San Diego County Fair

Design In Wood

About this exhibit

Celebrate the 35th year of this competition and exhibit created in collaboration with the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association.

The exhibit features more than 300 entries in 25 different classes from woodworkers around the world. The exhibit includes traditional, contemporary and art furniture; musical instruments; carvings; turnings; models and much more. Many entries are museum-quality, and many are for sale .

Expert woodworkers demonstrate scroll sawing, wood turning, model making, carving and violin making. Children's chairs are built in a 19th-century woodworking shop using traditional hand tools. Scroll down for details.


2016 Dates, Times, Location

Exhibit Dates: Friday, June 3 through Monday, July 4
(The Fair is closed Mondays except July 4, and the first two Tuesdays)

Exhibit Hours: Fair opening to 10:00PM, Sundays and Tuesdays-Thursdays; 11:00PM, Fridays-
Saturdays; 11:00PM, July 4.

Exhibit Location: North Mission Tower

Results have been posted at the bottom of the page.

This is information from the 2016 San Diego County Fair.

Scroll down to see 2016 entry results, and check back next year, sometime in February, when we will have entry information for the 2017 Fair!




2016 Exhibit Attractions and Activities

Making wood children's chairsDocent Tour, daily, noon and 4:00PM – Join us for a guided tour in the exhibit and learn about the artists, how entries are made, juried and selected as prize winners.

Woodturning Demonstration, daily, noon to 6:00PM – Master woodturners from the San Diego Woodturners Association will make pens, tops and bowls from exotic wood. On Wednesdays, this demonstration runs until 8:00PM.

Scroll Sawing Demonstration, daily, noon to 6:00PM – Scroll saw craftsmen from the San Diego Regular Cutups and the Seaside Scroll Saw clubs cut out many different shapes and items. On Fridays, this demonstration runs until 8:00PM.

Wood Carving Demonstration, daily, noon to 6:00PM – Watch members of the Southern California Carver's Guild carve beautiful pieces from solid wood. On Fridays, this demonstration runs until 8:00PM.

19th Century Woodworking Shop, daily, noon to 6:00PM – Turn back the clock to the 1800s and watch master woodworker volunteers demonstrate how chairs were made using only hand tools. Our master craftsmen build at least 50 chairs every year during the Fair that are donated to non-profit groups serving children.

Model shipShip Model Making Demonstration, daily, noon to 6:00PM – Watch skilled craftsmen build scale model ships using tools and methods unique to this craft. The San Diego Ship Modelers Guild is an association of craftsmen who share a common interest in ship modeling and the related fields of ship construction and maritime history.

Chair Cane Weaving and Webbing; June 4, 8-10, 15-17, 21-23, 28-30; 11:00AM-4:00PM – Watch our cane webbing master apply cane to custom-made children's chair seats using traditional methods with natural cane material made from the outside bark of rattan (a tropical vine).

Violin Making Demonstration; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 6:30-8:30PM – Violins are still made today entirely by hand, using methods originating in the 16th century. See skilled craftsmen produce instruments beautiful in appearance and sound with this timeless skill.

Want to buy a unique work of woodworking art? Many of the pieces in the exhibit are for sale. Sales are done directly with the artist; please ask an exhibit staff member for details. Pieces not for sale are marked "NFS" on the entry tag.


2016 Judging Results

Congratulations to Joe Von Arx of Sacramento, winner of the Master Woodworker Award.

Design In Wood Results By Last Name [PDF format]

Design In Wood Results By Class/Division [PDF format]

Thanks for your entries!

Entries are closed for Design In Wood at the 2016 San Diego County Fair. Information has been left online for those who might be interested in entering this competition. New entry information will be posted in early 2017.

2016 Design In Wood Entry Information [PDF format]
2016 Local Rules [PDF format]
2016 State Rules [PDF format]



If you would like to receive reminders on deadlines and other entry information, please sign-up for the Del Mar Fairgrounds mailing list.


Please contact the Exhibits Office at 858-792-4207 or email Someone is available to assist you Monday-Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM


Thank you to our 2016 Design In Wood Donated Awards

Apollo Sprayers, Inc.

San Diego Woodturners

California Carvers Guild

San Marcos Hardwood and Lumber

Carolyn R. Beres Memorial Award

Society of American Period Furniture Makers

Fine Woodworking Magazine

Urban Forest Products

Popular Woodworking Magazine

Woodcraft Magazine

San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association

Woodworker West Magazine

San Diego Maritime Museum

Woodworkers Journal

San Diego Scroll Saw Clubs