Your Christmas 2015 Essentials from West Wind

November 19, 2014 West Wind EventsSpecialsSpecialty Wood Products

Gifts and Stocking Stuffers


Check out our updated Culinary Pages on our website for Dining and Entertaining; whether for your home or for larger commercial venues, we can help outfit the kitchen, the dining room, the outdoor patio.  We hope our collection will inspire all aspects of cooking, dining and feasting.

Watch for our Home and Garden Updates coming soon!

West Wind

Don’t forget about Gift Certficates! Get Yours Today!

ChristmasHoliday Hours

Closed: Wednesday, December 24 Noon thru Sunday, December 28

Open: Monday, December 29 thru Wednesday, December 31 Noon

Closed: Wednesday, December 31 Noon thru Sunday, January 4

Open: Monday, January 5, 2015


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5 Charcuterie Board Tips Sure To Impress

October 24, 2014 West Wind CompanyProductsSpecialty Wood Products

The following tips were curated by us from the lovely Meredith at her site has some great recipes as well!

  1. VARIETY OF CURED MEATS AND SALAMI; 3 or more selections. Keep the cured meats sliced very thin and the sausages and salami either sliced thin or cubed. Figure on serving 3 slices of each variety for each person.
  • CURED MEATS – Try Coppa (cured pork shoulder), Jamon Serrano (Spanish ham), Prosciutto (Italian ham), Mocetta (cured beef tenderloin).
  • SAUSAGES/SALAMI – Try Spanish Dry Chorizo, or a dry-cured Finochietta or Casalingo.
  1. PATÉ – A paté is a mixture of cooked ground meat with additions like vegetables, truffles and nuts, minced into a creamy spreadable paste. It’s not a must-have on a board but it brings a different flavor and texture; and can be purchased by the slice, making it extremely affordable. Spread on water crackers or thinly sliced rye bread.
  2. SOMETHING PICKLED – Pickled vegetables are a fantastic pairing with meats. Have at least one selection. Try gherkins (tiny pickles), pickled red onions, pickled okra, olives or pickled mushrooms. A pickled something is a must! Our favourite………eggplant!
  3. SPREADS – A selection of sweet and savory spreads pair great on a cracker with a slice of cured meat or sausage. Try a fruit preserve or chutney for sweet and rustic stone ground mustard for the savory. Looks mighty fine served in a country-style ramekin with a small spoon or knife for serving.
  4. BREAD and CRACKERS – A selection of crackers and bread such as rustic baguette slices are a welcome sight to any board. A healthful, yet tasty selection would be rye bread.

HOW TO SERVE: Serve everything already sliced on one board. If you don’t have room for the bread and crackers, serve on the side.  A basket or side plate works just fine.


BEER AND WINE PAIRINGS: Almost everything pairs with cured meats — that’s the great thing about serving a charcuterie board.


  • White wines: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco or Champagne. Bubbles will pair with everything!
  • Red wines: Cotes-du-Rhone, Barbera, Beaujolais
  • Beer: Saison, Farmhouse, Pale Ale, Czech or Bohemian Pilsner, Vienna Lager. Better yet, try a batch of your local brew-pub’s finest.

Most importantly, keep it to your liking and don’t stress. Be as adventurous or as conventional as you wish. Don’t forget the importance of presentation. Try one of our live-edge charcuterie boards.

charcuterie board live edge


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My World of Wood

September 26, 2014 Shelley Nielsen Shelley's Articles

Wood is my world; the world that gives me an opportunity to exist; to raise a family; make my mark in life. The cycle of dependence is large and varied. It’s a world of relative grace and comfort thanks to that wood in those trees. Yet the term ‘wood’ is rather loosely used, and I often wonder what defines ‘wood’ in other people’s worlds.

How do we find wood useful? Could a rough board or an old stump qualify? Some suggest it would best be served in its original ‘tree’ state. Loved but untouched.

Culturally modified & will live to see another day.Culturally modified in a very utilitarian, one-time fashion.

(left) Culturally modified & will live to see another day. (right) Culturally modified in a very utilitarian, one-time fashion.

In a woodworker’s world is there an expectation that ‘wood’ needs to be re-manned; touched by human and/or machine ‘hands’ to be valued? Its form altered; enhanced? Or is wood……..trees…….best left alone; yet even mammals and birds; insects and amphibians do not leave trees unmarked. What is natural?

We all have a symbiotic relationship to some degree with our trees; whether those found in a forest, city park or backyard. Some take more; others less but in the bigger picture, we all have developed a dependence on our trees of wood. And it is for this reason I am always looking for interesting ways that wood serves us. The more basic the better; the more unexpected…….better yet! There’s room for all manner of service; down to basics and industrial; abstract and artistic; wild and woolly.

Simple, Pleasing, Easy!!Something a little less simplistic but made with respect for the tree.

(left) Simple, Pleasing, Easy!! (right) Something a little less simplistic but made with respect for the tree.

The Uchuck III – Douglas-fir Hatch Boards Originally built as a US Yard Minesweeper in 1942, she now accommodates 100 passengers and up to 100 tons of cargo.

The Uchuck III – Douglas-fir Hatch Boards
Originally built as a US Yard Minesweeper in 1942, she now accommodates 100 passengers and up to 100 tons of cargo.

