Out of the Dust

by Steve on August 18, 2008

It’s starting to take shape. Like some sort of primitive creature. Some of you may remember a couple of years back I mentioned I had a wooden canoe in the garage cleverly disguised as a stack of lumber. Well, now that it has aged and adjusted to southern humidity (I hauled it all the way from Maine) I felt it was time. One rather significant drawback to constructing a traditional wood and canvas canoe is that first you have to build the form from which the canoe will lifted.

The form requires a rather large quantity of 3/4″ x 3/4″ bands 16′ in length which my mentor said can be pine, preferably clear of defects like knots. Unable to locate any clear pine board lumber in the required length I hauled a load of 2″x6″x16′ stock home and commenced ripping big boards into little ones. Clear old growth it was not – some strips I discarded immediately, others snapped as I tested the bends, and the really nasty ones waited until I was on the last screw before refusing to accept their new shape. I ran out of the bands and will have to rip another batch but on the plus side I have a nice load of kindling for the lake.

Hopefully the end result will resemble the art that Rollin turns out.

Here’s the progress on the form to date:

Station molds set.

Starting the rib-bands.

Blocking the ends where the twist got extreme.

Carving the blocks down by hand.  Note the color shift in the bands – had to switch to poplar, gave up on finding clear pine in 16′ length.  Should have used it to begin with – none of the poplar bands failed.

Rounded and sanded.

{ 1 comment }

Papa Ray August 19, 2008 at 0:01

Looks like you do pretty good work. Pick your finish carefully, cause if you don’t…well…

When I was an Eagle Scout, we did a canoe project, only it was wood and deer skins, just like the Native Americans made. It was fun building it and even more fun taking it to the lake.

I wonder what ever happened to it?

Papa Ray
West Texas

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