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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

Thursday 26 February 2009

Seat caning time. There is only the stern seat that came with this canoe, so I had to make a new bow seat, and it had to look a little old, not brand new. So I applied some stain, did a little sanding so that it wasn't to uniform, and varnished it.

The cane come in a large bundle of about 1000 lineal feet.

Untied it gets a bit unruly, but it's folded and tied at the fold. If you do any caning yourself, never, ever, cut loose that last tie our you have on giant, tangled, mess.

Take one strand at a time and coil it. This makes it easier to manage without getting tangles, as well as making it easier for soaking. Soak the cane in water fo about 20-30 minutes. the moisture makes it more supple. Don't soak it much longer or you risk it going grey. Keep it moist by placing all your cane in a Ziploc bag. It can keep in there all day, or longer, if need be.

I won't go into all the details of caning, that info is available elsewhere, but I want to show one detail that I feel is important. Traditionally, the holes are 3/16", but with all the strands that pass through, it gets pretty tight getting the last ones through! So I drill them to 1/4", which helps. They are on 3/4" centers. I also put a slight bevel on the edges bu putting my coutersink cutter on the drill bit. This relieves the sharp corner, hopefully prolonging the life of the cane strands.

The finished result. I had to make a choice on this seat. The cane on the stern seat, w hil in good condition, wasn't woven quite right. Almost, but there were some strands that just weren't in the right place. So, do I copy the poor weaving of the original, or make it correct? I made it correct. Nobody else will notice this detail. It doesnt take a lot more effort to do something correctly.

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