Wood working in Vancouver
Woodworking can be a very rewarding hobby, and Vancouver is a great place to get into the craft. If you are an experienced woodworker looking for a shop, or a beginner that is looking to get started this is the guide for you.
There are only a few good rent-able woodworking shops in Vancouver. This is because of the insurance that is required to run a open to the public woodworking shop.
- Maker Labs - A 26,000sf maker space that has a clean, well equipped woodworking shop. They provided regular courses on many different topics as well as safety courses. Their membership rates are very competitive with other shops. Among their extensive tool list, they also have a full sheet (4x8) CNC cutter (Shopbot) that is extremely useful for furniture projects. 780 East Cordova Street,Vancouver. Open 12-9 PM, 778.984.7299 , ,
- Vancouver Community Lab - Is a maker space for metal and wood working. They have good selection of wood working tools and lots of space. They run woodworking workshops but not on a regular schedule. While their membership rates are good they currently have reached their membership cap and are not accepting new members (wait list). 1907 Triumph St, Vancouver.
- Round House - Weekly drop-in nights for people working on their own projects. They offer amazing courses, see below.
Single day workshops and courses
Doing a workshop or course is a great way to get started with woodworking.
- Round House - An amazing set of regulare course to get you started with woodworking. From beginner intro courses to artisan hand tools courses, the round house has it all. They also have drop in nights once a week. Their instructors are experienced and passionate about their craft. Urban Woodworker partners with the Round House to provide the hand tools workshops.
- Maker Labs - Runs regular courses on many different topics with an amazing fully equipped workshop.
- Lee Valley In-Store Seminars offer regulare course from experenced people. Lee Valley is one of the main woodworking stores in Vancouver.
- Woodshop COOP - Runs a 1 day (8 hour), workshop on reclaimed wood furniture. Great for people that are into the design side of woodworking. 51 Southern St in the False Creek Flats near Main & Terminal
There is a huge amount of online woodworking resources, way too many to list. This is a list of some of my favorite online resources. When I am looking for a new woodworking project I tend to search thought Instructables woodworking how-to guides, Instagram #woodworking for beautiful finished projects, and Open Desk for woodworking plans.
Vancouver have many schools to gain a formal education in woodworking. BCIT, Langara, and ITA BC have a great selection of full-time and part-time programs. Many of other local community collages/university such as VCC, Capilano University, and UBC also offer piecemeal woodworking courses as well.
UBC sala has a dedicated woodworking shop that is available to all students and staff
- @BC_Wood - BC Wood is a not-for-profit trade association that has represented British Columbia’s value-added wood products industry for over 20 years. bcwood.com
Sooner or later you are going to need to buy some of your own woodworking tools. Lee Valley is your one stop shop for everything to do with woodworking. KMS Tools and Summit Tools have a great selection too and sometimes has better prices then Lee Valley.
You are going to need some wood for making awesome projects.
- Windsor Plywood - Great selection, lots of helpful staff. Better then Homedepo but still on the expensive side.
- P.j. White Hardwoods Ltd - Great selection. The best prices but they don’t do onsite cuts. 1200 East Kent Ave S, Vancouver, BC V5X 2X8
Places to avoid
Vancouver has a lot of great resources for woodworking but there are also some places that are horrible. If you have had the unfortunate experience of going to The Vancouver Hackspace (VHS), please don’t give up on woodworking! and try one of the great alternatives in Vancouver. Their small selection of used recycled tools are constantly broken, dull, or unsafe. Their volunteers are all but useless, and teach bad unsafe habits. They are not adequate insured and are a accident waiting to happen. Their space is too small to a project of any reasonable size. No proper ventilation, the list goes on.
Don’t let the Vancouver hackspace ruin your experience with woodworking.