WINNIPEG — When Darren Kramer doesn’t have a hockey stick in his hand, you’ll probably find him working a saw.
The Manitoba Moose forward is known for having some grit in his game, but when he’s not on the ice, it’s usually an extra fine grit, working on his latest woodworking project.
“It started off with pedal bike ramps and little things like that,” said Kramer. “Little tree forts and I think my dad got sick of all his wood disappearing along with all his tools. So probably when I was about 12 years old he picked up a bundle of wood for myself.”
Tucked away in his garage Kramer has his own little work shop. It’s a place where he goes to take his mind off the game.
“Hockey is my number one focus, but I think it’s good for guys to have something to look forward to after the rink,” Kramer said. “It is very relaxing. Especially during the season for me to just kinda go here and clear my mind. You have one thing on your mind kind of and that’s making your cuts right and measurements right. Seems crazy to say but it is a place where it’s a bit of a sanctuary.”
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Kramer’s latest build is a spruce and fir coffee table, but the projects continue to get bigger and bigger.
“It extended into outdoor patios, outdoor kitchen, I did some renovations in my basement, flooring, all sorts of things,” said Kramer.
In hockey terms they’d say Kramer plays the game with sandpaper, but this is really where he plays with sandpaper.
“This is where I put my hands to work,” said Kramer.
And soft hands are needed both here and at the rink.
WATCH: Darren Kramer shows off his carpentry skills