Blog

Carving Yellow Cedar

 

24 March 2018

Some months ago Max Whale at Van Urban Timber introduced me to wood carving with the use of gouges. He showed me some bowls and spoons he had carved using these gouges and he genuinely inspired me to learn how to create such functional art so calmly. Recently i acquired two of my own wood gouges thanks to my very thoughtful girlfriend Fiona! They are some used and slightly abused wood gouges from a woman on craigslist whom acquired them from her uncle. After a good deal of sharpening the crescent-shaped blades on a wet-stone, it was time to get to work on the yellow-cedar bowl which i had begun roughing up with Max and his gouges a few weeks prior. Below are some photos of the bowl I made, sanded with 220 grit and coated with a hand mixed sealant consisting of 1:5 ratio beeswax to mineral oil.  Next time i make a bowl I will try the ancient technique of employing hot coals to dig out the concave part of the bowl. 

 view of bottom of bowl.

view of bottom of bowl.

 side view of turtle carving.

side view of turtle carving.

 top view.

top view.

 

One thing I've learned while attending Quest University that has influenced my ways is the Squamish First Nation practice of giving away everything which you have made for the first time. This was the first bowl I've made from wood and it felt amazing to give it to my brother Miles as a belated 24th birthday. 

Thanks for the wood and the sharing your passion for carving Max, thanks to my dad Bill for shopping for beeswax for me, and thanks for the gouges Fiona!

Thanks for dropping by.

Making a Powsurf/Yukiita/Noboard/bindingless powder shredder

One night my good friend Max Whale came over to Quest university campus to skate our home-built garage-skate-spot. Max left a sun-roasted slab of maple in front of my parking spot when he left. This slab had been grayed from the year or so of sitting outside his workplace, Van Urban Timber. This slab had not the faintest idea what would soon become of it.

To set the scene: a 4- day vacation dubbed as "block break" at Quest University was just underway. A high pressure ridge of unexpectedly low humidity, sunny skies, and un-seasonally high temperatures was upon us in Squamish BC. We had many days of snow in Squamish this February and the spring melt felt as if it was beginning. Fiona (my amazing girlfriend) and I came back from Skookumchuck hot springs on the second day of the vacation, and I jumped right into some spring cleaning of my wood-chip-covered parking spot in the garage.  That slab of maple was sitting there- all grey, old, and robust looking. All it took was one moment of standing on it for it to show to me what it could become with a little (or a lot) of elbow grease.

The maple slab, my swedish handsaw, a pencil, and a tape measure accompanied me from the dank garage and into some Squamish sun-rays. I stood nearby the doorway of my dorm building, in the presence of the Tantalus mountain range and started drawing out the shape and form of my dream powder surfing board. After cutting out the rough shape of the board, the Next step was to bring it down to Max and Danny at Van Urban Timber to seek out some help with sculpting the shape of the board. With help from the woodmizer saw-mill to the hand plane and a set of gouges, the old maple slab revealed its gorgeous spalting and entered a new realm of utility. 

 

Here is a video of Max Whale cutting excess wood off of the slab. 

 

Below is a photograph of the board receiving its last coat of minwax poly wax.

 

After that is a video of me riding the very board that had been a  2"x 12"x 48" slab only 3 days earlier.

Huge thanks to Max and Danny at Van Urban Timber for making this possible! Thanks to Johnny for showing us how to use a hand-planer. Thanks to Jeremy Jensen with Grassroots powsurfing for showing the world what is possible with a snowy hill and a finely shaped plank of wood!

 the spoon nose is inspired by Powell Peralta's old school spoon-nose boards. The channels in the swallow tail of the board are inspired by gentemstick snowboards. All i needed to do after this point was sand with 220 and 500 grit, then apply a coat of hot-wax, put grip tape on the top, and attach a leash via a screw and a small metal bracket. Then It was off to Whistler to find some of the remaining powder in these high temperatures with freezing level at 2000m. 

the spoon nose is inspired by Powell Peralta's old school spoon-nose boards. The channels in the swallow tail of the board are inspired by gentemstick snowboards. All i needed to do after this point was sand with 220 and 500 grit, then apply a coat of hot-wax, put grip tape on the top, and attach a leash via a screw and a small metal bracket. Then It was off to Whistler to find some of the remaining powder in these high temperatures with freezing level at 2000m. 

made a powsurfer out of a spalted maple slab from Max at Van Urban Timber. riding it on Whistler, BC with my ralston snow skate for groomer access!