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Lots of stuff goes on in this shop, located in Lorette, Manitoba.

Primarily it's the building and repair of classic wood & canvas canoes, and the making of premium canoe paddles. I also do custom boat building, composite fabrication, and special projects. A growing passion of mine is the making of classical guitars, I'll post about that, too.

I want to be able to share with my clients the progress of their commissioned work. Later I started thinking that there might be other people who are interested in what goes on inside a wooden canoe shop operated by an artist and a recovering teacher.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by email, phone, or by post. My mailing address is:

Red River Canoe & Paddle
24249 River Rd
Lorette, Manitoba
R5K 0Z6

Tuesday 11 November 2008

An ancient Chestnut

While the filler is curing on the new canoe, it gives me a chance to get a few other things done.

First, I made the outwales, the keel, and the outer stem for the stern. I still have the transom cap and the seats to make, but that will go pretty easy.

I brought in on of the more interesting restoration jobs to come my way. Its taken awhile to get to this canoe, its been here almost 1 year! This is an early era Chestnut. I'm not sure of the exact date of its building, but I did see one almost exactly like it in the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. That one dated form 1910.

For such an old canoe, this one is in really quite remarkable shape. Aside from some wear and tear on the gunwale ends, there are quite a few broken ribs, most are just fractures. I'll be using the back of the rib repair technique on all of these as I feel that for this canoe in particular, it is very important to preserve the original character as much as possible. new ribs, even when well matched to the old wood, still look like new wood.

These old Chestnuts have a particular treatment for the decks. While the deck sahpe is the classic heart shape found on many older Chestnuts, it is heavily crowned and undercut at the exposed edge. This crowning is carried over to the gunnels such that is presents a continuous sweep across, from outer gunnel to outer gunnel.

Even though the trim is weathered a uniform grey, I'm pretty sure that the decks are Maple and that the gunnels are Spruce.

So, I've gotten the gunnel and keel screws out so far. These old canoes had slot headed screws used in their construction. I hate slot headed screws-they are an abomination!

Tomorrows job is to remove the stems and the keel so that I can get the old canvas off. The risk now is that the air in the shop is drying rapidly as winter sets in. The planking is at risk of shrinking more than I'd like.

I really need to buy a humidifier...

I'll post some more detail photos of this interesting canoe as I continue to work on it. I'm also planning on documenting it for posterity. This will include taking the lines off it, lofting them up to full scale plans, and making proper drawings of all the trim details.

1 comment:

Bill Hester said...

Those are some great've got some talent. Thanks for sharing