Throughout our married life we have enjoyed the outdoors. We’ve camped at formal campgrounds and back country sites; by car, foot and canoe. We’ve boated up and down the inner coastal waterways of Vancouver Island – top to bottom. We’ve collected a comprehensive library of stories on the geographical areas we’ve visited and the people who eked a living from our forests. It may seem that few are left with that pioneering fortitude but stop some time and ‘smell the pine pitch’. Thankfully they are still here.

image010 one man mill operation

One-man operations still exist today.  Sidney Bay, Loughborough Inlet, BC


Don’t show up without an invitation. This mill is well guarded by Lucy’s friend Rebus.

And it’s our boating trips along the coastal waterway that has truly brought out attention to just how renewable our forests are. After all, who would have imagined this landscape held a thriving community in the early 1900’s.

Simoom Sound (Broughton Archipelago) BC

Simoom Sound (Broughton Archipelago) BC

However here’s what Roderick Haig-Brown (Canadian writer and conservationist) said back in 1950:

Wolf River - Buttle Lake

Mouth of Wolf River – Buttle Lake – September 2014. Lake dammed in the 50’s for hydro-power.

“It would be logical to suppose that the community would reflect its own long term interest by a vital involvement in the forests and their conservation. Unhappily, it does not. The forests have already been stripped of the best wood and replanting has not kept up with cutting. The community stumbles on, on the mistaken hunch that somehow progress will make the irreversible destruction worthwhile by eventually replacing it with something else.” (Haig-Brown, Measure of the Year, 1950).

Haig-Brown led the protest (over the damming of Buttle Lake), recalls daughter Valerie Haig-Brown from her Alberta home. “I remember being allowed to skip school to attend the public hearings with my father,” she said. “It was 1952. You have to remember that public hearings on government projects were rare back then.” This excerpt is from an article which appeared initially in the premiere issue of Wild Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon Magazine, spring 1994.

I’m not defending our resource-based industry; nor putting the conservationists on a pedestal. I’m not saying past management wasn’t abysmally poor; or that current practices can’t be improved upon. I am saying trees are one of our only renewable resources. And it’s bloody amazing to see it in action!

nursery logs nursery logs

Nursery Logs – Upper Myra Falls – Strathcona Park

Tree planters work – behind Cordero Lodge – Cordero Channel

 Tree planters work – behind Cordero Lodge – Cordero Channel

As evidenced below, BC’s forestry industry is still at work today. We may have had to readjust our management techniques; modify our expectations; assess our attitudes; wonder where this all fits in our global community but it’s still there. Actively producing, BC wood is still a good thing!

cut WRCedar growing into 1st Growth

2nd Growth WRCedar growing into 1st Growth – but no longer.  It got cut! Homfray Channel, BC

Along Highway 28 to Gold River, BC Along Highway 28 to Gold River, BC

I’d venture a guess that this is 3rd or 4th growth harvesting. Along Highway 28 to Gold River, BC

After all, isn’t it all about the journey?!

Rowing Boat Hull of Sitka Spruce

The Journey – Slow – Relaxed – Traditional

1940’s Jones Bros. Rowing Boat

Hull of Sitka Spruce


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Jan’s Day Off: Jan’s “REAL” Day Off at Buttle Lake

September 25, 2014 Jan Nielsen Artwork & Hobby WoodworkingJan's Day Off

Ralph River Provincial Campsite – Buttle Lake – Strathcona Park (Vancouver Island, BC)

overturned soup bowl candlestick

What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing as far as I was concerned, however, apparently my choice of stable candle holders was inappropriate. And thus another ‘project’ was born. Fast, Simple and Aesthetically Appropriate for the Outdoors.

So what does a good wood man do but find a piece of green cedar with the intention of carving out nicely sized holes to fit our candles.  At this point, now ask yourself who goes camping with a full set of carving tools?  Unfortunately the selected piece split and required repairs.  Naturally, slender willow branches were selected to bind the board.

DIY rustic candlestick DIY rustic candlestick

Nothing is more satisfying……so I’m told…….than a man sitting by his fire with his cigar whilst working with wood.

rustic candlestick holder

a patina of wax on the candle holder a patina of wax on the candle holder

A nice patina of wax build developed as more and more candles were used.

rustic candle holder Day and Night – Night and Day – All was right with the world.

Day and Night – Night and Day – All was right with the world.

rustic candle holder rustic candle holder

But all good things must come to an end and a fiery pyre was deemed an appropriate finale to our camping trip.


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September Customer Projects Vol.54

September 24, 2014 West Wind Artwork & Hobby WoodworkingCompanyCustomer Projects

Thanks for all of you who submitted your projects for this month’s newsletter, we continue to be impressed and inspired.

Nightheron Canoe

canoe customer project

Brad W. of Alberta built this Nightheron 18 canoe. Stripped with yellow cedar from us. His next project is a Prospector 15 using our western red cedar canoe strips. Nice work!

Baby Cradle


Ernest Wahl finished this cradle with some milling help from us. Just in time before his Grandaughter was born!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

Made from wood out of our shorts pile, these toys were winter projects for Robert Scott on Saltspring Island.

Guitars & More

speakers by matt dolmage

Summer projects by Matt Dolmage include guitars and some very cool retro speakers. Check out his online store!


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The New Porch for the Old “Newer” House

September 24, 2014 West Wind Hardwood & SoftwoodOtherStaff


Everyone who works at West Wind has formed a close relationship with wood.  Most are passionate and take advantage of any opportunity to use and/or work with it.  Our Flooring Manger, Joel is no different.  In fact he set the bar for everyone else.  He’s been with us since 1998; still in high school at the time and highly recommended by his Wood Work Teacher.  He has spent his entire post-secondary career working towards improving and upgrading his living environment; a few times over.

Here are some pictures of the porch he installed on his current home renovation.  Great job!  What’s next?


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