2009 N.A.M.E.S. Show and the 18th and Final SHERLINE MACHINIST'S CHALLENGE

Highly polished eliptical engine by Scott LaBombard is #1!

Commentary and photos by Craig Libuse. Click on any photo to see a larger image. See bottom of this page for information on entering next year's contest.


Overall contest winner Scott LaBombard of Flushing, MI is a first-time winner. Here he receives his award check and certificate from Sherline marketing director Craig Libuse. David's winning entry was not only beautifully made, the mirror-like finished attracted a lot of attention. He says it took twice as long to polish the engine as it did to make it! (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Dateline: Toledo, Ohio, April 18-19, 2009

Scott LaBombard's entry gets the most votes, but Steve Huck wins the most cash

Scott LaBombard entered only one project, but it was good enough to take top honors by quite a wide margin. There were no ties this year and not even any close calls, with the 1900 votes being spread out over 19 entries by 15 different entrants. Scott's polished eliptical engine received 233 votes, beating out second place Weston Bye's 208 votes and third place Steve Huck's 200 votes. However, Steve Huck was entered in the Novice division with less than two years experience when his air powered V8 engine was produced, so he had his prize money doubled to $400, making him the top prize money winner. Trevor Katona, winner of the Youth Division came close, winning $98 for his 3-cylinder steam engine and adding $300 from the Joe Martin Foundation's Young C. Park award for a total of $398--just $2 shy of Steve's winnings. In all, Sherline awarded $2100 in prize money and The Joe Martin Foundation added $500 to that for a total of $2600 in cash.

Contest to end after 18 years

Sherline' owner, Joe Martin has decided not to continue the contest at next year's show. Last year we had only 7 entries, and this year, despite the fact that we promoted the contest with magazine articles and flyers in the NAMES exhibitor packages, we would still have seen a very low number of entries if Sherline representatives hadn't solicited entries from among the show exhibitors on Friday. Most NAMES show participants seemed unaware of the contest after all these years. Since the purpose of the contest was to have people use miniature machine tools (of any brand) to build small, precise projects, it was hoped people would build projects specially for the contest. While a few did, most of the entries the past few years were not built specifically to the contest rules but simply happened to qualify, so the goal of generating new interest in small projects will have to be encouraged in some other way. Sherline will continue to support and attend the NAMES show as a vendor. Suggestions on other ways to promote machining at the small end of the size scale are always welcomed.

Youth Division winner Trevor Katona (16) holds his award for winning both the division and the "Master's Award for Youth Craftsmanship" which is signed by each of the former winners of the Joe Martin Foundation's "Craftsman of the Year" award present at the show. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Summary of 2008 entrants and their projects...

See the section below for photos of each entry.

OPEN DIVISION--Overall Top Finishers in order
1. Scott LaBombard, Flushing, MIóElliptical Rotary Engine with highly polished finish
2. Weston Bye, Grand Blanc, MIóWalking beam transfer--moves ball bearings in 4 directions with 1 drive shaft

3. (Steve Huck, see Novice Division)

4. Les Stone, Erie, PAó"ELF" Goose Egg Four, reproduction 1941 design flat four model airplane engine

5. Bob McGinnis, Cross Plains, WIó1/3 scale .22 Cal. Pistol in presentation box with cleaning gear

6. (Hank Lobeski, see Novice Division)

OTHER CONTESTANTS (In alphabetical order)

George Biasz, Downers Grove, IL--Twin flywheel solenoid engine

George Britnell, Strongsville, OH--2" scale Pickering throttling governor

Weston Bye, Grand Blanc, MI--Geneva mechanism demonstration--continuous rotary motion to incremental indexing

Gary Davison, Tarkio, MO--Radial -cylinder air/steam engine from Home Shop Machinst magazine plans

Bert de Kat, Troy, Ontario, Canadaó.3 cc compression ignition engine

Bert de Kat, Troy, Ontario, CanadaóAdjustable height tool post for Sherline lathe

Dale Detrich, Attica, OH--Upshur engine with cooling fan

Bob Shutt, Mansfield, OH--Miniature V-twin motorcycle engine case and cylinders (work in progress)

Les Stone, Erie, PA--Reproduction 1934 Ohlsson 1-cyl. model airplane engine

Fred E. Widmann, Downers Grove, IL--Elmer's "Comber" engine (rotates inside a cam)


YOUTH DIVISION (Additional $500 Young C. Park award added to vote totals--$300 for first, $200 for second)

