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I came across Andrew’s work on Instagram and Reddit and thought it was a creative build. Andrew uses skateboards that were broken or headed to the garbage to create colorful projects. In the video above he turned a baseball bat – on his Instagram feed you’ll see canoe paddles, drumsticks and coffee stampers. He’s creative and learning fast. I enjoyed his story, I captured part of it for blog post found below.

– David Lyell 

Tell us a little about what you do and where you are from.

My name is Andrew Szeto and I am from Ottawa, Canada! During the days, I work as the Multimedia Officer for the Canadian Coast Guard. As you can imagine, I travel to the coasts fairly often, but when I am at home, I spend my evenings at the Ottawa City Woodshop ( which is just outside of the downtown core. I started woodworking a little over a year ago and owe everything I know to the amazing community at the shop.

What inspired you to use skateboards as a medium?

I’m a skateboarder through-and-through! Having moved to California during my high school years, skateboarding was the thing to do. After moving back to Canada for University, I picked up a few sponsors and have been involved with the community ever since. Skateboarding has been a huge part of my life and using broken boards for various projects just made sense. Working with skateboards can be tedious work, but upcycling what would otherwise end up in the landfill seems like a really good idea, not to mention the colors in the various plys make working with this medium standout.

Are there any tips or tricks for using skateboard ply in woodworking?

Skateboards are finicky. Off the bat, you’re working with 7 plys that may have cracks or weak glue joints by the time it ends up as my raw material. So inspecting sections of skateboards to be used (particularly in a herringbone configuration) is a very important process. Furthermore, the likelihood of blow-outs are higher too, so ensuring that you have really sharp tools is pretty key. Working with boards can be way more tedious than other types of wood, but if you have the patience, you’re going to end up with something pretty vibrant and special.

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