Woodworking tradesmen are off and running in a competition announced by power-toolmaker DeWalt to find the top finish carpenters in the country.

The contest, which kicked off at the International Woodworking Fair in August, has two phases. In the first phase, entrants were required to submit project plans by Sept. 24 in one of three categories: custom stairs, built-in cabinets, and fireplace mantles. DeWalt representatives will judge the submissions. The top 17 finalists will win tool packages valued at $2,000, and their projects will be showcased online at www.DeWalt.com/Top17.

In the second phase, visitors to the Web site will choose their favorite project. The entrant who garners the most votes will be named Top Finish Carpenter in December and win more than $4,000 in DeWalt tools, additional prizes from work-wear maker Carhartt, and participation in a DeWalt-hosted 2009 NASCAR event.