2007 N.A.M.E.S. Show and the 16th Annual SHERLINE MACHINIST'S CHALLENGE

Iqbal Ahmed from India takes top spot and a tie for second.

Last year's winner Steve Peirce ties for second spot.

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.


Sherline's owner, Joe Martin was at the NAMES show this year and was present to offer congratulations as Iqbal Ahmed receives his award checks and certificates from marketing director Craig Libuse. Iqbal is holding the winning entry--a miniature model of a Sherline 5400 milling machine. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Dateline: Toledo, Ohio, April 21-22, 2007

Iqbal Ahmed from India takes both First and a tie for second place with his two entries

For the past two years, Steven Peirce of Ohio took top honors, and last year, Iqbal Ahmed sent an IC engine from India that took second place. This year, Iqbal came from India in person to deliver his entries to the contest in person. It seems to have done the trick, because this year his two entries finished first and second, giving him the lion's share of the prize money. The tie for second was with two-time winner Steven Peirce who also finished second with a beautifully finished Rider Erickson engine made from a Myers casting kit. Third place went to Weston Bye. His quartz solenoid clock is the subject of an article in the current issue of Digital Machinist put out by Village Press in case any others want to build one like it. Congratulations to Mr. Ahmed, Steve, Weston and all the other entrants for the fine work on their projects.

Where was your entry?

This year's contest received only seven entrants with a total of nine projects. This is down from 17 entries last year, and there was not one entry in the Youth or Novice Division. Sherline doubles the prize money of the Novice winner and the Joe Martin Foundation puts up an additional $500 for the Youth Division entrants, but the money stayed in the bank account this year with no entrants to take it home. We hope that next year there will be more entrants. Though Sherline puts up $100 per entry in prize money (up to a possible maximum of $2500), the voting is done by spectators at the show. Each spectator who wishes to vote is given five tokens and asked to choose their top five favorite projects with no more than one vote each. Each vote is worth a dollar to the builder.

New for next year

We have decided to add a notation to the rules for next year reminding entrants that Sherline reserves the right to refuse an entry if it does not meet the spirit of the competition. The purpose of the contest is to encourage the construction of metalworking projects that have a number of interrelated metal working parts. Even among youth entries, there will be tougher standards applied to what will be accepted, as we wish to maintain high quality and encourage taking on difficult tasks. If you are in doubt about whether an entry will be accepted, we encourage you to send a photo or description to us before the contest so that it can be pre-qualified.

To read the most current copy of the complete contest rules and learn about entering next year's contest, CLICK HERE for a .pdf version of the rules/entry form sheet. At this time there are no anticipated changes for the next contest other than the higher standards for entry mentioned above..

Summary of 2007 entrants and their projects...

See the section below for photos of each entry.

1. Iqbal Ahmed, Nagpur, IndiaóWorking scale model of a Sherline 5400 mill with accessories
2-Tie Iqbal Ahmed, Nagpur, IndiaóWorking scale model of a Sherline 4000 lathe with chuck
2-Tie Steven Peirce, Akron, OHóRider Ericcson pump engine made from a Myers casting kit
3. Weston Bye, Grand Blanc, MIóQuartz clock powered by electric coils at 1 RPM *

*NOTE: Plans for this project can be found in the current issue of The Digital Machinist magazine.

OTHER CONTESTANTS (In alphabetical order)
Forrest Atkinson, Madison, WIó"Atkinson" type Solenoid (electromagnet) motor
Bert de Kat, Troy, ON, Canadaó"Unique Object" machined from acrylic. 12 curved sides
Paul Hamler, Blairsville, GAóMiniature Mayo Patent Plow Plane for woodworking
Jon VanAntwerp, Grand Rapids, MIóTwo entries: "Grandpa Jack" open column mine engine and an internal gear steam engine witha planetary gear that always keeps the connecting rod traveling straight in and out. The Grandpa Jack took "3 months of 1/2 hour lunch breaks" to build. At 27, Jon was our youngest entry.

YOUTH DIVISION (Additional $500 Young C. Park award not awarded)
No Entrants

NOVICE DIVISION (Less than 2 years machining experience, double prize money for top division finisher.)
No Entrants

Photos of the 2007 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 Place and 2nd Place (Tie)--Iqbal Ahmed, Nagpur, India

Three years ago--3rd place. Two years ago, 2nd place. This year, finally, both first and a tie for second! Iqbal captured the hearts of the voters with a very clever concept--build models of Sherline's machine tools. He also did it with excellent quality, duplicating all the functions of the tools down to the tapered, adjustable gibs and red handwheels. (Iqbal does his own anodizing, by the way.)

