hand tools

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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Video: Custom and Specialty Milling Services

February 7, 2014 West Wind CompanyMillingSpecialty Wood Products


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Building Hope Chests

January 22, 2014 West Wind Artwork & Hobby WoodworkingCustomer ProjectsReader's Corner

Written by Guest Blogger, Kyle Gardiner.


I have built chests for grandchildren Akira and Reiko to provide places for them to keep things precious to them. In Reiko’s case that would be things typical of a hope chest. A boy’s interests are necessarily different, and although Akira’s chest is identical, it was built with the vague notion that it would, with the addition of interior furnishings, perhaps be a tool box; maybe even for my tools some day. That would be a hopeful legacy. Or maybe, with suitable Kanji, a hope chest for some future generation.


Design ideas began with the hope chest I built for Mama Lynne in 1966. An improved design would be smaller, better proportioned, built of better materials and with better workmanship, embody finer construction details, and be more accommodating of expansion and contraction issues with wood. Designs were explored on the internet, and through publications. Particularly good examples were featured in a book entitled “Traditional Style Tool Chests” from the West Vancouver Library.

Dimensions evolved from comparisons of various chests to Lynne’s 1966 one, of finding pleasing proportions, and consideration that any chest should fit across the end of a single bed, be of a height comfortable to sit on, and maybe be serviceable as a coffee table.


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Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event 2014

January 15, 2014 West Wind Artwork & Hobby WoodworkingCompanyTool Events

Thanks to all the wonderful attendees of this years hand tool showcase. We hope you learned some great woodworking tips from the experts from Lie-Nielsen who were on-site.

Here are a few shots we took thought the two day event. See you all next year!


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Lie-Nielsen Event Coming January 2014!

November 29, 2013 West Wind Artwork & Hobby WoodworkingEventsTool Events

Flyer_VictoriaBC14Once again we are hosting a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool event early next year.

January 10th & 11th.

Friday, 9am-5pm

Saturday, 9am-4pm

Free admission!

Lie-Nielsen staff will be on-site to help demystify the world of hand tool woodworking. You are encouraged to get hands on and ask plenty of questions.

For more information on Lie-Nielsen and their heirloom quality hand tools visit lie-nielsen.com.


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Nuts and Bolts

January 17, 2013 Shelley Nielsen Shelley's Articles

Positions of authority: business executives, assembly-line managers, supervisors, parents.  Different title; same scenario.   Successful adults (now parents) growing up in a work-ethic environment, slogging through the public education system, sending their children to private school because it represents success; a betterment.   Better for what I ask?  Better yes….in some ways; perhaps not so in others.  Same scenario for that mandatory university/college degree so commonly expected by the corporate world.  Cause and effect: ‘BofA’ degrees are the new ‘high school’ diploma.  Again I ask:  Better?

Don’t get me wrong.  I did encourage our children towards a university education hoping they attain marketable skills as a means to ensure happiness and financial independence.  How?  Where?  And it really didn’t matter so much if they were otherwise driven.   As young adults heading towards some form of post-secondary education, my constant and unwavering advice was to figure out what brings pleasure and how to do this better – whether that meant some form of further education or not.  Liking something and trying to do it better likely meant you’ll be good at it……………..meaning somebody just might pay you for this passion.  Basically, do we work for the pleasure of what we are doing, or is work simply a means to an end…….or a weekend?  It’s this imbalance in our conception of work versus leisure that creates pressure points.


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