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 10 June 2010

I thought that you might appreciate seeing some of the tools used during planking.

I have an old wooden container that I like to keep my tacks in. There is nothing special about it other than I like it.

Everyone who comes into the shop seems to find my hammer appealing. I started out using a small-medium weight basic hammer from the hardware store. You have to choose your hammer weight with care-too light and you can't drive in the tacks well, too heavy and you will exhaust your arm in no time. Plus a too heavy hammer is just overkill! Over time the handle wore out where it joined the hammer head. After living with loose head for too long (take that however you like!) I decided to replace the handle. Being left handed I decided to dedicate the handle to left hand use, so it fits the shape of my hand. I also was tired of the my hand sliding up too close to the hammer head, so I made a stop for my thumb. And, while I was making a nice handle, I decided to use curly maple.

My spiling marker is made from an old aluminum meter stick. For those of you in the US, its just like a yard stick, but is a meter long on the metric side. It folds nicely and you can still use it for measuring!

Even on a new build there are still occasions for removing tacks. Trust me. I have tried many tools but the best for me is a sidecutter with the sharp corners of the working end ground round. This allows the cutters to roll the tack out without crushing the cedar (much).

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