The Great Cross-Cut Saw Race

The Great Saw Race is capturing audiences Australia wide. It is a recreation of an Australian rural "everyday part of life" scene. The race is informative, education, historically significant, competitive and very much a 'fun' thing.

It is designed to entertain people of all ages and interests. There is something about it that appeals to both the sports-minded and lounge lizard, mum and dad and the kids.

The audience watch as Stan sets up the logs with traditional and rare tools and there is a feeling of anticipation as he prepares the scene.

The race is about to begin and Stan asks for volunteers from the audience to act as judges, timekeepers and competitors. This is done in a way that only someone like Stan can do. He has a unique 'Aussie bushy' style and the look to go with it.

Once all the participants are in the arena the rules of the race are explained - the timekeepers are positioned at each end with their stop-watches and the judges, who have already been decked out in white coats, also take up their positions. The rules of the race are explained to the competitors, the coin is tossed, the winner chooses his preferred saw and the losers choose which end of the log they want…countdown…the race is on!

The race is called, something in the tradition of a Melbourne Cup, and a great time is had by all. The race itself consists of three heats and a final based on "best times" and there are great prizes to be won.

"THE GREAT SAW RACE from the other side of the fence…" A report by Stan Ceglinski...

You know the way I see it the humble cross cut saw was one of the most important tools ever - Imagine something as simple as no tea and bikky at smoko - can't imagine it myself! Harvesting of timber for fencing, home and shed construction, furniture, scrub clearing, heating, cooking, washing, etc...the humble Crosscut saw be ot one man or two man was and still is in parts of the world a most important possession.

A well-sharpened and set saw is a joy to use, and when performing properly, happily sings away to the stroke of the sawyer.

July 19-21st saw Sydney crowds enjoying and participating in "The Great Saw Race" a feature of the Timber and Woodworking Show. 214 mums, dads, kids and friends teamed up and had a go using our 100 year old 5' (1.5 m) crosscut saws in purely volunteered friendly competition. Many more volunteered to be official judges and timekeepers, whilst every race produced a crowd 5 deep beyond the fence.

Over the weekend two races stood out the most, the reaction of the crowd was definite proof of this…in one race a father and son competed against a couple of strong looking 25 year olds, the 25 year olds won by 7/100ths of a second, an exceptionally close and exciting race but what made the race so special was that in the father and son team the father was about 35 and the son 10 years old. The crowd were right behind these guys, yelling and cheering Fair Dinkum - it was absolutely great, it was real heart warming stuff!

In another race a father and young daughter raced against a couple of "Big People" and also had a very close finish - the crowd got very involved, cheering, screaming, yelling - not your normal quiet walk around the show to buy some tools stuff!

It was great to see the involvement of these show visitors, both inside and outside the fence! Sunday afternoon saw the Grand Finals for the saw races - a Jack and Jill race was on first…a very fast race by Vicky and Dave put a 30cm disc of Flooded Gum on the ground in 1 min 20.89 secs giving Karen and Bill from Wollongong the 2nd place.

The open section saw a couple of young and keen lads from up north take out the race in a respectable 56 secs with a father and son team Peter and Cameron finishing close 2nd.

It makes me extremely happy that Riddell's allow this crazy race to exist - many people have made commends to me that The Great Saw Race is a great part of the woodshow. Whilst a couple of people have actually said "It's the best thing at the Wood show!" (If Les Miller happens to read this I hope that he doesn't take this last comment badly - I reckon his demonstrations are really good, informative, and occasionally humorous!

All the best and see you at the next woodshow….

Stan [I've got Shingles and Shakes] Ceglinski…

The Billinudgel Wood Working Company -
Keeping the Tradition Alive!