2003 N.A.M.E.S. Show and the 12th Annual SHERLINE MACHINIST'S CHALLENGE

First time entrant Gerhard Spielmann wins with a model Bridgeport mill

Wilhelm Huxhold knows good work when he sees it and recommends Mr. Spielmann enter the contest. The voters were glad he did.

Commentary and photos by Craig Libuse


Gerhard Spielmann accepts his first place award plaque and winnings from Sherline's Craig Libuse at the 2003 NAMES show. (Click on image for larger photo.)

Dateline: Wyandotte, Michigan, April 26-27, 2003

Former multiple contest winner and Joe Martin Foundation Craftsman of the Year Bill Huxhold brought Gerhard Spielmann by Sherline's booth and introduced him. Little did he know that in doing so, the result would be that his beautiful dual triple expansion steam engine entry would end up finishing second to Mr. Spielmann's Bridgeport mill. That was the case, however after the crowd had cast their votes and they were counted Saturday night.

Novice winner another first time entrant...

Steve Peirce accepts his awards for both third overall and first place in the Novice Division from Sherline's Craig Libuse. Steve was the contest's top money winner this year. (Click photo for larger image.)

The top finishing Novice Division entry was Steve Peirce. His beautifully polished and painted little "Husky Porta-Saw" on a lumberyard wagon finished third place overall and topped the novice division. A "novice" is defined as an entrant with less than two years experience in machining. Since the prize money of the top finishing novice is doubled, Steve ended up taking home a larger check than the first place winner.

New for 2003, the $500 Young C. Park award for Youth...

Last year's winner of the Joe Martin Foundation Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award donated his $1000 prize check back to the Foundation to be used to encourage young people to get into metalworking. He left it up to us as to how to best accomplish that. It was decided to split it into two $500 awards--one for 2003 and one for 2004--to be divided among the top finishers under the age of 20. This year we had five entrants between the ages of 10 and 18. The money was divided as follows: 1st-$200, 2nd-$100, 3rd-$75, 4th-$65 and 5th-$60. That meant young Danton Fishback (11) who finished with the most votes among those in the Youth category took home $97 for his entry plus $200 from the Park award for a total of $297.00! Other Youth winners were Trevor Katona (age 10, 2nd), Tim Hill (age 18, 3rd), Scott Schwab (age 14, 4th) and Alex Barrie (Age 18, 5th). All ended up with over $100 in prize money. All you kids out there, keep in mind we have another $500 available for next year, so start getting your entries ready.

Winners of the Youth Division hold their checks. In the front are (L to R) Trevor Katona and Dalton Fishback. In the rear are Tim Hill, Craig, Alex Barrie and Scott Schwab. (Click photo for larger image.)

How the contest works...

The voting in this contest is done by the spectators at the North American Model Engineering Society's exposition in Wyandotte, Michigan. Each spectator who wishes to participate is given five tokens and asked to place them in cups next to his or her five favorite projects. They are asked to spread their votes over their top five choices. With a varied range on interests among the spectators, all projects won votes. Sherline puts up $100 in prize money for each entrant up to 25, so with 18 entries from 16 entrants, there was over $1800 in prize money available. In addition, we had another $500 for young entrants donated by Young C. Park of Hawaii.

During the contest, cups are placed next to each entry. Spectators at the show vote on their favorites by placing voting tokens in the cups by their five favorite entries. Each vote is worth a dollar when Sherline hands out the checks on Sunday.

To read the complete contest rules and learn about entering next year's contest, CLICK HERE for a .pdf version of the rules/entry form sheet.

Complete 2003 entrant list and results...

1. Gerhard Spielmann, Northport, NY, 1/12 scale Bridgeport mill
2. Wilhelm Huxhhold, West Hill, Ont, Canada, Pair of triple expansion steam engines
3. Steve Peirce, Uniontown, OH, Husky Porta-Saw (Also first place, Novice Division)
4. Paul Hamler, Snellville, GA, 7.5:1 Fleetwood treadle scroll saw
5. George Britnell, Strongsville, OH, 2-cyl marine steam engine
6. Bert de Kat, Troy, Ont, Canada, V-2 Vega IC aircraft engine

