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The winning Kumiko-style electric guitar by Miles Menely

The winning Kumiko-style electric guitar by Miles Menely

Rockler Woodworking & Hardware has announced the winners of its Hobby Challenge contest, launched in Nov. 2021, which called on creators and builders to channel their hobbies into unique woodworking projects. Participants had to share their progress and final projects on Instagram for consideration, resulting in 794 entries from woodworking enthusiasts throughout North America.

“We are amazed at the creativity that woodworkers bring to these annual challenges,” Scott Ekman, Rockler’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “This year it was fun to see woodworkers apply their skills to other hobbies in their lives, and push them to challenge themselves to create something totally new and unique.”

Ross Everhard’s second-place speakers

Ross Everhard’s second-place speakers

Miles Menely of Portland, Ore. won first place for an electric guitar decorated in the Japanese tradition of Kumiko, a type of joinery which forms an intricate grid design using small, hand-chiseled wood pieces, without the use of glue or nails. For a modern twist, Miles decided to fill the negative space of the Kumiko panel with an epoxy.

“I was interested in combining a modern material such as epoxy, with the traditional craftsmanship that is Kumiko joinery,” Miles, host of Make with Miles on YouTube, said in a statement. “One of the main aspects of Kumiko I love is the process itself, the repetitive nature of cutting and fitting each small piece with a chisel makes for a very meditative process. Though it can be frustrating in the beginning, there is also something quite satisfying about executing something with that level of precision.”

Chris Powell’s third-place antique car

Chris Powell’s third-place antique car

Ross Everhard of Cadiz, Ky. was second for a set of speakers. Chris Powell of North Charleston, S.C. took third with an antique car.

The contest was hosted and judged by Mike Montgomery, Chris Salomone and Ben Uyeda from The Modern Maker Podcast.

For project videos, visit

This article was originally published in the May 2022 issue.

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