Hand Tool Olympics Midwest

The Cincinnati Hand Tool Olympics are organized and hosted by Mike Siemsen's School of Woodworking and the Society of Period Furniture Makers. They will be held in the Marketplace at Woodworking in America Midwest at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Hand Tool Olympics event hours are:

  • Friday, November 2: 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday, November 3: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Six different skill tasks/events will make up the WIA Midwest program: Crosscutting, Ripping, Dovetailing, Edge Jointing, Boring, and Tenoning.
On Friday, the competitions are on crosscutting and ripping using a handsaw, then using a jointer plane to straighten a square edge of the board the participant rip cuts. Scoring will be based on both time and quality of each demonstrated skill, like squareness of cut or planed edge and how straight the cut or jointed edge is. Winners of each competition will receive a vintage rip or crosscut saw provided by Ron Herman. The edge jointing winner will receive a bevel up jointer plane provided by Veritas. Each participant will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a similar prize for each competition.

On Saturday, the competitions will be a repeat of crosscutting and dovetailing. Participants will layout and cut through dovetails. Again, competitors will be judged on time and quality of the joinery. For the dovetailing winner, a dovetail saw will be awarded and there will also be a drawing to win a dovetail saw. Saws are provided by Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Rob Cosman.
In addition to the events described above, two more events will be included in the WIA Midwest Hand Tool Olympics. These will include using hand tools to layout and hand cut a tenon and using a brace and 3/4" bit to drill a hole. Ron Herman is providing the braces and two will be awarded; one for the best score and the other in a drawing. Bad Axe Toolworks will supply the tenon saw prizes.