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.
We’re featuring three amazing artists this month:
His beautiful Alder island countertop was made for a client.
The guitars are both made of cherry (one is solid cherry, the other is a cherry top on MDF). The guitar with the bent strips of wood has strips of padouk, purpleheart, oak and poplar. The guitar with the wider inlaid pieces has pieces of walnut, bubinga, and western maple in it. The cutting board is eastern maple with strips of padouk and yellowheart.
Dining Room Table made from concrete, steel, aluminum, Douglas Fir
Architect Leith Anderson called me to help with the build of a fireplace wall feature seen in (PROJECT 1 – IMAGE 1). To complement a fireplace wall, I was also asked to design and build a dining table. On a day trip to Tofino, I drew inspiration from the location itself. The house is nestled on a cliff overlooking Rosie Bay and with spectacular views of the ocean. Like most West Coast homes, wood is a prominent material of choice and this home has no shortage of large fir beams with beautifully displayed joinery. The choice of Douglas Fir wood for the table was easy. The homeowners also collected native art. To represent water, I decided on metal to provide a shimmer on the table while also giving some contrast. My choice was to cast a floating concrete “tablet” in the center of the table. This tablet would then rest on a pair of concrete legs that anchor and proudly support the table. I commissioned native artist Mark Preston to provide authentic Native art work that I then incorporated into the table and fireplace.
We were approached to sponsor this unique boating project at UBC with some product. Dave Tiessen, Mechanical Team Lead, gave us some insight and what they want to accomplish.
UBC Sailbot is one of the most successful of UBC Engineering’s student teams. They are three time winners of the International Robotic Sailing Regatta, who are now attempting a greater feat, a challenge called “The MicroTransat”.
“The competition entails sailing an autonomous sailboat across the Atlantic completely unassisted. So far no one has succeeded in this challenge. We plan to be the first.” Says Dave.
The team has made smaller boats (2 metres in length) in the past and were made completely of carbon fibre. This time, however, the team has opted to go a different route.
“We are looking at a larger 5 m design. We are planning to build that in the cold moulded style, hence the need for marine plywood.” He supplied us a photo of the plans, but we’ll keep that hush hush for now!
Dave promises to keep us in the loop with their progress and we will follow the journey with you in our blog and newsletter. We wish them the best of luck with the build!
George Meier aboard SV Tuahine
We milled up some Fir for George earlier this year and he recently sent us these images of the hull plank replacement he did this summer on his boat using that fir! The skill of wooden boat building never ceases to amaze!
3rd Douglas Sea Scouts Boating Building Projects
We donated about $500 worth of marine plywood to this local Sea Scout project. Instructor, Laurie Armstrong, kept us in the loop with the progress:
“14 Sea Scouts arrived and after a safety demonstration by Ross (tapping his glass eye with a screw driver and cutting a wrist sized soupbone on the bandsaw) the boys laid out patterns and cut all the pieces for four boats- bottom, 2 sides and 2 transoms. The hard part was keeping parents and leaders backed off so the kids could do the work. Each crew signed the bottom of what will be their boat, and so feel a sense of ownership as well as accomplishment. The adults were amazed at the dedication and focus, apparently expecting much less. Stocks are built so on Jan 4th we will continue and stitch and glue the boats together. That should give them a real boost to see the parts they cut be transformed into boats. Then it’s just gype and sand and sand and sand …… Then thwarts, knees and trim. all a success so far.”
We asked Dave Fraser what wood shop class was like at his school Cedar Secondary, located just south of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Here’s what he had to say:
“At Cedar we run a traditional woodworking program with a strong focus on wood turning and guitar building. Last year our community support workers Karen St Cyr and Brenda Stupich gave the class part of a $10.000.00 grant to help with at risk students, giving them an opportunity to make something special.
After talking with the various classes it was decided to start making musical instruments, since then we have been building various things from acoustic and electric guitar to drums and cigar box guitars. Old Morris Tobacconists in Victoria donated 14 cigar boxes to the school; this has been a very popular project.
One of the local Cedar residence, Andy Lackey, has donated many truckloads of burls that have allow the students to make a wide range of bowls and lidded boxes on the wood lathes.
Unfortunately Cedar is closing at the end of the year and is being renovated to become a large elementary school.”