(S. Peirce photo) 2nd Place (Tie)--Steven Peirce

Based on a Myers casting kit, this Rider Ericsson pump engine features the detailed name plates and excellent painted finishs that have allowed Steven to win the top honors for the past two prior contests.

  3rd Place--Weston Bye

A quartz time electric clock made from four electromagnetic coils that cause the main shaft to rotate at exactly 1 RPM. The circuit board that controls it is hidden within the wooden base.

Other Entries (in alphabetical order)...

Forrest Atkinson

"Atkinson" type mechanism powered by a battery drive solenoid motor.

Bert deKat

No matter which side you do a mechanical drawing of this 12 sided object, it always looks the same. How would you have to machine this part just from the 3-view drawing shown on Bert's little display card? Bert is our oldest entrant at age 75

  Paul Hamler

Mayo patent woodworking "plow" plane made from brass castings and hardwood.

Jon VanAntwerp

(Two entries) 1. "Grandpa Jack" open column steam engine and 2. Single piston steam engine with planetary gearing to keep motion of piston straight and parallel to the ground. It is interesting to watch it turn.

Also at the show...

2007 Joe Martin Foundation "Metalworking Craftsman of the Year" award is presented to Pierre Scerri of Avignon, France

Pierre Scerri of Avignon, France is the 11th winner of the Joe Martin Foundation Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award. He was working as a telecommunications engineer during most of the time it took to build this miniature Ferrari in his spare time, but now he is making a living restoring full size vintage race cars while he works on new models. (Click on photo for a larger image.)


1. Pam Weiss (Sherline), Pierre, Jerry Kieffer and Jim Clark (Sherline) examine the Ferrari 312 PB as Pierre unpacks it on Friday morning. 2. A crowd gathered each time the Ferrari was to be run. It was a bit smoky, but the sound was thrilling. 3. Though the motor has never had a rebuild since it was completed in 1992 and it has been run for over 50 hours total, Pierre doesn't baby it when he fires it up. Here you can see the functional tach is reading 8000 RPM, although Pierre revved it up over 10,000.  4. With the rear bodywork removed you can see a wealth of detail. 5. This year we had a record six out of the eleven winners of the Craftsman of the Year award present at the show. From left to right are Jerry Kieffer, (1997), Wilhelm Huxhold (1999), Roger Ronnie (2004), David Kucer (2006) and Pierre Scerri (2007).

Pierre Scerri...Eleventh winner of the Joe Martin Foundation's Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award

Not many people have the determination to stick with a project for 15 years, but Pierre Scerri stayed true to his original dream of owning a Ferrari race car he could have in his living room. It took 3 years of drawing an planning and 12 years of building, but it was completed in 1992. We only recently learned of his accomplishment, but decided it deserved the award this year for Metalworking Craftsman of the Year. In order to build virtually every part of the car himself, Pierre had to learn to make patterns, cast metal, mold glass, make electrical components and working gages, mold his own tires...well, you get the idea. The car is fully functional and was run 3 or more times a day for the crowd, so they could hear what Pierre calls "the Ferrari Music." Although the car spends part of each year in the USA at Fine Art Models in Birmingham, MI, it is only run when Pierre is here, and he was only here this one time thanks to the Foundation. We sure hope you got to see the car and hear it run. If not, go to his page and learn a bit more about Pierre and the car and see (and hear) some video footage of it running. See www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/Scerri.htm.

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. Scerri and all the previous winners and their work. Or visit our online museum that includes the work of Pierre and many more craftsmen at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com.

Enter the Machinist's Challenge contest yourself in 2008...

There is no entry fee. Sherline makes available $100 in prize money for each entrant up to the first 25, so a maximum of $2500 in prize money can be available. We hope next year to see at least 25 entries so that the full total of $2500 will be up for grabs. There is also a Youth Division for entrants under the age of 21 the day of the contest. An additional $500 is divided among the entrants in this group as part of the Joe Martin Foundation "Young C. Park Award" for youth. There is also a "Novice Division" for machinists with two years experience or less. (The top Novice finisher receives double prize money.). Start making plans to get a project together for next year's show. Call 1-800-541-0735 for details or watch this site. As far as we know at this time the contest rules will remain unchanged. Our goal is simply to show the interesting and fun things that can be built with a few cents worth of material, good miniature machine tools and a bit of skill and imagination. Don't let the quality of some of the entries intimidate you. In the past 15 years, no entrant whose entry has been available for voting for the whole contest span has ever won less than $30 and some have one hundreds. Most of all, though, everybody has had a lot of fun. If you are just starting out, you can still build a good project. For '08, think big and build small! Check links below to see the rules and the results of past contests.

2008 Contest Rules (PDF file)











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