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April 24, 2019 4:07 PM

Woodworking skills showcased at annual student event

On April 18, graduating students in Conestoga’s Woodworking Technician program presented final-year projects at an annual student showcase and awards presentation.

Conestoga College_Branson Giles.jpg
Branson Giles was awarded Best in Manufactured Product for an acoustic guitar at the Woodworking Technician student showcase.

Hosted at the college’s Woodworking Centre of Ontario, members of the Conestoga community gathered to see the broad range of projects on display while judges determined Best in Manufactured Product.

Branson Giles was awarded top honour for an acoustic guitar crafted from spruce, mahogany and rosewood. The piece was completed with more than 100 hours of shop time over a four-month period.

As a guitar player, Giles said he had always wanted to make his own instrument and saw it was achievable when he started the program and learned that guitars had been made as final-year projects in the past. He also credited faculty member Trevor Hibbs for helping him accomplish his goal. “Trevor built guitars for years before teaching and was a great resource,” said Giles. “He lent me tools I wasn’t able to afford, I could email him with questions whenever I needed -- and he wasn’t even my instructor for this project.”

Sponsored by FS Tool, the Best in Manufactured Product award included a $500 prize and entry into the 2019 Tech @ Work competition held on April 23. Giles presented his project with other best of program honours from a number of programs in Conestoga’s Schools of Engineering & Technology and Applied Computer Science & Information Technology to determine the recipient of the Mastercraft Award.   

Second place and a prize of $200 was awarded to Ryan Korczak for a credenza crafted primarily from walnut, complete with custom-made brass fittings. Mike Mannell placed third with a coffee table crafted from walnut, cherry and maple and received a prize of $50. Projects were judged by woodworking faculty and based on product design and development, craftsmanship, and product presentation.

Students in Conestoga’s Woodworking Technician two-year diploma program receive a solid foundation in the skills and technology involved in the manufacture of furniture, cabinets and architectural millwork and training in modern manufacturing techniques.

At approximately 52,000 square feet, Conestoga’s Woodworking Centre of Ontario is the largest facility of its kind in North America and ranks among the world’s top woodworking training centres. Students have access to custom woodworking and production training as well as the latest in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and computer drafting technology.

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