Builder of the Month, March 2011
Paul-Britman Rapai, Blacklock Longboards
Norah and I spent a Sunday with Paul on his family run farm which is located in Southern Ontario, Canada around Langton. We got to meet his wife, young son and two cats while we were there. We were treated to lunch, a walk around his woodworking shop and a look at his large stockpile of domestic woods.
Paul an accomplished tree farmer and woodworker operates a hundred and eighty acre farm in the once Tobacco belt of Ontario. During the winter months after Christmas when the time consuming work of the tree farm slows down Paul making boards. Here are some photo’s and visit from our visit.
All of the wood Paul uses to make his vertical laminated boards are cut from trees fallen from somewhere on his property. The trees are saw milled into planks of lumber and stored, carefully stacked into large stickered piles in a couple of barns. Seeing this much wood, cherry, walnut, maple and oak and knowing it is destined to be turned into a board was a humbling experience for me. The complete stages, right there from tree to finished board. It cannot get better for anyone passionate about making boards.
WEBSITE: BLACKLOCK LONGBOARDS
Paul showing off his stored wood in the rafters of his barn.
One of many stickered, stacks of wood. To properly dry wood the cut planks have to be stored in a cool, dry environment for a year or more where air can circulate around each plank. You can see in the photo that each layer of wood is separated by sticks that run across each layer.
And more wood!
And more wood!
Here you can see paul’s templates use to create each deck shape. Paul’s shop is equipped with great tools. A reciprocating drum sander and a sweet jig setup is shown below, a time saver for precise shaping boards and cutting wheel wells.
Here Paul shows of stacks of finished boards
My favorite was this walnut board with criss cross lines of inlaid maple. What a great looking Longboard!
A lucky kid to have a dad that builds boards for him!