Workshop on Wheels – Finisterre Store Tour 2019

27 . 04 . 19

​At the start of April, we packed our tools and a big stack of bodysurfing handplane blanks into the back of a van and set off on our 2019 “Workshop on Wheels” Tour, delivering our workshop sessions in Finisterre stores around the country. Taking in Bristol, London and Edinburgh, James and Ally left a trail of sawdust and happy bodysurfers-to-be in their wake. We’re incredibly grateful to our friends at Finisterre for allowing us to take over their stores again, turning their shop-fronts into workshops for a few hours each time, and for lending us their van to transform into a mobile workshop. If we’d had to do all that driving in the Otter Surfboards workhorse, we’re pretty sure we’d still be out there on the road…

Having got back and digested our fantastic week away, we touched base with each of the week’s attendees to find out how they were getting on oiling their handplanes and to ask about their experience. Here a re a few of our favourite responses:

“The best thing for me was remembering how satisfying it is to create something, and even more so because it links to my love of the sea.”

Andy, Bristol workshopper

“For me, the most memorable part of the workshop experience was seeing my handplane (and everyone else’s) coming together all of a sudden. There’s loads of sawing and rasping, then suddenly it’s the right shape. I thought you found just the right balance with the session; you couldn’t have made anything better for me. I was not aware of any time pressure and that was nice. Lunch and a beer was a pleasant surprise too, so thanks for that!”

Marcus, London workshopper


“I really valued taking home something that I made. I have zero confidence with tools (I’m more used to a keyboard), so it was really great to create something from scratch using tools I had never used before. I genuinely believed I would be that one guy that didn’t have a finished hand plane to take home, and I wasn’t!” 

Craig, London workshopper

“If I had to sum up my experience in three words, I’d say it was soulful, fun and rejuvenating.”

James, London workshopper

The one question that we were asked the most whilst on the road was “will you be doing this again?” The answer to that is most definitely “yes”! Sign up to our newsletter or Finisterre’s to be the first to hear about next year’s Workshop on Wheels Tour.

Edinburgh workshop photography (images 5&6) courtesy of Ross Dickie (@ross.dickie)

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