Morris Biles turns out interesting creations in his shed

Aaron
Aaron Beswick
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Woodworking Wizard

Morris Biles keeps an 18-wheeler, a Volkswagen Beetle and an excavator in a room off his kitchen. It's a small room, but then the Beetle is a compact car.

It's one of the many wooden creations that fill the St. Anthony man's work room. He's been making things for decades and still has quite a collection, despite his efforts to spread them out amongst his children and grandchildren.

Marin Biles with one of his many creations. Transcontinental photo

St. Anthony - Morris Biles keeps an 18-wheeler, a Volkswagen Beetle and an excavator in a room off his kitchen. It's a small room, but then the Beetle is a compact car.

It's one of the many wooden creations that fill the St. Anthony man's work room. He's been making things for decades and still has quite a collection, despite his efforts to spread them out amongst his children and grandchildren.

"When I retired, I knew I had to do something other than fish or gardening," Biles said.

After his decades as a power engineer began to wind down and his children had spread their wings, Biles found himself with an unexpected gift - free time.

A lifelong lover of wood, his eyes - then 20-years-younger - settled on plans in the back of a Lee Valley catalogue for a miniature wood car.

"I said to myself, 'There's enough people building boats, I want to try something different.'"

He tinkered away in his shed, spending hours on small pieces of birch for a fire truck or an old motorcycle. Some went to family and some to American tourists who'd visit him in his shed for tea and conversation.

But then he left the beaten path, creating his own designs to remake old snowmobiles or forklifts in miniature.

"If you sat down and had the patience - you could do one in less than a week," Biles said. "But I can't do it full-time because it drives me crazy."

Often, he'd spoil 25 pieces on a custom design before arriving at the right shape. He'd pillage magazines or calendars for photos of his subject, cutting them out and tracing them on wood.

"Now, these ones are made from the real old-time birch. It was cut just outside Main Brook and must be 100 years old."

In his shed, he's surrounded by tools gathered over the decades as Christmas and birthday presents. He also has a knowledge of and fondness for wood, developed through experience.

"But patience - if you don't have the patience, you can forget about it," he said.

The Northern Pen

Organizations: Volkswagen Beetle

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Lee Valley, Main Brook

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments