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 25 February 2013

Moving along on the fiberglass flight case for guitar. I have the case itself painted and the interior parts are installed, now to the complex and frustrating part of installing the lining. Frustrating because it relies upon adhesives which don't have a lot of surface area to bond with because its foam and fabric! Argh!

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Furthering my Project G project: More holes! Even though these photos show that I am only about half way to the pole, I have now reached the pole and am now returning to the equator drilling the last hole in the center of each square. The pattern ended up too dense near the pole region and I will have to fill that in and re-do it so that it looks even. You can also see my screens sitting atop of the backs, as well as the penciled in hole pattern.

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The Chestnut Cruiser "Cronje" is moving right along. Painted in its original Chestnut grey/green colour, its looking pretty good. I have the trim varnished now, too, and today I bolt the seats and thwarts back in.

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Sunday 10 February 2013

Dorge's Field February 6, 2013.

I haven't been taking many photos of the field recently as many days it looks much like other photos that I already have.

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My new dome drilling jig in operation laying out the lines for the holes.  Starting out with dividing the hemi-sphere into 16 sections along the longitudinal, then a whole bunch of latitudinal lines spaced 6mm apart.  This makes a grid oriented to the longitudinal, afterwards I will drill another hole in the center of each square.  Oie, that's a LOT of holes!

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Progress on the guitar flight case. The making of this would have been much easier f I had know what I was going to do with the hardware BEFORE I started. Now that I have the hinges, latches, and handle, I determined where they would be attached and then had to install more substantial attachment material for the screws than the pink foam which is between the fiberglass layers. Once that was remedied I completed the inner portion and got that installed. Now I can paint the case, install the linings and the box that goes between the inner portions, and then get the hardware on.

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Wednesday 6 February 2013

Its taken a long to to get to this point, but the purfling is in the viol top!

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I've been researching how to make a bow for my wife to use with her viola da gamba, which I am making.  Musicians hold the viols bow completely differently than is common now.  Modern technique has the bow held overhand, the bow is constructed differently, and as a result, the character of how the music is played is very different.

The Baroque bow is shorter, lighter, is held underhand allowing the musician to adjust the tension with their fingers, and it has a clip in frog.  If you were ever thinking that there is little information about building a viol you would be very correct.  There is almost nothing available compared to making, say, a violin!  There is even less available about making a Baroque bow!

This is my first exploration of the clip in frog.  This is NOT how they are actually done...I have since learned. I'll show more of that once I return to the effort.

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Progress on the guitar case. The lid is cut off, the interior is fiber-glassed, and the rim which holds the guitar body in place is fabricated. Now, I'm fitting the hardware and fitting the rims in place.

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A couple of new paddles are also underway.  Both are like this one, a hybrid cedar/hardwood with 4 oz. fiberglass over the blade and up the shaft.  Cedar blade and shaft core, cherry shaft facings and grip.  As the cedar blade is very soft and fragile around the edges, there is a band of epoxy that is applied.  This is how the paddle looks before the fiberglass work.

Oh, and that canoe behind is the Chestnut Cruiser, a "Cronje" getting 2 coats of interior varnish.

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After a good fair bit of head-scratching about getting the hole pattern correct for the globe just right, getting close but not quite right (see the first photo!), I finally figured it out. 
 This necessitated a whole new rig for the hole drilling. The first one that I made was too wobbly and imprecise. The new one is a turntable mounted so that it can rotate under the drill press. Much better! I have the two new globes made up for the screens, now, so I can work away at this for the next good while. I tested it out today and so far so good.

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The Chestnut Cruiser is canvassed and filled. Canvassing is one of my favourite parts of the job as it really shows progress, and its quiet and dust free.

Yes, to the quick eyed viewer, that IS a 17' Tremblay in the back.

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