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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

Monday 8 November 2010

It might be easy to think that there is a lot of money to be made in canoe building and repair.

There isn't.

As a result I cannot afford a large and thoroughly equipped shop. I make do with what I have. Part of that challenge is making the best of limited space. Canoes take up a large amount of space, so working space is one of the most valuable shop assets.

I've been collecting a few too many useful shop accessories. I had a workbench with storage shelves below. I had a mobile room air filter, router table, humidifier, and a small table saw. I also had a large, heavy, too low, work table that mostly just collected stuff and was in the way.

What to do? What to do?

After much consideration I combined them all into one unit. Here is the fruit of that labour!

I used the heavy work table as a base. It was too well built to just get rid of. I built the air filter into it. That white box is the top of it, the part that holds the filters. The fan is below it and exhausts through the humidifier.

I mounted the work table from my work bench over top of the filter and set the air intake to the side, leaving my two vices and the filters still easily accessible.

I mounted the table saw at one end of the bench top and in plane with it so that it functions as an extension. Dust collection is directly below the table saw.

The other extension of the table saw is the router table. Slightly below this and to the side is a large holder for all of my screwdrivers, and now they are sorted as to type! Mounted below like they are still quickly accessible but out of the way of my working.

The whole table/work center is wired for power and mounted on wheels so that I can reposition it as needed.

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