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

Wednesday 23 January 2013

My new shop aquarium set up is starting to grow in nicely.  The main plant is Sagitarria Sublata.  I also, finally, got around to making a canopy to fit this tank!  It os high and open backed to allow the sunlight to come in from the top.  Inside there is a 36" double bulb T5 flourescent fixture, as well as onw which is a 4 bulb compact flourescent fixture.

And, if you look at older photos of this tank, you will see that I have removed the larger chunks of wood.  Partly they were just too massive looking, but also because they released massive amounts of tannins into the water causing it to get very dark.  I much prefer the more open look of a jumble of branches.

No fish yet, just some snails.

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My client supplied a tracing of his guitar, in this case a Martin 0000.  I'll use this to layout the interior.  But for now the task is to apply epoxy and microballoons to the exterior, sand it flush, and cut the lid off.  To cut the lid I will use a cut off disc set in the drill press and the case will sit on a panel clamped to the drill press table.  As I pass the case past the cut off disc it will make a cut at a uniform height and in a straight line.

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Thursday 17 January 2013

So, onward with making my globes and its time to make the front screens. However, in the absence of spinning perforated aluminum I am faced with drilling the hole pattern. The pattern is critical to get just right, so after laying out the dots in as close as possible to the proper interval I can see some of the pattern emerge. Now I get how to draw it out and in order to repeat it accurately I am making a simple fiberglass of 1/16th the globe overlay on which I will put the pattern and repeat it. I started with a spare globe shell on which to practice the layout. Lots of work ahead of me! But this should make it simpler.

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I don't usually pick up or deliver canoes, but if the task gets paid for I am willing.  So I delivered the Chestnut "Bob's Special" this morning and along with the canoe went these three paddles.  Cherry Beavertail Classics with initial inscribed.

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Gotta love it when a canoe comes in for work and all it needs is new varnish and canvas. 17' Chestnut Cruiser "Cronje". What I find particularly interesting about this canoe, other than the fact that I really like its shape, is that it is really well built for an Oromocto era Chestntut. Chestnuts from this time are usually pretty crude, like the crews building them didn't really care. A couple of interesting points: under the green paint are traces of the original Chestnut "grey", which is actually a mossy green; and there are screw head impressions in a lot of the ribs from the screw heads of the mold strapping sitting proud of the metal straps. Nobody bothered to sand them out.

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