Essay Contest – Machining Metal as a Hobby

Read the winning essay: Honest – all I ever wanted to do was make some stuff …

We got discovered by StumbleUpon, which suddenly brought thousands of new visitors to  It was probably the first time that most of them had visited a web web site about machining metal and I feel that I wasted a great opportunity to try and convince them that it can be a wonderful hobby.  I would like to add an article that explains how it can be fun, rewarding , useful and affordable.  But I’m not the world’s best writer  and I think it would help if they heard it from more than one person.  So, I’m having an essay contest and awarding four cash prizes.

The Contest

Write an essay that explains why machining metal is a great hobby.  Your goal is get someone who might know nothing about machining interested in doing it as a hobby.

You should probably assume that your readers may know little or nothing about machining.  They may also not know what you can make or do with machine tools, or how much it costs to get started.  I’m not sure, but it might be helpful to tell them what got you interested in machining or about a project that you’re really proud of.

The Prizes

1st Place – $75

2nd Place – $50

3rd place – $25

Early Entry Prize – $25 (awarded randomly to an essay received before December 25, 2009)

Picture Bonus – Prize winners will receive a bonus if their essay includes at least one picture. 
1st place will receive an extra $15, 2nd place $10 and 3rd place $5

Prizes will paid by check.  (I understand this could be a problem for winners outside the US, which is where I live.  If so, I will try to accommodate you by paying via PayPal, or by some other reasonable arrangement).

The Rules

Deadline for entries is January 31st, 2010.

Entries must be posted to our forum.  (Please let me know if you have any problems using it).

Your essay should be 1500 to 3000 words.  I’m not going to be strict about it, especially if you include multiple photographs with your entry.

Any writing or photographs that you submit must be your own.

You retain the copyrights to your writing and any pictures you submit, but you must agree to give me (Rob) the right to continue to use them on for any purpose.

We can correct grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors, unless you really don’t want us to.

You can enter more than one essay if you want, but you can only win one prize.

You have to promise not to sue me or beat me up because I’ve overlooked something that should be included in the rules, or because of circumstances that I have little or no little or no control over.


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