The Winners: Best Hand Skills, AWR Student Awards 2018

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Award Winner: Tom Heggen, Year 12, Tyndale Christian School, Blacktown, NSW Teacher: Allan O'Connor

Tom Heggen received a Mirka Deros 5650 Random Orbital Sander Kit, value $1028 from Mirka Best Abrasives for his Hollow Body Archtop Guitar made from Australia white cedar, red mahogany and Qld ebony. We asked Tom a few questions:

AWR: When did you start woodworking?
TH: Year 7 woodwork classes but more so in year 9 and beyond in Design and Tech class.

AWR: Biggest influence on your woodworking?
TH: My teacher Mr O'Connor. He has put in hundreds of hours above and beyond class time to mentor the boys in class, take us to wood shows and put on some ripper BBQs

AWR: Hardest thing about making the guitar?
TH: The hardest part of making my archtop guitar would have been bending the side walls. After many failed attempts I resorted to travelling to Gilet Guitars and getting help from professional luthiers.

AWR: Best thing?
TH: Plugging it in and it working. That was the real deal.

AWR: Hours spent?
TH: 400 long hours.

AWR: Favourite tool /machine?
TH: Jack planes have alway been my favourite but this project led to me creating some of my own tools like specialist clamps and sanders.

AWR: What was the thing your teacher said to you most often?
TH: Go Home Tom (often after 7 pm) or I was think about how to do… in the middle of the night.

AWR: Any words for your teacher?
TH: Thank you Sir. I am so grateful for the time, effort and encouragement you put in not only for my project but for me as a person.

AWR: What are you doing this year?
TH: Traineeship as a audio visual technician.

AWR: Are you planning to keep up your woodworking?
TH: I have a list of guitars I want to build. Now just to convice mum to let me.

AWR: Any last comments you would like to make?
TH: Thank you Wood Review for the opportunity and to all the other TAS students I was really impressed by the standard and variety of everyone’s projects.


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