A good friend of mine came into the shop last winter wondering if we could help him make a paddle for himself as he and his wife are avid paddlers in northern Saskatchewan. He had a paddle from another manufacturer but wanted something unique for himself. Well here we go -
Fast forward 6 months and here it is, our Bitz Laker paddle. We have an enormous amount of old growth BC fir beams which we reclaimed from the demolition of the Weyburn train roundhouse. From what I can gather the building went up in 1907 and was used a the main shop for 6 coal fired locomotives on the CP line and the Soo Line Railway. As time went on the Coal was replaced by diesel electric and as centralization of locomotive repair and maintenance went to Moose Jaw SK, the roundhouse was purchased by the City of Weyburn and converted into their maintenance shed for many years.
A new maintenance facility was built in 2019 and the roundhouse sat idle since then. Lo and behold the contract for demolition came up and we asked the business beside our shop if they could help save all the beams. You bet! 7 tandem dump truck loads or about 5000 board feet of beams, some 16"x16".
Well what to do with them? A year and a half went by as we were so busy in the shop until we borrowed a sawmill from our other neighbours who are local tree cutters.
Lo and behold, the origin of the blades for the Bitz Laker paddles. We also offer them in Northern Cherry blades and will be doing a few with Walnut blades!