1. Dalton Fishback (11), Hiram, GA, 1/24 Horizontal steam engine
2. Trevor Katona (10), Rochester, MI, Huff 'n Puff engine (partially completed)
3. Tim Hill (18), Bomanville, Ont, Canada, Thimble steam engine
4. Scott Schwab (14), Fraser, MI, 2-cyl. marine engine
5. Alex Barrie (18), Milton, Ont, Canada, Elmer's horizontal mill engine

OTHER CONTESTANTS (Alphabetical order)
Jesse Brumberger, Macedon, NY, Howitzer avalanche gun
Weston Bye, Grand Blanc, MI, Bucyrus-Erie steam engine
Dick Saunders, Manchester, OH, Gear driven water pump
Karl T. Schwab, Warren, MI, Upshur "F" head farm engine
Robert Wyss, Mississaugo, Ont, Canada, 3/4-16 to ER-16 collet adapter for use on Sherline tools.

2003 Entries

Click on any photo to see a larger version. Use your browser's "back" button to return to this listing. A U.S. quarter dollar coin is used for size reference in most of the photos. It is 24 mm in diameter for those outside the USA.


1st Place--Gerhard Spielmann of Northport, NY was just going to show his projects as an exhibitor at the NAMES show until Bill Huxhold told him about the contest. His 1/12 scale Bridgeport mill was small enough to meet the contest rules so he agreed to enter it. We are glad he did and so is he.

2nd Place--After finishing in second place, Bill Huxhold might be regretting his decision to convince Mr. Spielmann to enter his Bridgeport in the contest, but no one will argue that Bill's dual triple expansion steam engines wasn't the most intricate, detailed and best machined project in the contest. As always, the level of finish and execution was flawless.

3rd Place (1st place Novice Division)--Steve Peirce is another first-time entrant who finished high in the order with this nicely finished Husky Porta-Saw. Since the Novice winner gets his prize money doubled, Steve walked away with the largest amount of cash from this year's contest.
  4th Place--Paul Hamler's work on vintage miniature woodworking tools can be seen at www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Hamler.htm. His entry is the latest in his line. He makes all the molds for the cast brass pieces himself and makes the tools in limited runs.
5th Place--George Britnell's entries are always well received by the voters. This 2-cyl. marine engine is no exception due to its fine detail and tiny fasteners.
6th Place--Bert de Kat entered this nice V-2 Vega I.C. twin. It has a 3/4" bore and 5/8" stroke.
The following entries are shown in alphabetical order
Jesse Brumberger--Howitzer avalanche canon. His display is complete with a sample projectile. Rescued from military use, these old guns are now used to keep the ski slopes safe from avalanches.
Weston Bye--This Bucyrus-Erie steam shovel is very small in size. Even so, Weston states that he hopes to implant servos in the display base and soon have the little shovel working away under radio control.
Dick Saunders--Not all who saw it were aware of it, but by turning the hand crank, this little pump would actually pump water into the red bucket on the side. The water is hidden inside the aluminum base.
Karl Schwab of Warren, MI Built this Upshur "F" head farm engine from a construction article printed in MODELTEC magazine in May, 1999. He reduced the scale of the plans to get it to meet contest size requirements.
Robert Wyss--Created a way for Sherline owners to be able to use ER-16 collets without changing spindles. This adapter goes from Sherline's 3/4-16 spindle nose thread to an ER-16 collet taper. Robert made the nut too.

1st Place--Dalton Fishback (11) made a nice little Merik horizontal steam engine. A photo on the display base shows him making the parts on his dad's machine tools. Dalton also finished second in the Novice Division. The second photo shows a closeup of the engine itself.
2nd Place--Trevor Katona (10) didn't quite finish his Huff 'n Puff engine in time for the show, but his dad talked him into entering anyway. Despite being unfinished, the photo of him at work on the parts and a note about his age got him lots of votes from the spectators.

3rd Place--Tim Hill (18) of Canada built two entries. The first was a very tiny Thimble steam engine with 1/16" bore and stroke. The second entry was a 2-cyl. double acting marine engine. Tim also finished third in the Novice Division. Voting probably would have been stronger for Tim and the other Youth Division entries if their projects had been identified by the age of the builder. Next year this will be rectified, as all Youth Entries will be identified as such.
Scott Schwab was last year's Novice winner. This year's entry was a nice 2-cyl. marine engine. His grandfather beat him by one place in the overall standings this time, but Scott came out on top money-wise thanks to the extra cash from the Young C. Park award.

