Liam Martin meets the W Challenge and scoops the prize

14 October 2016

Liam Martin, 19, scooped the prize in W16’s very first woodworking and joinery competition, the W Challenge, with his skills at creating a curved door panel.

The challenge was kept under wraps until the W16 got underway, so Martin and his three rival finalists had no idea what they would face until they arrived. They then had four days to follow the strict brief.

Martin, a Bristol-based apprentice, currently completing his Level 3 training with Traditional Woodworks Ltd, was crowned the winner – winning £500 worth of Felder vouchers. All four finalists were given a personalised plaque to mark the occasion.

“Curved work is always a challenge and you have to be painstakingly accurate. If you don’t follow the measurements to the millimeter, your design won’t work,” said Martin after his win. “The brief wasn’t easy but I concentrated on the job in hand and I’m so pleased I won. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.”

The competition was organized by training provider Didac.

The judging process was headed by British Woodworking Federation’s Dave Campbell and Didac supervisors Paul Stevenson and Shane Stenning. Between them, they looked at the whole manufacturing process and assessed the students throughout the competition.

Stenning said: “While the students’ understanding of the brief was a crucial factor, they were also marked on their house keeping skills. Safety, time management, conservation of timber and planning were all essential and marked accordingly. Each finalist had to show their efficiency in the work place and meet the brief in its entirety. It was a big ask but after seeing them in the heat stages, we knew they were more than capable.

“The camaraderie between the finalists was brilliant and the skill set was very high but Liam maintained a high level of accuracy throughout the competition. He was very proactive and had a clear plan from start to finish. We couldn’t fault his work and I wouldn’t think twice about employing him. Liam has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Photo: Winner Liam Martin with Felder’s Matthew Applegarth, and BWF judge Dave Campbell