The First Cribbage Board

If you’re just getting to know us, let us introduce ourselves! We are West Coast Island Woodwork, a small, family owned business, working our dream job from the small town of Lantzville, BC.

We opened our doors for business in November of 2018, completely new to the small business world, but long time friends to the game of cribbage. Our journey, though only a little over a year old, is fuelled by a passion for both a game and an art.

The First Board

Did you know that the very first cribbage board that left our workshop was actually a gift?

Our woodworker Hans had been playing around with designs for his old CNC machine, and came across a design for a round, three player cribbage board. When it was mentioned that a member of our team was in the need of a gift for a coworker, Hans went straight to the workshop to test out his new cribbage board design.

The First Cribbage Board

This board was unknowingly, the first of many.

After some show and tell with our family, friends and co-workers, the word seemed to spread and the question of “Could you make a cribbage board with ____?” started to sound more and more familiar. With interest starting to spike and our woodworker scheduled to retire within the next couple months, our team started to ask themselves what their next should be.

How Island Woodwork Came To Be

We knew from the beginning that we wanted to some how incorporate the island into our name, as it is a place we are proud to call home, and we knew there were many others who could resonate with that.

It was also very fitting as our best-selling board happens to be our original Vancouver Island Board, though we didn’t know that this would be the case at the time.

We also knew that even though cribbage boards were our founding project, we would eventually like to dive into different pieces as our journey continued. With “WestCoast Island Woodwork” as our title, the possibilities seemed endless and our woodworker’s creativity could flourish. Our ever-growing Island Collection is a living example of this, and we are excited to add many more pieces as we approach the summer season.

Did someone say yard games!?

What’s Next For WestCoast Island Woodwork?

Well, that’s up to our customers!

The amazing part of creating customized pieces is that theres always a new project, a new idea or a new challenge right around the corner. Our work is only limited to the imagination of our customers, which never fails to keep us on our toes!

A majority of our collection is inspired by what started as a “one time order” and ended up being a frequently asked for item, much like the chain of events that led to our very first cribbage board. Our fellow islanders inspire us everyday to create sustainable, memorable pieces that will last a lifetime.

Make sure to check us out on Instagram and our Facebook page to follow us along on our journey, and of course to capture the first glimpses of our new pieces!

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!