Alex Barrie (17) entered late last year, and his vote count suffered for it. This year he had his entries in early and also entered two. (Each contestant is allowed up to two entries.) His projects were a nice Elmer's horizontal mill engine on a Corian base and a 2-stroke I.C. model aircraft engine. Again, Alex's totals would have been higher if voters had known his age, because they really are very well done.

Enter the Machinist's Challenge yourself in 2003...

There is no entry fee. Sherline makes available $100 in prize money for each entrant up to the first 25, so a maximum of $2500 in prize money can be available. We hope next year to see at least 25 entries so that the full total of $2500 will be up for grabs. There is also a Youth Division for entrants under the age of 20 the day of the contest. An additional $500 is divided among the entrants in this group. Start making plans to get a project together for next year's show. Call 1-800-541-0735 for details or watch this site. The contest rules will remain unchanged. Our goal is simply to show the interesting and fun things that can be built with a few cents worth of material, good miniature machine tools and a bit of skill and imagination. Novice entrants (less than two years experience building metal projects using machine tools) have a chance to score double prize money as Bruce Roland did in 1998, Graham Hollis did it in 2000, Steve Peirce did in 2002 and 12-year old Scott Schwab did it in 2001, so don't let the quality of some of the entries intimidate you. If you are just starting out, you can still build a good project. For '03, think big and build small!











More on the show...

Once again Jerry Kieffer attracted a crowd as he demonstrated the abilities of the Sherline lathe by drilling .006" holes in the end of a .010" shaft. Jerry also put on a two hour seminar on "Machining a single point gear cutter (Part 2) for making worm gears" that was standing room only. The above photo was taken on Friday when groups of  local students were brought through the show. (Click for larger image.)

(Click on above photo for larger version.) Barry Jordan brought some of his models all the way from England to be enjoyed by an American audience for the first time. The models were still not cleared by customs on Friday afternoon, giving us all a scare, but some fast work by Charla and some help from Amy at DHL got them to the show by Saturday morning. For more on Barry, see below.

More Awards

Rudy Kouhoupt accepts an award plaque and check for $500 as a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship. Rudy has contributed to model engineering by writing many magazine articles and offering plans on his engines in magazines like Popular Mechanics and The Home Shop Machinist. Rudy is only the second to achieve this award, with ship modeler Phil Mattson being the first. Rudy's work can be seen in the Joe Martin Foundation's Internet Craftsmanship Museum.

Joe Vicars (right) accepts a special award from Craig Libuse. The Joe Martin Foundation awarded Joe a Special Award for Innovation and a check for $50.00 after seeing the automatic tool changer for miniature mills he developed. Joe was kind enough to donate his award check back to the foundation as a contribution. Mr. Vicars displayed his tool changer prototype in action at the end of Sherline's booth at the show and it really worked well. Eventually he hopes to offer plans and a kit on his web site at

Barry Jordan of Derby, England was awarded a plaque and a check for $1000.00 from Joe Martin Foundation for being selected as the 2003 winner of the foundation's "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year." The award was presented at the 2003 NAMES show where Mr. Jordan displayed his miniature machine tool models.

Barry Jordan came to our attention when Model Engineer magazine in England featured a 1/5 scale model of a Bridgeport mill he had made. He went on to create a number of other tool models in 1/5 scale, all to the same high level of detail and character. After a visit from Jerry Kieffer a few years ago, Barry was challenged by some members of the Model Engineer staff to top the small Brown & Sharpe mill Jerry had brought with him. To this end, Barry created the 1/14 scale Bridgeport mill he displayed at the show. When Joe Martin saw the quality of this small model, he knew he had found his winner for the 2003 Craftsman of the Year award.

Click this link to learn more about the Joe Martin Foundation's Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award. Visit the Foundation page for more details on Mr. Jordan and all the previous winners.

Mr. Jordan's work can also be viewed in the Joe Martin Foundation's on-line museum at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com

Three of the previous six winners of the Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award got together at this year's NAMES show to congratulate the newest winner. From left to right are Jerry Kieffer (1997), Barry Jordan (2003), Craig Libuse representing the Foundation, George Luhrs (2001), and Wilhelm Huxhold (1999). (Click photo for larger image.) 

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