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

Friday 30 November 2012

The Chestnut Bob's Special in canvas, and then in filler.  Time to get the trim cleaned up and installed.

In the back you can see the Huron awaiting its trim. Currently, the Huron has its trim on with two coats of varnish, and the keel is on.  All that is left is another coat or two fo varnish, install the seats and thwarts, and paint the hull.

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Friday 16 November 2012

Last week as "Bring your kid to work" day for my youngest daughter's school. She didn't really want to go to my work as she's basically grown up with it-so what would be new? But she came anyway and did some canoe restoration work, some cleaning, and some tool sharpening.

She also snapped one of the few photos of me in my shop-I'm usually on the other side of the camera!  So, here I am with the Chestnut Bob's Special with the first of its two re-coats of varnish done, and the Huron awaiting its new canvas.

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I canvassed the Huron last Friday, and as I was cleaning up my filler brush, I realized just how much use this old brush has had to do.  I thought that i looked pretty cool, so here it is!

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After cleaning up the old Stanley 5 1/2, I felt inspired to turn my attentions to an even older 5 1/2C (C for corrugated bottom).  The 5 1/2C is the one in the forground of each photo.

So, some sanding, some stripping of old paint splatters, welding up a serious crack in the bed, and unbending a bent iron, the old plane looks pretty good!

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Tuesday 6 November 2012

After the giant job of getting the old freighter canoe rejuvenated, it is refreshing to have canoes in the shop that are in reasonable condition.  Currently I have a 16' Huron that has just had two refresher coats of varnish applied to the interior and a 15' Chestnut "Bob's Special" about to be opened up for the same treatment.  Shortly they will both be re-canvassed, filled, painted, etc. The Huron is waiting a bit as the planking dried and shrank slightly while in the shop, I put it outside in the humid fall air to swell up a bit before I applied the linseed oil on the outside of the hull.

Also seen is the "S" shaped coffee table that I am working on for my recroom.  I've been building the paint finish, it is now ready for final hand sanding and edge veneer, then I'll varnish over everything.  I am still in negotiations with my wife about cutting down these fine period table legs to coffee table height.  They came from an old end table that she still has some sentimental attchment to.

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I rough carved the front of the viola da gamba for my wife. The nice thing about bent stave construction is that the top's shape is pretty much already done and I just need to blend the curves. The light was nice Friday morning making a nice photo showing the little Ibex plane and shavings.

The carved viol top looks something like this. next step is to cut and inlay the purflings.

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I found this Baily 5 1/2 hand plane at a local old stuff store, got it for $8. I would have paid the $10 asking price but I felt like making a low offer. It is sitting beside my trusty block plane to show scale. Yes, it is pretty rusty and needs some good TLC!

Here is the same plane after this mornings ministrations. I expect to get a lot of use out of this old workhorse! Cleaned up real nice.

Wondering if I should do more...repaint the bed, sand and re-varnish the tote and horn...won't make it work better, just look "nicer". As it is it really has a "been there, done that." kind of look which has a certain value. I think that I'll leave it alone. Life is too short to get hung up and precious about these sorts of things. This plane has work to do!  
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