Thursday, January 13, 2011

New website Live

Despite a lack of posts on our blog we have been very busy!

Our new website is now live!  Check it out at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Medieval Times

Just finished a pair of Corbel Legs that will be used as supports for a large glass desk.  The customer showed us a photo of what they wanted and we went to work replicating it.  The original photo showed a beautiful desk and we were thrilled to make it.  As always we love 'antiquing' and making things look old.  When the corbels were finished and our shop bay door was open the mailman walked by.  I asked him when he thought the corbels where from and he said 1800's.  Not quite the medieval times, but we still saw it as a compliment as he thought they where at least a couple hundred years old.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A place to hang your winter coat.

We just finished a snowboard coat rack for a customer to put in his cottage.  (They are staining the rack themselves)
The hooks are old railway ties that the customer supplied us with.  Yes the boards tips are curved and the board even has camber.

We've been busy at Terpstra Woodworks since our last post.  Paul was subcontracted out and worked on a large install job for several months.  There was a bit of everything on the job including woodworking and welding.  We've also been working on a new ski for the 2010/11 season.  Stay tuned for lots of changes!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bring on the watersports!

A new season means new projects!  We just finished a kayak display rack for Tumblehome, an outdoors store in Burlington, ON (  The rack holds 36 paddles and it was designed to be easily taken down at the end of the season.  Jim Terpstra did most of the construction on this rack and both of us were very happy with how it turned out.  We added some Bloodwood (which is naturally a beautiful red) to give it just a touch of colour.

Below is a photo of a pair of Canoe Cradles we built for someone that is building their own canoe.  The cradles are great when sanding a canoe!

If you are interested in anything we've made in the past, or in having something custom made please email us at or call us at 289-440-5440
Not sure if we can build what you want?  More likely than not we can!  Call or email us and we'll let you know.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Øverbø is here!

We are proud to announce that the Øverbø all-wooden ski by Terpstra Woodworks is here!

Ski specs:
180 and 200 cm length (with more lengths to come)
Width: 100-70-85
Weight: super light! - we will post an exact weight soon 
Ash Top Sheet
Birch, Pine, Poplar Core
Hickory Sole

I tested out the skis this past weekend just west of Algonquin Provincial Park with some great friends and family.  We had lots of wooden skis gliding over the snow, including some of our own and some classics from the past!
If you are wondering about the name Øverbø, check out the older post below titled: From Solid to Laminate Skis.

For pricing and ordering information, email us at
Remember - we make custom wooden skis, as well as any other unique item you may need!

To the best of our knowledge we are the ONLY manufacturer of ALL WOODEN laminate skis in North America.  To the best of our knowledge we are also the ONLY manufacturer of solid wooden skis in Canada, and one of 3 in North America. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Busy Season - Another Built-In

Another built-in finished. This one was built out of Ash in the Shaker style.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Skis for a Gnome

A little while back we made these skis, poles, and snowboard for a photographer in Minnesota. He does a winter series with his daughter who dresses up like a traditional Norwegian gnome. The photos are absolutely stunning we were thrilled to be able to be apart of it. You can see the photos at This site is definitely worth checking out!

Everything was made to look really old. The metal was rusted, copper was oxidized to turn a slight green, leather was roughed up, and the wood was scraped and gouged.

The snowboard was a real fun part of the project. Part of it was that we were making something that never existed: An ancient snowboard. Unlike ski history, snowboard history is very recent. So the goal was to make a snowboard that looked like it was hundreds of years old but resembled a modern snowboard so it would be recognizable instantly. We used a modern shape with an all wood board. We really tried to emphasized the grain. The way we would do the bindings came fairly quickly and intuitively. Looking back at our own dutch heritage (Terpstra - yes very dutch!) we quickly decided to replicate the bindings of traditional wooden dutch skates. I don't think anything else would have worked as perfectly.

Be sure to check out

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowshoes & The Northhouse Folk School

Over the Christmas holidays I enjoyed the relaxing past-time of lacing up snowshoes. I still do not understand why the traditional wooden snowshoe in their simplicity, exceptional performance in deep snow and depending on its construction its environmental friendliness has been replaced with the modern synthetic metal snowshoe that simply can't compare in function (unless you are on some glaciers or harder packed snow.)

In other news - if you are interested in making your own snowshoes, skis, or most anything traditional check out The Northhouse Folk School in Minnesota.
They have tonnes of courses covering every topic from baking to boat building, everything in between and more! (and no I am not getting paid or benefited to right this) The wealth of knowledge at Northhouse is astonishing! This is a resource we truly must take advantage of.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Just out of the Terpstra Woodworks Workshop and into the customers home:

This unit was built out of Hard White Maple. Click on the photos to be directed to our flickr site and see more photos!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Design Room

Thought I'd put a photo of me hard at work! This is where the designing happens - on paper!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ski Mold Reproduction (Kids size!)

