Island Woodwork: How It’s Made

Welcome to WestCoast Island Woodwork! We often get a lot of questions about how we make our pieces and our reasoning behind our Island Woodwork process, so we thought we would give you a little peek on what goes on behind the curtain (ie. the garage doors).

The Workshop

Our Island Woodwork workshop is located in the heart of beautiful Lantzville, BC. We have called this cozy town home for almost 30 years now and it has provided a lot of the inspiration for what makes up our collection today.

Our workshop (also known as our garage) is where you can find our woodworker Hans on a Saturday morning; carving, sanding and staining our current orders. Our shop is fully stocked with a wide array of tools that have been collected over many years of woodworking! If you want to stop by our workshop to check out the space and chat with our woodworker, you can send us an email to set up an appointment!

The Wood

Here at IW, we use 100% recycled wood to create all of our pieces. When we started our business in 2018, we knew we wanted sustainability to play a large role in what we did. With a large amount of scrap wood hanging around the shop, we thought ‘Hey! Why buy new wood when we have perfectly good wood, right here in our workshop?!’

Transforming used wood into secondary products helps reduce the amount of unnecessary trash from ending up in local landfills. This fact not only motivated us to continue our business model, but to find new ways to reduce our environmental impact in our practices.

FUN FACT: The plastic material used for our peg compartments in our cribbage boards are even made out of recycled plastic!

Wait, where do we get our wood?

Anywhere and everywhere! From friends or family getting rid of old furniture to a neighbour trimming some branches off their arbutus tree, we will take anything
we can get our hands on. Our cribbage boards are made from hard woods and a majority of our shelves and home decor are made from pallet wood.

Though we are thrifty with our materials, the quality of our wood is one of our top priorities as we want our pieces to last you a lifetime. With many years of experience on his tool belt, our woodworker carefully selects our wood based on its durability and his belief that it will match our quality standards.

The CNC Machine

What does CNC stand for?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is the programming used to create all of our Island Woodwork designs! How does it work exactly? Let us walk you through it!

Step 1. Our woodworker uses a computer software called Project Designer Version
3.106 Pro. to create the draft of a cribbage board, shelf or which ever custom piece we are working on. During this step, fonts, images and shapes are combined with the measurements of the final product to come up with a final design.

Step 2. Our woodworker puts together some wood to create a blank board of the right length and thickness in preparation of the carving. The board is then placed our CarveWright machine (the CNC machine) to be carved.

Step 3. Once the board is ready, the design is then uploaded to the CarveWright machine and the carving begins. This process can take up to 8 hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the design.

Step 4. Once the CarveWright machine has completed its work, our woodworker begins the finishing process. This can include cutting out the shape of a cribbage board, sanding, tweaking, staining and varnishing the design. This process can take 1-2 days depending on the piece and the length of time needed for the stain or varnish to dry.

Millennium Falcon Board

We love that our choice to use recycled wood has added so much personality to our pieces. Each project that we have is a little different from the next, just as each piece of wood is completely unique to itself!

Interested in learning more? Come chat with us at our Island Woodwork workshop or at one of our upcoming markets!

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