Student Wood Worker Is Top Drawer

Student woodworking projects are highlighted by competition results announced at the July AWFS Fair in Las Vegas. The WorldSkills competition showed off student mastery in cabinetry and the Freshwood Awards lauded design and execution in 137 entries from 50 schools.

Also, Veneer Technologies, Newport, NC, one of the largest manufacturers of high quality face veneer, sheet veneer and wood edgebanding products, announced at AWFS Fair the winners in its  annual Craftsman’s Challenge. The competition recognizes project designers and their relation to all the people in the veneer distribution chain. “This is an excellent way to promote industry creativity and strengthen supply relationships,” says Veneer Tech VP JohnVarner. (Editor’s Note: This year I joined the judging team.)

Student Wood Worker Is Top DrawerThe competition includes a category for Student Design, won by Christian Seifert, who is enrolled in the College of the Redwoods, Fort Bragg, CA. Seifert started in woodworking in Germany, where he served a three-year apprenticeship in Karlsruhe. The Northern European influence shows in his winning “Danish Sideboard.”

“I wanted to create a small sideboard with a Danish Modern feel that would look very delicate and elegant,” Seifert says. Working with Granadillo, Claro Walnut and Tan Oak, “I used rounded corners to give the lines more flow and tie them in with the recurring circle theme.” Seifert wrapped the grain pattern horizontally on the outside, as well on the inside. Freehanded circles of steam-bent Granadillo veneer were inlaid on the top.

“With the use of veneer I was able to construct a very light yet strong carcass,” Seifert notes. The doors are thin and light yet stable. “It also allowed me to use a different wood on the inside to achieve a pleasing contrast.” The drawers are faced with veneer for a continuous grain pattern that wraps around the sides and back.  

This student competition underscores Veneer Tech’s support of woodworking industry schools, including those associated with, a wood industry education initiative. Veneer Tech regularly supplies WoodLINKS USA schools with veneer for student projects.  Honorable mentions in the Craftsman’s Challenge Student Design were both from a WoodLINKS school, Dale Jackson Career Center, Lewisville, TX: Stanislav Karmalyuk, for “The Wave,” and Weston Gallo, for “Sinusoid.”

The CWB Design Portfolio competition is now open. Enter at

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