This is a reproduction of a traditional Norwegian Ski mold. Main differences with the original is the size (this is made to make kids skis - and the dowel in the front. The original had a straight piece of wood. I chose a dowel for strength and don't believe it is a stretch for the time period it was from. The reproduction workshop had a lathe in it - and ski making molds and tools where always made slightly different and made to meet the needs of the specific ski maker.)
The photo below is of the original - it is a photo I took at the Morgedal ski museum in Norway.
More coming on using the mold!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Golden Gauge

I just finished this project for a Kinesiology Professor. It is a gauge that always shows the Golden Ratio (1 to .618) Google the terms Golden Mean, Golden Number, Golden Proportion or anything similar and you will get a great deal of information on the subject. In a nutshell the Golden Ratio is found in many places in nature including the human body (hence the reason for this project - to measure the human body). It is also used in design (The Greek and Romans used it (example- The Parthenon) and today various designers use it.

If you don't know anything about the Golden Ratio, I definitely recommend a google search or a trip to your local library to read more about this fascinating ratio.

I made the gauge out of Walnut and Ash and it is large enough to measure a human body. I also made a smaller version for measuring the hand.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I made these toboggans for a professor that teaches Outdoor Education at a University. They are designed to be pulled by someone skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking and carry the necessary gear needed for a winter camping trip. The two smaller toboggans are called the Bannerman Toboggan and are actually towed in tandem. All are made out of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, Ash, and Stainless Steel hardware.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

From Solid to Laminate Skis

The skis on the right are of a traditional design - (I scraped two lines around the length of the ski and put no other words, graphics, or markings on them). They are also fitted with a 3 pin binding and made out of a solid piece of Maple.

I am currently nearing the end of the design phase of my laminate ski model currently being called the "Øverbø". Øverbø is the birthplace of Sondre Norheim which my wife and I visited while in Norway. Sondre is given credit for designing the telemark style ski that utilizes a sidecut as well designing the first free heel binding. Being the birthplace of the 'father of modern day skiing' I thought Øverbø would be a great name for this ski. The ski is also a backcountry/telemark ski.

The photo on the left is of my wife in between Morgedal and Øverbø. On the right is from Øverbø. A great website to check out is - it is home to an amazing ski museum as well as some great people! It is a close and beautiful hike from Morgedal to Sondre Norheim's house.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Skis and more!

I've returned from a great trip to Europe. In Norway I met up with three wooden ski makers that where each very inspiring. I learned much from them and thoroughly enjoyed walking through their workshops.

Before leaving on the trip I finished more pairs of skis. Two Hard Maple skis, and one Ash ski. The maple skis will get a 3 pin binding, and the ash skis received a leather binding. I also made a ski clamp.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Cradle of Ski-Sport

Last week my wife and I visited MORGEDAL, NORWAY - the home of the telemark style ski.

Much more info coming soon - along with pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ASH and MAPLE Skis

First pair of Ash Skis were bent today and are curing in one (of two) new molds.
(See photo to the right)

My first pair of Maple Skis are finished and awaiting Pine Tar and bindings (3 pin). I have another pair of Maple Skis soaking right now to be steam bent later this week.

Check out photos of the maple skis by clicking on the photo below!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

At work in Downtown Hamilton

It is nice working outside! Many passerby's find it pretty interesting to see someone making skis with hand tools on the sidewalk too!

I've been working lately downtown at my friend Lance's shop called Pastime - It is located on John Street just south of Main St downtown Hamilton. Stop by and say hello! Lance also makes beautiful hand bound leather books! Hours are usually Tuesday - Sat 12-7. (But sometimes we are out at the wishing well, or panning for gold.) A sign on the door will say when we should be back.

I've also finished some new leather bindings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Band Saw Blades can make all the difference

A long time in coming - three more pairs of skis are tapered on the top and have the sidecut cut. The groove for tracking is already on the bottom and the skis are now ready to be hand worked with a convex spokeshave and smoothing plane. After that they will enter the soaking tub for approx. 1 week. After being soaked they will be ready to be steamed and bent.

From left to right there are one pair of Hard Maple Skis and two pair of Ash skis.

The tool used for this was my friend Dave's beautiful new Grizzly Band saw. It was a bit of tweaking to get the saw to run smoothly. And what got it cutting ultra smooth was a quality 1/2" re-saw blade from Lee Valley.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hot of the Mold

Hand shaped Hard Maple Skis. Making lots of skis really makes you excited for the winter to come! How many more months is it?

Right now I am working on several pairs of cross country skis out of Ash, Hard Maple, and Birch. I found a manufacturer of Lignostone to use for edges, but they are in Holland. Shipping may not be to economical! So if you are going to the Netherlands let me know, I'll give you some cash and a ski bag to fill with wood!


Click on the photo to see more tools

Skis in the making

Skis in the making

Finished Traditional Cross Country Skis (Click photo below to see the ski making process)


Hand Made Snow Goggles