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The Great Woodworking Tip Hunt Contest

This may be the easiest contest ever: every entry is a winner.

Settich Media is gearing up to produce a book of shop tips, and you can be one of the writers.

Share your woodworking knowledge by submitting an original shop tip, and you’ll get 50% off the cover price of this new book. If your idea is selected for publication, you’ll get a free copy of the book plus a $20.00 gift card to spend at our website:

Then, the name of every successful tipster goes into a hat, and one lucky winner gets a $200.00 gift card.

The entry deadline is August 30, 2013. For contest rules and details, click here or scroll down this page. We’ve even included a list of suggested topics to get your creativity bubbling.

Strategies For Winning

Think up an original shop tip that has not been previously published online, in a magazine, book, or anywhere else. A successful tip solves a problem that’s common and wide-spread, not one that’s rare or obscure.

Tips can range from simple solutions to intricate jigs. But in both cases, there should be a genuine “slap the head” moment, when you wonder why you didn’t think of that sooner.

Clearly explain both the problem and your solution. Don’t be overly concerned about the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation or sentence construction. We can tune up the grammar later. Instead, concentrate on clearly communicating your idea.

Graphics, such as drawings and photos, may also be an important part of your explanation. You don’t need to be an artist to submit a sketch, but you do need to provide the key dimensions that another person would need to know in order to duplicate your jig or setup. We will have a professional artist prepare drawings for publication.

For photographs, we prefer to work from digital files instead of prints. Please set your camera to obtain the highest image quality. Try to avoid cluttered backgrounds and technical issues such as extremely deep shadows, bright reflections, and so on. Take photos from a wide variety of different angles, and we’ll pick the ones that work the best.

How To Enter

Please use the entry form at bottom of this page.

Click on the entry form link to open an email with a checklist of the elements you need to include. You may copy and paste your submission into the body of this form and/or attach additional files. Photo files can be quite large, so please make sure that the total of all attachments does not exceed 10 MB. If necessary, you may send several emails to submit all of your attachments. If you prefer to submit your tip by mail, address it to:

Settich Media, LLC
Tip Hunt Contest
PO Box 34473
North Kansas City, MO 64116

Rules and Other Fine Print

You may submit as many tips as you want. However, each tip must be presented individually.

If more than one of your tips is selected for publication, you will win multiple gift cards. Your name will also be entered multiple times for the grand prize drawing.

The finished tip book will be a PDF e-book burned to disc and packaged in a protective case.

In the event of duplicate entries, the one with the earlier submission date will be chosen. All entries become the property of Settich Media, LLC.

Suggested Tip Categories

  1. MATERIALS: Hauling lumber and sheet goods, storage solutions, innovative sources for inexpensive (or free) lumber, moving and handling materials within the shop, cutting and drying your own lumber, keeping scraps under control,
  2. MARKING AND CUTTING: New ways of laying out arcs, using jigs for repeated measurements, methods of transferring patterns to the workpiece, dividing angles, finding the center of circles and other shapes, divide a line into a number of equal parts, sawhorses and work supports, improving accuracy at the miter saw and tablesaw.
  3. GLUING AND CLAMPING: Clamping irregular shapes, ways of preventing or taming glue squeeze-out, removing squeeze-out, ways to extend the storage life of glues, preventing clamp marks on wood, techniques for applying glue, methods of increasing a clamp’s range or versatility, clamp storage ideas.
  4. SHARPENING: Removing pitch from blades and bits, storing tools to protect sharp edges (and you from the sharp edges), lubricants for sharpening, sharpening station setup, tricks for sharpening a cabinet scraper, special techniques for sharpening carving and turning tools, how to judge sharpness.
  5. FINISHING: Cleaning and storing brushes, color-matching stain on solid wood and plywood, setting up a finishing area, strategies for cleaning surfaces, masking, ventilation of finishing area, finishes for outdoor projects, tips for spray application from cans and spray guns, conquering finishing problems, finishing tips for woodturners, strategies for refinishing, ideas to prolong the shelf life of finishes, solutions for touching up a damaged finish.
  6. CUTTING AND FITTING JOINTS: Making mortise and tenon joints with a minimum of hand-fitting, solutions for loose joints, methods for tight miters, reinforcing joints, tightening loose chair rungs and other failed joints, making decorative spline joints; techniques for better pocket-screw joints, routing accurate dadoes.
  7. SANDING AND SURFACE PREP: Keeping sandpaper organized, easy ways to cut sandpaper, shopmade sanding blocks, taming dust with power sanders, removing dust prior to finishing, avoiding cross-grain sanding marks, techniques for drum sanding, methods for successfully using a stationary disc and belt sander.
  8. SAFETY: Providing adequate task lighting at tool stations, ways to minimize tripping hazards from extension cords, methods for keeping shop air clean, techniques for taming noise, guards that protect you from cutters but still allow easy view of the workpiece, minimizing fire hazards.
  9. JIGS AND FIXTURES: Setups for drilling repetitive hole patterns, crosscut sled, coping sled, jigs that help ensure square assembly, jigs for shaping batches of odd-shaped pieces, work-support fixtures for long or awkward pieces, shaping ends and corners.
  10. KEEP YOUR SHOP ORGANIZED: easy-access storage for drill bits, keeping fasteners organized, finding storage space in overlooked places, safely store router bits, options for scrapwood storage, organizers for extension cords and hoses, strategies for stashing seldom-used items, creating temporary work surfaces for assembly and finishing, shop carts for tool storage and batches of parts.
  11. TOOL SETUP AND MAINTENANCE: strategies to make tool cleanup easy, methods for cleaning blades, easy and dependable ways to adjust machines for square cutting, shopmade accessories such as holders for bits and adjustment tools, fixes for sloppy miter gauges, preventing and removing rust.
  12. MISCELLANEOUS HINTS: repairing damage to wood, removing stripped or stubborn screws, disassembling furniture for repairs.

Click here
to launch an email with entry form. If that doesn’t work copy and paste the following into an email or send via regular mail to address above.


Street Address:
City, State, ZIP:
Describe the woodworking problem that you faced:

Describe your solution:

Supporting facts: Attach digital files: photos, scanned sketch or other information

By submitting this entry, you represent that it is an original tip and agree to The Great Tip Hunt contest rules as posted on the website at You also give Settich Media, LLC the authority to publish your submission if it is chosen.

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