Contact me at: or by phone 204.878.2524

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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 19 March 2009

Every canoe gets a serial number stamped into the stem. My particular numbering system is: model, sequence, year. My Boreal model is the third 16' canoe that I have come to offer, so it is 163. This is the 5th canoe built from this mold, and it is being built in 2009. Therefore, the number is 163 5 2009.

The stems are milled to finish width, a bevel is cut along the leading edge, a tenon is cut at the tip where the gunnels come in, and notches are prepared where the ribs get bent.

Here, after soaking for about half an hour, the ribs are placed into the rack for the steambox. It is important that they are all placed in correct sequence because there is no time to be thinking and wondering about what you are doing as you pull hot ribs out of the clouds of steam that emerge from the steambox.

It becomes evident why the stem has the notches cut.

All done bending ribs! This is the most exciting stage of canoe building. It feels like alchemy using heat, water, steam. Bending wood can feel like magic. Once the ribs have dried out, Its time to fair all the outer surfaces and treat the cedar with linseed oil prior to planking.

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