Collaborative Woodworking

Woodworking is a solitary hobby for me, as I suspect it is for most people. However, a group of woodworkers have recently joined up to work on a project together, the Sawmill Creek Collaborative Keepsake Box.

Sawmill Creek is a woodworker's forum with over 11,000 active members. Topics range from hand tools to CNC machines, and from setting up a shop to building boats. The forum is very active (200 posts on a Saturday through 4pm).

Some of the members of the forum got together and decided to do a collaborative project, where different people would each do a small part, passing the parts and box on to the next person. The initial idea was posted in early February, and already the project has been designed and much assembly has already been done. The amount of collaboration done on just the design was amazing, down to joinery and what should be etched onto the box.

Many pictures are posted for different stages of the project, as well as ideas people had during the design phase. Google Sketchup documents (essentially 3-D renditions of the plan) are also posted. After the project is complete it will be auctioned and the proceeds donated to St. Judes Children's Hospital.

It's interesting to watch how the people work through disagreements; they seem to be working in a truly collaborative manner. In addition, people are learning about different approaches to working on a project such as this, and everyone can contribute in a way which is his strong point.

The project is labelled the Sawmill Creek Collaboration 01, which implies that the idea is to do another project after this one is done.