Meet the Vendor: Hands on Halifax

Hands on Halifax is a social enterprise community workshop that opened with the purpose of giving people access to a work space and tools that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Dave Clearwater, the newest owner since taking over last November, describes Hands on Halifax as a place for “sawdust therapy,” where Haligonians can come after work to relieve some stress through woodworking. Dave runs the organization with the help of volunteers. They are open most evenings for open-shop and beginner classes, like Power Tools 101.

Hands on Halifax is a place meant for learning, being creative, and growing your confidence in building or repairing. Dave has the pleasure of meeting people from all over HRM and hearing the stories behind their new projects or restorations of heirloom furniture. He told me of a woman who came into the shop each evening for weeks to make a sewing circle for a friend. She tried three separate times before finally finding the right wood and materials to use, finishing with a beautiful product and gift. Hands on Halifax takes pride in learning from mistakes; as Dave says, “It makes people feel more comfortable when something goes wrong, and helps them problem-solve.”


All materials that go into the Hands on Halifax workshop are either made into something or recycled: “Wood comes in and leaves as either a table or fertilizer for someone’s garden.” Very little product goes to waste!

“It’s always better to fix it than toss it.”

Hands on Halifax supports repair culture to the fullest and is very excited to be part of the Fix-It Fair again this year, as “it’s always better to fix it than toss it.” At the Fair Dave will be showcasing some tools, demonstrating sample projects, and talking about all the wonderful services offered at the workshop. Make sure to stop by his booth to learn all you need to know about wonders of woodworking!

Check out their website to learn more. And don’t forget to stop by the Halifax Fix-It Fair on October 21st at the Keith’s Brewery Courtyard to meet all of our amazing vendors!

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