2017 Indianapolis Adventures in Wood

2017 Indianapolis Adventures in Wood

The 2017 annual Adventures in Wood Contest at the Rockler Woodworking and Hardware’s Indianapolis store had a diverse group of entries and participants. The opening was bustling with the woodworkers, the respective proud friends and family, and store customers. There were five different categories in the competition: Boxes, Miscellaneous, Furniture, Turning, Sculpture, and an award for Best in Show.

Ralph Buschbacher won the Best in Show and First Place in the Box division for his piece, “Jewel of a Box.”

Ralph Buschbacher really took home the honey pot by winning three awards. Ralph won First Place in the Furniture Division for Starburst and Chair, and then he won Best in Show and First Place in the Box Division for his jewelry box, Jewel of a Box. Ralph was a returning winner from last year.

Ralph’s desk and chair combo, “Starburst and Chair,” was constructed with excellent craftsmanship.

Other returning winners included: Dale Smith, Tom Meeker and Jeffrey Shaw. Dale Smith is quite an animated character. He loves building model cars, and he estimates it took him about 1,000 hours to complete his winning entry, 1910 Buick Bug — which explains to me why Dale said his wife doesn’t even mind if he works on the model cars in their bedroom! Tom Meeker had a total of three entries this year; one entry was a helmet cabinet that will be sold at a silent auction to benefit The Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Jeffrey Shaw pays attention to detail, and he made all the tiny furniture that is inside his winning work, Adirondack Log Cabin. Jeffrey even made the roof using hand-split pine shingles.

Dale Smith won the Miscellaneous Division this year with a different model of a car, a “1910 Bug.” Check out his matching T-shirt!
Tom Meeker won 1st place in the Turning Division for his bowl, “Natural Edge Oak Bowl.”
Jeffrey Shaw won 2nd place in the Miscellaneous Division for his “Adirondack Log Cabin.”

Sculpture was a new category for the competition this year. There were only a total of three participants in this new genre. John L. Lagzdins won this new category by making a beautiful wall sculpture that is a traditional Latvian Coat of Arms. Another wall sculpture by Theresa Groth won second place. Theresa and her husband are starting a woodworking business.

First place in the Sculpture Division was awarded for the intricately carved “Latvian Coat of Arms,” by John L. Lagzdins.
Theresa Groth won 2nd place in the sculpture division for her beautiful carving of calla lilies and a butterfly on her work titled, “A New Beginning.”

I think that everyone who participated deserves recognition, but there are a couple of projects that I particularly enjoyed. Nexus by Dana Mosley is a pair of mahogany side tables that each have beautifully shaped fronts carved by using different techniques – for one table she used a Dremel rotary tool, and for the other she used gouges. Each table has drawers that can be opened together, or you can remove a pin and open them separately (hence, the name Nexus).

Dana Mosley’s “Nexus” side tables have drawers that can be opened together or separately.

My second choice is Josh DeWitt. Josh created a crib and a dresser for his 10-month-old daughter. The crib can be adjusted into a toddler bed and then into a full-size bed. The two pieces were crafted with the utmost care, including half-blind dovetails for the drawers. I’m sure Josh had “heirloom” in mind when he was making these.

Josh DeWitt’s bedroom suite for his daughter includes a crib that converts into a toddler, then full-size, bed.

This is a fun event with a lot of return participants. With $1,375 worth of gift cards awarded, I think next year should bring even more people to get involved. I was happy to be a part of the event, and it is always nice to see friendly new and old faces.

The team at the Indianapolis Rockler Store did a wonderful job putting together the Adventures in Wood Contest 2017!


Scott Oosting won 2nd place in the Box Division for his “Miter and Cove Box” that he made for his wife.
In the Turning Division, 2nd place went to Steve Ruster for “Open Segment Bowl.” Steve turns a lot of different bowls and pens, but he doesn’t sell any of them because his wife and daughter like to collect them.

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