Home > Brewing, Woodworking > 2013 Hogtown Brew-Off and the Shop Sign

2013 Hogtown Brew-Off and the Shop Sign

I took Friday off to help judge beer at the 2013 Hogtown Brew-Off the annual homebrew competition our club sponsors. The main event is all day on Saturday with a half day of judging beginning Friday afternoon. I’ve been really lax on competing but then again, I’ve won my share of medals and I really enjoy that we have so many new and young brewers. The craft beer industry has really grown and the home brewing community has grown right along with it. Our club has been worried over the last few years that we wouldn’t be able to get all the judging completed in two days so the last two years we have capped the number of entries. This year we reached our limit in less than two days and had to close the registration. That’s a bit sad and I suppose we are victims of our own success. The highlight of my weekend was being invited to sit the Best of Show panel for the first time since I have been a certified judge. You are privileged here to sneak a peek of the judges “at work” (that’s my arm). Of the twenty-one gold medal beers there can be only  3 to receive BOS medals.

Hogtown BrewOff 2013 BOS Panel

Attending the Brew-Off and the lack of karate nights in May has limited my shop time. I did manage to sneak an hour or so on Friday morning before leaving to judge and spent the time hand “routing” the sign that Alex gave me for a present. Here is the sign before and after my handiwork.

Alex's Gift to Me

Shop Sign Carving

Carving along the line turned out to be quit a challenge. I just kept at it until I got something I thought was usable. The primary carving is finished but I’d like to clean up the floor before painting the inscription. The obvious goal is to preserve Alex’s handwriting while making it just a tad more legible when hanging as a finished sign. I’ll keep you all posted as I go!

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.


  1. May 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Which tools are you using to do your carving in the sign?

    • May 29, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      I would suspect a miniature router plane would have been handy but all I had on hand were my bench chisels. Plus the oak was pretty stubborn. I am open to recommendations.

      • May 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

        I’m not very familiar with carving to be honest. I carved some Roman numerals before that turned out okay. I’ve seen carving tools ranging from inexpensive to whoa!! I used a sharp bench chisel. I guess you should probably pick up some sort of gouge. I own one but it can be tricky to sharpen. Good luck!

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