Jake Schuttinga with his completed “playhouse” at the Skills Canada competition in Moncton.

Jake Schuttinga with his completed “playhouse” at the Skills Canada competition in Moncton.

EMCS student earns gold in national carpentry competition

Jake Schuttinga always loved building things. This time, he put his skills to the test... and won.

A goal often starts with a dream, that incomparable drive that rushes up from within all of us. For Edward Milne Community School graduate Jake Schuttinga that goal was to challenge himself in carpentry.

He not only made it to the Skills Canada competition in Moncton, but also took home the gold in the carpentry category. So far, he’s the only person from the South Island to ever win gold, and the only one in his category to finish during the prescribed time.

In the end, it wasn’t about winning, but giving it his best, said Schuttinga.

“When I went there, I said, if I could just finish the project, I’ll be happy, because it was definitely a challenge,” he said.

Contestants from Quebec and Ontario took home silver and bronze.

The challenge was certainly not for the lighthearted. Participants had 12 hours; seven in the first day, another five the next day, to finish off a playhouse-like structure, two meters long by 1.2 meters wide, two metres from top to bottom.

“It had a front porch with a railing, inside it had a little window on the one side, then a simple gable roof, all the fascia boards, it was done up,” Schuttinga said, adding that it was a lot to build in 12 hours.

The entire event runs for five days, including orientation, opening and closing ceremonies. In Schuttinga’s category, all participants received the same build plan, work materials, workspace and tools. Basic power tools were supplied, though everyone had to bring their own hand tools.

After all, the idea was to test raw skill, not just the ability to handle a power tool.

“There was some finicky stuff, we had to finish two brackets. All we had for power tools was a cordless drillsaw and jigsaw and a couple of drills. No chop saws, no air nailers, no table saws, none of that. It was very basic,” Schuttinga said.

It didn’t matter much though, because if you really want something done, you get it done, regardless of what it takes to do it. As such, Schuttinga’s love for carpentry goes way back – wood shop class, Grade 7, to be exact.

“We had a little box to make … flat simple thing. It all just started for me there because I wanted to make it a little different, so I put a rounded top, put hinges and a latch, and line the inside with felt,” he said, adding that even in his childhood, he always liked building things, from tree forts to go karts. He also helped his father, a professional tradesman, build the family home 11 years ago.

It all takes work though. Even Skills Canada didn’t come to him at first, instead, he earned it through experience, patience, and dedication.

Now that he’s finished his carpentry foundations level 1 course at Camosun College, Schuttinga works for a construction company in North Saanich. He hopes that one day he’ll have a business of his own.

“You never know where life takes you. Right now I’m enjoying where I’m at.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke’s Whiffin Spit in a blaze of glory. (Pete Knight photo)
Whiffin Spit in a blaze of glory. Transition Sooke is calling on the municipality to slow its growth. The group came up with a growth scenario proposal for the Official Community Plan (OCP) which looks different to than the survey scenarios that emerged from the district. (Pete Knight photo)
Transition Sooke calls for slower growth rate

Group submits alternate growth scenario for Official Community Plan review

The Farm Fresh website makes it easy to connect with local farmers. (Courtesy Farm Fresh)
Island Farm Fresh Guide lets residents explore local product

Guide appears in this week’s edition of Black Press Media newspapers from Duncan to Victoria

Colwood mayor Rob Martin celebrates the opening of Meadow Park Green playground in Royal Bay earlier this year.	This year’s taxes reflect an increase in maintenance costs for parks, trails, and sewers. (Photo contributed/Jennifer Callioux)
Colwood pitches $100 property tax hike

Parks, trails, and sewer maintenance on the rise

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. (Black Press Media files)
Island Health issues overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The advisory directs bystanders to an overdose to call 911 and administer naloxone

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read