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 24 September 2012

This canoe came in for some refinishing last Saturday.  It doesn't get any better than this!  16' Chestnut "Cronje" model.  Original owner, stored indoors, used well.  All of the wood was in excellent condition, the varnish was clean and intact, the seat cane was perfect.  Needs only new canvas, paint, and some refresher coats of varnish on the interior.

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What a difference a coat of paint makes!  One down, a few more to go.

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I drew out the shape to roughly the proportions that were evident from the photo, then made a template which would be used both for setting the shape of the opposite side, but also to use with the flush trim router bit.  Now I can make a gazillion of these tables!

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A friend of mine found this old photo of a mid-century modern S shaped coffee table.  I had been looking for the right idea for a table for the basement rec-room/theater.  When I saw this one I knew that this would fit right in.  So today I got started on it, just a simple MDF top, painted with the maroon canoe paint, and Birch veneer on the edges.

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At last!  All of the woodwork is complete on the hull of the Kildonan freighter canoe (no, not this first photo, the others!)  Time to finish cleaning up and getting ready for the first coat of paint.

I also have the outer stern stem made and fitted in place.  I'll be fitting the keel shortly.

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Monday 17 September 2012

Last week I heard a familiar sound, some strange croaking birds sounds.  Sure enough, looking up into the sky I spotted this flock of Sandhill Cranes riding the thermals and heading who knows where.

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I took down my old 29 gallon shop aquarium and put up this long 40 in is place.  No more Giant Vallesneria in this tank!  With leaves that grow to 6' long and over 1" wide, its just too big and aggresive for these smaller, shorter, tanks.  I'm liking how this one is looking so far, just some Cryptocoryne and Sagitarria Sublata, and one Amazon Sword in it so far.  I'm hoping to keep either German blue Rams or some Apistogramma in there, and some Cardinal Tetras.

Yes, the water really is tea coloured like that.  Its the tannins from the wood.  Good for fish!

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The old Kildonan freighter canoe is nearing completion!  Yeah!  This old boat was really beat up when it came in, it falls into the category of "Its probably better to just build a new boat".  New inwales, deck, stems, transom, many rib repairs, sanding, painting, etc.

Here you can see the new bow stem installed and the stern stem being laminated and installed.  Sometimes I prefer to laminate up a new stem in order to have the curve match up exactly to where it needs to go.  Steam bending always has some springback and its difficult to match to an old boat exactly.  The inned has a small knee added to it and the transom mounts to this.  There is an inner and an outer stern stem, the outer will be a continuation of the keel.

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Yes, I know that I haven't posted much recently.  I've been pretty busy catching up from my time away working on Fort Severn.  Part of that included taking a week off to continue the renovations in my basement.  Back in 2007 I gutted out and started rebuilding the entire basement.  I am closing in on being done!  The recent project was to remove the bathroom shower and install a new one.  Needess to say, nothing simple is ever as simple as it looks.

Also, our 35 year old concrete septic tank had to be replaced, so a backhow dug a great big hole for the new tank and the old one was filled in with sand.  We had a new water softener put in, too.  After seeing all of that work done I can say that I'd rather just work to earn the money to pay them.

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