Custom Woodworking Design Portfolio Winners Honored

By Bill Esler | Posted: 03/01/2012 7:00AM


Cabinets and Closets Expo 2013 awards gala   EDISON, NJ Winners of the 2012 Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio were honored in the competition's first-ever awards event, held Wednesday night, Feb. 27 at a gala reception on the eve of the Cabinets & Closets Expo, in Edison, NJ.

On hand to receive their award plaques - etched on beveled hard maple by Epilog Laser on its 50-watt helix unit  - were Steve Ballenger, Zepsa Industries, Charlotte, NC; John Kweselait, CWF Inc., Newton, NJ; Tom Gafgen, Thomas. P. Gafgen Cabinetmakers, Robbinsville, NJ; and representatives of Architectural Furnishings, San Juan Capistrano, CA and of Zongkers Custom Wood, Omaha, NE.

Zongkers Custom Wood won the Peoples Choice award in the 2012 Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio competition with this traditional jewelry box. First announced in a special digital edition of Custom Woodworking Business  magazine in December, winners were selected by a panel of wood industry professionals from among 36 finalists (shown below).

Now in its 20th year, the Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio awards are given annually to honor custom woodworkers for their outstanding design and execution.

Last year, the Design Portfolio expanded to allow more participation by the woodworking industry with the inclusion of a People’s Choice award. After the judges cast their ballots, visitors to Woodworking Network voted on the People's Choice in the best of the 2012 Design Portfolio Competition from the 36 finalists below. Zongkers Custom Wood Inc. won the People's Choice award.

Single copy sales of the 20th Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio winners are available, printed on-demand at HP Magcloud. Order print copies here.

20th Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio Winners

These companies won the 20th annual Custom Woodworking Business Design Portfolio awards and will be honored at the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo, held Feb. 27-March 1, 2013, in Edison, NJ.

Architectual Millwork

Winner: Zepsa Industries
Charlotte, NC
Project Private Yacht

Honorable Mention: Interior Woodworking Specialists Redmond, WA
Project University of Washington Husky Hub

Winner: CWF Inc. Newton, NJ
Project J Town Tavern
Honorable Mention: Eikona Studios Cleveland, OH Project Eastern Christian Icon Screen


Winner: CWF Inc. Newton, NJ
Project Church Podium

Honorable Mention: Fowler Custom Works Mississauga, ON, Project Wine Cellar

Residential Furniture, Built-in

Winner: Achitectural Furnishings
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Project Gentleman’s Bar

Honorable Mention: Grand International Designers Group Skokie, IL
Project Family Room

Kitchen/Bath Cabinets

Winner: Thomas P. Gafgen
Robbinsville, NJ
Project Myra’s Dream Kitchen

Honorable Mention: Chervin Kitchen & Bath Waterloo, ON, Canada Project Rustic Cottage Kitchen

Freestanding Residential Furniture

Winner: Midwest Custom
Grand Ledge, MI
Project Law Book Desk

Honorable Mention: The Torode Co. Vienna, VA Project Greene and Greene Style Chair

People's Choice Award
Winner: Zongkers Custom Wood, Omaha, NE
Project Inlaid Jewelry Box

Gulf Harbor Home Office

Cape Harbor Kitchen

Jones Master Bathroom

Yellin Her Master

French Walnut Armoire

French Cherry Armoire

Iron Man Theater Bar

Traditional Jewelry Box


Myra's Dream Kitchen

CK Entry Console




Custom Kitchen

Custom Master Bath

Law Book Desk


Skin Care Salon & Spa

Greene-Greene Arm Chair

Audio Video Cabinet


Eastern  Icon Screen

Family room

Kid's Store

Portable bar

Keystone Sideboard

Custom wine cellar

CSL Church Podium

J Town Tavern 

Tropical Villa Kitchen

 Yacht  - Carpe Diem

U W Husky Hub

Modern -Century Kitchen

Angela's Jewelry Cabinet

Collaborative Table

End Grain Walnut Bar

Rustic Cottage Kitchen

Tomo Krolo Audio Rack

Fireplace Mantel

Gentlemen's Bar Walnut, F


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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