gartner has been doing carpentry and woodworking projects for many years. But when the 56-year-old engineering technician began making toys and downsized versions of vintage automobiles about four years ago, he relied on plans and patterns found in books or bought by mail. "I didn't really have the confidence to design something from scratch," he explains.

After building a few projects by the book, Gartner started working on his own designs. Now he generates his own patterns for antique cars. To create a set of working plans, Gartner studies photographs and takes notes at car shows and auto museums.

Gartner's Model A was made from a variety of woods, including cherry,

First-prize awards. First-prize winners in the three award categories— amateur, student and professional—each receive an engraved Excellence in Craftsmanship* Award in addition to the $ 1,000 cash prize. Second-prize winners receive a cash prize of $300, and third-prize winners receive $200 each.

Here arc the winning entries in our 1996 competition. To get a look at some of the other excellent runncrs-up, turn to "Gallery," on page 1 14. Wc extend our congratulations to the winners and hearty thanks to everyone who sent us photos of their best work.

Please note: Now's the time to start planning for our 1997 Excellence competition. The deadline for entries is June 6, 1997. Sec page 106 for details and an entry blank.

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withstand the weight of the 174-lb. craftsman. For example, instead of doweling the legs to the body, he cuts 1 -in. by 3-in. by 5-in. tenons on each leg and mortises them into the body. Similarly, he cpoxics 1 '/8-in.-dia. scaled ball bearings into the side swinger struts to ensure several lifetimes' worth of smooth, squeak-free rides.

Some of his techniques are more sublime. Sealed within the body is a time capsulc containing a Bible, a newspaper. and a few notes about himself.

Despite his success, Stanley admits: "I can't draw to save my life. Instead, I get a piece of wood or clay and push it into shape. When I did this horse, I made one side in 2-

in.-thick clay with just enough detail to get an idea of how it would look. Then 1 used it as a pattern."

Stanley looks forward to the possibility of turning pro. UI can't tell you how much joy it brings, just to see that piece of wood take shape When I'm carving I can just relax."

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mahogany, maple, walnut, blue mahoc, bubinga, poplar and ash. Gartner used natural wood tones—nor stains— to delineate different parts of the car.

Completing the Model A took about six months of intermittent work. "When I was younger, I never had the patience for this kind of thing," Gartner admits. "Now, I just do a little bit at a time You have to devise jigs to do a lot of the intricate work," he says. "The wheels arc the toughest parrs."

Third Prize Rocking Horse Brian Stanley Yorba Linda, CA

l'en years ago Brian Stanley, a model ship maker, made a rocking horse for his children. Since then, Stanley's attention has turned to carving and carousc! animals. Not bound by traditional design, Stanley chose to decorate his horse with images from the story of Noah's ark.

Stanley has a simple goal in his design: His work must

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Antique Collecting

Antique Collecting

ABOUT fifty years ago, when the subject of English furniture first began to be studied and to be written about, it was divided conveniently into four distinct types. One writer called his books on the subject The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age of Mahogany and The Age of Satinwood. It is not really quite as simple as that, for each of the so-called Ages overlaps the others and it is quite impossible to lagt down strict dates as to when any one timber was introduced or when it finally, if ever, went out of favour.

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