Yellowknife’s Robbie Warren has won silver at the Skills Canada national championships.
Warren’s day job involves putting together kitchens – but it turns out he’s also capable of reaching the national podium in furniture building.
Warren finished second in the post-secondary cabinet-making category, behind Alberta’s Dustin Sejdl. His was the NWT’s only medal at the event.
In full: Results from Skills Canada nationals
Photo: See Robbie’s handiwork in full
And if you thought putting together an IKEA desk was a challenge reserved for Dante’s ninth circle of hell, then competitive cabinet-making might terrify you.
“It was quite a challenge, that’s for sure. It was extremely mentally exhausting, as well as physically,” Warren told Moose FM.
“We had to build a project from a set of blueprints in 13 hours, over two days. We had to use a lot of hand tools for most of it, and a lot of machinery as well.
“You don’t know how well the other competitors are doing, so you question and doubt yourself a lot.
“After my first day of competition I was extremely unhappy with myself. At the finish, I had a look at some of the other competitors’ work – I glanced at a couple of things I wasn’t too happy with on my own project – and felt a little bit better about the work that I had done.”
Get involved: Skills Canada NWT
Warren has eight years’ experience and spent two months preparing some of the techniques he knew would be needed, but was still surprised to win a medal.
“As far as my daily work, I build custom kitchens and stuff like that. This was more furniture-making, not something I do on a daily basis, but that’s how they bring the skill out,” he said.
“Winning a medal was really big. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I worked pretty hard the last couple months on a couple of the techniques that we used, and it paid off in the end.”