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

Monday 8 November 2010

With the work on the big canoe getting resolved, it is time to get some tooling set of for new work. After all the guitar making that I have been doing for myself I have reached the point where I received my first commission. Part of getting ready for that work is to complete this DIY thickness sander.

A thickness sander works great for leveling wood uniformly. It is especially useful for wood with difficult grain or working it very thin. There are many luthiers who prefer to work only with hand tools, thicknessing all of their woods with a plane. While I enjoy working with a perfectly sharpened plane, sometimes there is just a lot of grunt work to get through that I enjoy less.

Anyway, this particular sander is made from an old radial arm saw that I picked up at the dump. The pictures should explain it fairly well. 7" steel drum, wrapped with abrasive, mounted to the overhead arm. The arm elevates and lowers, the table has folding extensions, and I use a sled to pass the wood under the drum. The wood cowling is to protect me from the spinning abrasive paper and to enable the dust collector to remove the copious amounts of dust generated.

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