1. Trevor Katona (16), Rochester, MIó3-cylinder radial steam engine

2. Ian M. Krase, San Rafael, CAóCryptex locking document holder like the one in the movie The DaVinci Code.

Steve Huck built this small air powered V8 a year ago and brought it to the show but didn't know about the contest until it was too late to enter. When he built it he was still a novice machinist. This year he entered it and won top honors in that division. Doing so doubled his prize money, making him the top money-winner in the contest. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

NOVICE DIVISION (Less than 2 years machining experience, double prize money for top division finisher.)
1. Steve Huck, Sterline Heights, MIóVery small compressed air powered Chevy V8

2. Hank Lobeski, Littleton, COóSteam engine with water pump and boiler

3. Steve Huck, Sterling Heights, MIóSeveral steam engines from small to extremely small on one display base

Photos of the 2008 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 many of the photos. It is 24 mm in diameter for those outside the USA.

  1st PlaceóScott LaBombard


2nd PlaceóWeston Bye


  3rd PlaceóSteve Huck (1st Place Novice Division)


4th PlaceóLes Stone
5th PlaceóBob McGinnis
6th PlaceóHank Lobeski (2nd Place Novice Division)

Remainiang Entries (in alphabetical order)

George Biasz

Twin Flywheel soenoid engine

George Britnell

2" scale Pickering throttling governor

Weston Bye

Geneva mechanism

Gary Davison

Radial 5-cylinder steam or compressed air engine

Bert de Kat

.3 cc compression ignition engine

Bert de Kat

Adjustable height tool post for Sherline lathe

Dale Detrich

Upshur-designed engine with cooling fan

Bob Shutt

Miniature V-twin motorcycle engine cylinders and case

Les Stone

Reproduction 1934 Ohlsson 1-cyl. model airplane engine

Fred E. Widmann

Elmer's "Comber" engine (rotates inside a cam)

Youth Division (Under 21 years of age on date of contest)

  1. Trevor Katona (16)

3-cylinder air or steam powered radial engine

  2. Ian M. Krase (16)

Locking cylinder with 4 round tumblers as in The DaVinci Code movie.

Also at the show...

2009 Joe Martin Foundation "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award is presented to Richard Carlstedt of Green Bay, WI.

Richard Carlstedt is the 13th winner of the Joe Martin Foundation Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award. A former engineer, Richard did extensive research before drawing plans for and then building a 1/16 scale running replica of the steam engine from the USS Monitor ironclad ship from the Civil War. (Click on photo for a larger image.)

Richard Carlstedt...Thirteenth winner of the Joe Martin Foundation's Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award

Richard Carlstedt studied remnants of old, undimensioned drawings and waded through volumes of written material in libraries and archives on both sides of the Atlantic to do research on the engine that drove the Union ironclad warship, the Monitor. The wreck was rediscovered off the Virginia coast in the 1990's and the Navy has been conducting a recovery operation to raise as much of the ship as possible. The engine has been recovered, leading Ricard to some new information and making his model the most accurate of the engine ever made. Designer John Ericsson degreed that his original drawings be destroyed upon his death, so the only drawings remaining were undimensioned copies found at foundaries and other workshops that built some of the parts for the original. None were in good shape, and it took a knowledge of steam engines, of John Ericsson and of engineering to extrapolate the missing information, but the recovered engine has continued to verify Richard's work. The extensive research that went into the engine will eventually be collected in the form of a book, but in the meantime, his 1/16 scale model in brass and steel is the best ever built of this engine and a valuable contribution to our maritime history. You can learn more on Richard and his projects at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com/Carlstedt.htm.

Louis Chenot was presented with a $500 Lifetime Achievement Award for progress on his 1/6 scale 1932 Duesenberg that was the featured project for the 2009 NAMES show. (Click on photo to view a large image.)

Lou Chenot and his Duesenberg have been popular features at the NAMES show for the past several years as show-goers stop by his booth to see how progress is coming along on this very beautiful project. He has been at it for about 7 years now, and the Joe Martin Foundation felt he needed a little recognition to keep the creative juices flowing. Since the show he has removed the engine and placed it on a test stand with the intention of getting it to run in the coming year. The straight eight with 4 valves per cylinder is a masterpiece on its own, but when placed in the completed car it will definitely be a one-of-a-kind showpiece. Once the engine is running, the car will be painted a two-tone blue and completed. We look forward to seeing the successful completion of this ambitious undertaking.

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. Colonna and all the previous winners and their work, or visit our online museum that includes the work of Ron and many more craftsmen at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com.

2008 Contest Rules (PDF file)












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