I mention the words extreme woodworking, you might think
of some innovative technique or unconventional style.
But in this case, it refers to woodworking that's happening
at one of the world's coldest, driest and most desolate
In Antarctica, there is a great deal of woodworking going
on in support of the scientific research occurring in
this icy wilderness. According to Frank Howell, an information
technology designer for the Raytheon Polar Services Company
and a hobby woodworker who has completed several tours
in Antarctica, each of the three American Antarctic year-round
research stations is equipped with a woodworking shop.
Palmer Station, located on Anvers Island off the Antarctica Peninsula
Station is Antarctica's largest permanently occupied community.
It's located on the southern tip of Ross Island and is
built on bare volcanic rock. It has a well-appointed 4,300-square-foot
wood shop. "Most of their stationary tools came from
the navy, the pioneers of the U.S. Antarctic program,
and date back to the mid '50s. Huge 14" table saws,
band saws and drill presses fill the room. They are set
up to build anything from fishing huts on skis, to complete
buildings, to small boxes for carrying batteries."
Amundsen-Scott base is located at the geographic South
Pole and stands on Antarctica's near-featureless ice sheet.
The station drifts with the ice sheet at about 33 feet
(10 meters) per year. It boasts two carpentry shops. The
first is located in the Garage Archa metal building almost
completely buried in snowand is available for work all year. A summer shop is set up in a Jamesway, a tent-like
structure located near the base.