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 27 January 2011

There were more than a few spots on the 'cello's top that were questionable so I ensured that they were held secure. The traditional repair is to glue on, with hot hide glue, little squares of spruce whose grain runs across the split, then to bevel each side into as kind of little roof shape.

It is easy to see just how extensive the previous repair were! Rest assured that this 'cello sounded awesome even with all of those repairs, and I expect to still sound awesome once I am done.

This is the area which caused the initial concern. The spot to the the side of the end block had a some serious splitting occurring, as well as poor adhesion to the back. There was a piece of linen glued to the rib which was holding it from further splitting, but it wasn't doing anything for the rib to not buckle as it was. I replaced the cloth with some vertical pieces of spruce and increased the bonding area to the back by using dentellones. The original lining in this area was significantly damages and not doing its job at all. Dentellones are the traditional means of joining classical guitar tops to the sides. If somebody down the road doesn't like my choices then this can all be reversed without much fuss, which is precisely the reason that luthier still use hot hide glue!

Besides, I'm not this first one to work on the inside of this instrument...

I had a couple of violin repairs to do recently, too. This one is a little 1/2 size fiddle. It came in because of a series of unfortunate events. Awhile back the child's music teacher noticed that the string action was kind of high and mentioned this to the father. The father talked to one of the other dads at the class, who mentioned that he had just sanded down the top of the bridge. Well, this dad sanded down the bridge quite a lot! Probably a good 7-8mm. Unfortunately this still did not solve the problem. The bridge had been sanded down down so far that there was no more wood left to sand.

What everyone had failed to notice was that the real problem was that the violin neck had been knocked hard enough to break the glue joint at the button. This had released the back's ability to hold the neck in place, and the neck was now being folded forward! As it moved forward the strings would lift up, etc., etc..

So I re-glued the heel of the neck to the ribs and to the back. Now nice and solid I brought the strings back up to tension and quickly realized that they were bottoming out on the fingerboard. Why? Because the bridge was now way too low from being sanded down! So a new bridge is to be fitted.

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