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The 2019 Staff Power Carving Competition

Every year at Arbortech, we are enthusiastically encouraged to participate in the annual Staff Power Carving Competition. 

The rules are simple: 

  • Dream up any type of woodworking project
  • Use at least 1 Arbortech tool
  • Finish it in 3 months

At the end of the 3 months, we create a pop-up art exhibition held for one afternoon filled with laughter, music, delicious food and prizes.

It’s an interesting ‘mixed bag’ of people that work at Arbortech, from super competitive enthusiasts to more reserved humble creators. Every one of them is respected and appreciated for their contribution to the competition and of course, the part they play in the company.

Some people didn’t start their projects until a few days before the deadline (typical student style), others started on day one and chipped away at their projects every day. A few hadn’t ever picked up a power tool in their life, so needed a little guidance and a practice piece of wood to work on before they found their groove. 

Regardless of their skill level or style, everyone contributed something pretty cool by the time of the exhibition. As creators of truly unique quality tools, understanding how easy it is to ‘create’ something from a scrap piece of wood feels pretty good.

All in all, it’s incredible to see the beautiful finished pieces, some of which look like they belong in an art gallery, created by people who are relatively new to the world of power carving. 

Novice

Name: Melting Clock – Running Out of Time

Inspiration: Salvador Dali and the alarming rate of global warming

Wood: Camphor Laurel

Tools Used: Mini Carver with Mini Pro and Sander, Power Chisel, Contour Sander, TURBO Shaft, TURBO Plane, Sanding Pad on Power Carving Unit

Name: Octo Beer Caddy Pus

Inspiration: Being recycled boat timber, I decided to make a nautical themed item. I also wanted something practical to use

Wood: Puon Pine – Recycled Boat Timber

Tools Used: Mini Carver, Power Chisel, Mini Pro

Name: Console Table

Inspiration: I needed a table for my hallway at home and thought this console table would work well

Wood: Jarrah – Recycled picket fence

Tools Used: Power Carving Unit, Levelling Guide, Chip Catcher, TURBO Plane, Sanding Pad, Contour Sander

Name: Bunny Stool

Inspiration: I wanted to make my nieces a cute little stool they can sit on and play with

Wood: White Gum

Tools Used: Bandsaw, TURBO Plane, Sanding Pad, Power Carving Unit

Name: Don Gato

Inspiration: My Beautiful cat and how annoying my toilet’s door is

Wood: Olive Wood

Tools Used: Mini Carver, Mini Industrial, Mini Pro, Power Carving Unit, TURBO Plane, Sanding Pad, Contour Sander

Name: Treasure Chest

Inspiration: A jewellery box for my daughter. The piece of wood reminded me of a pirate treasure chest, which is why I chose it

Tools Used: TURBO Plane, Ball Gouge, Contour Sander, Power Carving Unit, Bandsaw

Name: My Favourite Three

Inspiration: Three of my favourite coffee mugs

Wood: Olive Wood

Tools Used: Mini Carver, Ball Gouge, TURBO Shaft, Mini TURBO, Sanding Pad, Contour Sander, Power Carving Unit

Name: Wok Trivet

Inspiration: Asian Wok has curved bottom which will not sit well on a normal trivet so I made one specifically for my work

Wood: Camphor

Tools Used: Mini Pro, TURBO Plane, Contour Sander, Power Carving Unit

Name: Tired Mama

Inspiration: As a busy mum of an energetic toddler, I wanted an easy project

Wood: White Gum

Tools Used: TURBO Shaft, Power Carving Unit, Sanding Pad

Name: Turbo Plane

Inspiration: A chunky cartoon appearance which also makes it resistant to the crashes and bumpy life of a toy

Wood: Blocked Plywood

Tools Used: TURBO Plane, Industrial Woodcarver, Trade Blade, TURBO Shaft

Name: Zelda Female Gnome

Inspiration: To use up wood left over from my renovation

Wood: Offcut Plywood

Tools Used: Power Carving Unit, Sanding Pad, Mini TURBO, Sanding Pad, Contour Sander

Name: Lovin’ Spoonful

Inspiration: Whilst on retreat at Jhana Grove I was doing a lot of walking through the forest, flowers and fallen timber. This piece of wood caught my attention on a possible ladle, to ladle loving kindness or metta

Tools Used: Mini TURBO, Contour Sander

Name: Layered Flower Dish

Inspiration: I really wanted to do something with Plywood as it has those lovely layers. Wasn’t really sure what I was doing so just made something simple

Wood: Marine Plywood

Tools Used: TURBO Plane, Mini Carver, Contour Sander, Power Carving Unit

Name: Apakah

Inspiration: People and Diversity

Experienced

Name: Goanna

Inspiration: I always wanted to sculpt a piece inspired by nature. This was my first attempt and I really enjoyed it

Wood: Recycled Australian Red Gum

Tools Used: Power Carving Unit, TURBO Plane, Mini Carver, Power Chisel, Contour Sander

Name: Round Stool

Inspiration: Created using a “poor man’s lathe”. I wanted to make something freehand but round at the same time

Wood: Recycled Spotted Gum / Lemon Scented Gum

Tools Used: Power Carving Unit, TURBO Plane, Sanding Pad, Industrial Woodcarver, Ball Gouge, Contour Sander

Name: Bench Seat

Inspiration: I needed a bench in the bedroom to put my shoes/socks on while sitting as my bed is too high

Wood: Red Gum (furniture grade)

Tools Used: TURBO Plane, Power Carving Unit, Sanding Pad, Contour Sander

Name: Vessel Collection

Inspiration: I wanted to showcase the scope of Arbortech woodwroking tools

Wood: Jarrah, Karri and Desert Bark

Tools Used: Ball Gouge, Mini Carver, Contour Sander, Power Carving Unit

Name: Mallee Skull

Inspiration: To create a usable piece and to make it look as natural as possible

Wood: Mallee Root

Tools Used: Ball Gouge, Mini Carver, Industrial Blade, Mini Ball Gouge, Contour Sander, TURBO Shaft, Power Carving Unit

Name: ‘Hoot’ The long eared Owl

Inspiration: Saw a Postcard in St Albans Cathederal, England that had an owl photo. I purchased it and then used it as a plan for my carving

Tools Used: TURBO Plane, Power Chisel, TURBO Shaft, Contour Sander, Mini Carver

Name: Lady of the Lake

Inspiration: What I saw in the wood

Wood: Gilmit

Tools Used: Every Arbortech tool!

Name: Bowl

Wood: Offcut pine

Tools Used: Industrial Blade, Power Carving Unit, Mini TURBO, Ball Gouge, Sanding Pad, Contour Sander

Name: Less is more

Inspiration: I needed a soap dish for the newly renovated bathroom. I decided to create minimalistic soap dish that combines square and round geometric forms, and textured, tactile surfaces

Wood: Jarrah

Tools Used: Mini TURBO, Ball Gouge, Power Chisel

Name: Olive Wood Baguette Natter

Inspiration: Friends used a ceramic version at a dinner party recently

Wood: Olive

Tools Used: TURBO Plane, Ball Gouge, Contour Sander, Power Carving Unit

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