By Rolynda Johnathan
Master toolsmith Jim Wester of Washington State has teamed up with the traditional carvers of the Waa’gey arts and crafts project in Yap to produce custom blades for the carvers.
Wester has spent decades creating high quality custom tools and blades in the Pacific Northwest. He is now crafting specialized Adze blades for the Waa’gey carvers in order to improve the speed and safety of their work.
Carvers in the Waa’gey canoe project still employ scrap metal such as old truck suspension springs to make the blades needed for projects, visit but are strictly limited by the limitations of the materials.
Helping to change that and assist the carvers in Yap, the U.S. based charity Habele ordered several large adze blades from Wester and donated them to the Waa’gey program. “The blades are by far the best quality the guys here have ever seen,” explained Larry Raigetal who organizes the Waa’gey sailing canoe operation in Yap.
Working with Waa’gey and the Habele donors, Wester is now embarking on a much larger work order as he begins to create the specialized tools for the carvers. The tools are anticipated to help improve the safety and speed of traditional carvers in Yap.