Big North polymath’s $8K climbing A-frame & wild woodcraft

For photographer/woodworker Andrew Szeto, it started with skateboarding. As a semi-pro, he was getting injured a lot and wanted do something with his hands. He was also burning through a lot of boards (one every 2 weeks) so he decided to take the stacks of old skateboards he’d collected and start making furniture with them. The crazier ideas the better.

To date, he’s turned old planks into an Eames lounger, a carved hand-shaped chair, baseball bats that hit home runs, canoe paddles, and holds on the climbing wall inside the A-frame cabin he constructed for $8K (USD).

When Szeto’s not making things he’s living the life of adventurer: canoeing in his handbuilt , motorcycling across Canada, or filming icebergs for the Canadian Coast Guard. “There’s a small percentage of my job where I’m like Tom Cruise out there Mission-Impossible-style where I’m bombing away on a helicopter or I get the front seat on some crazy mission that’s unheard of.”

Trained as an environmental engineer, Szeto was working on informatics and electronics projects for the Canadian Coast Guard when his boss discovered his film of a motorcycle trip and asked him to do the same thing for the Coast Guard.

After purchasing a $6,000 (4,700 USD) piece of land in , he used his woodworking skills to build an A-frame cabin with a climbing wall as the only means of reaching the loft (his attempt at a rope ladder was unsuccessful). He built a murphy bed to turn the loft into a bed but learned it was too hot for sleeping given the powerful wood stove he’d installed downstairs.

Szeto has plans to build a workshop on his land so he can teach others the craft he loves. He’s been teaching a canoe-paddle-building course at the City Workshop and loves passing along his knowledge.

“It’s nice to put stuff on the Internet and have Internet likes and stuff like that, but it’s quite a mother when you’re seeing somebody successfully build a paddle in real-time and seeing the smile on their faces after that. I just think sharing experiences is something pretty incredible and something humans need to be doing more even.”

On *faircompanies:


  1. What a super interesting and humble guy. His can-do attitude and go with the flow type of mentality is quite remarkable. Living his life on his own terms, pursuing his passions, and remaining open to adventure, this to me is true wealth.

  2. Nice one Andrew, living your truth mate. It’s amazing to see pal! Keep it up bro!✌ Cheers Kristen for his introduction on your brilliant channel!

  3. 👀👀👀👀📣📢 *WOWZEE . . . we need A LOT more fab dudes like @Andrew Szeto*
    *across our great land of Canada!! Such a genius creative* 👌👍

    Kirsten and editors…’this’ was top tier production and editing covering all so much.

  4. Mate! That was amazing, live life and jam as much in as possible. Thanks for letting us really see who you are and what you are all about 🙏🤙

  5. Who could possibly hate him for putting a climbing wall in? What is wrong with people? He did a fantastic, original, practical job. Well done!

  6. so many things I never heard before, a membership based wood workshop, multi media person for the coast guard, thanks Andrew and Kirsten

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