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 22 May 2013

A Nova Craft Royalex canoe is in for new Kevlar skid pads. The old ones are pretty much worn down to nothing. The old pads chip off pretty well with a hammer and most places.  If you think that it all came of easily, relax, there were PLENTY of very stubborn spots as well. 

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The Seliga has its trim and keel on. The filler is now dried enough that two coats of primer are on. Today I will sand it (again) and get the first of the colour coats on.

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New batch of paddles for May. An Historic Voyageur in dark cedar and walnut, a Malecite blade/Classic grip in medium cedar and Cherry., and a double-blade canoe paddle in dark cedar.
In the first photo you can see a profile of the grip end of the cedar/walnut paddle.  I taper the cedar core down to a fine point before gluing on the walnut shaft facings.  This eliminates the large block of soft wood at the end of the grip and allows the walnut facings to be continuous from the shaft to the grip.  Next step is to glue on the "wings" for the side of the grip.

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I could have made my life so much simpler...No! wait let me rephrase that...I could have avoided making my life more complicated than I needed to...had I made the fingerboard and tailpiece for this bass viol plain unadulterated wood. 
But no! I had to get it into my head that what would really set it off is some inlay that matches the Celtic cat relief carving on the scroll. Here are some progress photos. The Tail piece has all of the pieces cut and now I am working on the fingerboard inlay. Once all of the pieces are cut I will need to cut recess into which they will be glued, then clean and level the mess into loveliness.

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Saturday 11 May 2013

I've really been enjoing having a planted aquarium in the shop this winter.  Nothing like a bit of tropical green to warm up the long cold winter!  You can see that the plants are really growing in now and I'll soon have to thin them out.  I also have about 16 Cardinal Tetras in there and they've been growing well, too.

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Not enough going on to keep me busy?  Well, I have a batch of new paddles that I've gotten started, too.  These will by my cedar/hardwood hybrids.  Cutting material and gluing up the blanks is what;s going on here.

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I have the dingerboard and tailpiece for the viola da gamba rough shaped.  Before I do the final finishing I need to get the decorative work done.  There will be some inlay in the fingerboard extension and the tailpiece matching the carving on the scroll, however they proportions are slightly different.  I've been tinkering with refining them.  Almost there...

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One of my Northern Racing Canoes has come back for a little TLC prior to this season's racing.  It lost an encounter with a pick up truck backing into it.

Other than that, looking pretty good!  Makes me want one for myself...maybe flair the gunnels a little bit, widen the transom, decrease the center depth, add some oarlocks, set it up for sailing...

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The Seliga is nearing completion.  While sanding the exterior of the hull I had to stop suddenly as I noticed this signature.  It was difficult to see against the weathered looking cedar, but once I saw it there was no way that I was going to sand it off.  This is one of the few canoes that I've worked on that have been signed by those you have worked on it before.

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