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This blog post was inspired by this funny little image that our General Manager, John Summers, emailed to me the other day. I’ve often stumbled upon the same image while lurking around on the internet, usually while doing strange combination-searches for things canoe-related and things knitting-related. Here it is:
This crafty pattern made me think. A ‘Crocheted Barbie Canoe’ might not be very practical – but, there’s definitely something fun about it. So what happens when you combine canoeing stuff and DIY stuff? Well, keep reading and you’ll see some unique examples! (by the way, you might still have time to purchase the Crochet Canoe pattern on Ebay!) Read the rest of this entry »
I have to confess that when I started working here at The Canadian Canoe Museum I didn’t know what a wanigan was. For the small percentage of hard-core canoe trippers (and the large percentage of everyone else!) who don’t know what a wanigan is – it’s a wooden box, carried with a tumpline, and usually used to store kitchen supplies while on a canoe trip.
When I had the opportunity to make one for myself, as part of the preparation for a program we were doing here at the Museum, I jumped at the chance. I went on a trip not long after I finished my wanigan and I have to say that I loved it. I also have to say that it did take a bit of getting used to. At first I hadn’t tied the tump correctly for my height and it was resting lower on my back than it should have been, which meant it was bouncing a bit which was very uncomfortable. Once I adjusted the tumpline it was perfect, and I truly felt like a super-hero carrying much more weight that I ever could have comfortably done with a backpack. Read the rest of this entry »
The positioning of the chine stringers is a critical element in building a Greenland skin on frame kayak. The placement of the chine stringers will affect the speed, tracking and stability of the boat. The chine stringers run the length of the kayak from bow to stern and are selectively placed between the keel stringer and gunwales. It is important to consider certain important factors when attempting to determine the appropriate placement of the chine stringers. First, the chine stringers must be placed in a way to ensure that the skin of the kayak is elevated enough by the stringers themselves to prevent the skin from resting on the ribs.
This Saturday (Oct 20th) is our annual Fundamentals of Fléchée: The Basics of Finger Weaving workshop here at the Canadian Canoe Museum!
Finger weaving has a long and interesting history. You may recognize the pattern of the sashes above as the ‘Assomption Sash’ pattern. This was typically the style of finger woven sash worn by voyageurs and labourers during the peak of the Fur Trade era.
Workshop participants spend the day in the Museum’s beautiful Preserving Skills Gallery starting small and working our way up to more difficult designs.
Upon arriving to the museum this morning, Russ and I were both surprised to see that all of our ribs had turned black! The ribs, which had been soaking for a week in a container made of galvanized steel, had turned black as a result of the chemical reaction between the tannins in the red oak and the galvanized steel.
Although the issue was merely an aesthetic one, a simple solution was to eventually stain all of the ribs of the boat so that they were consistent in colour (you’ll see that in the next post).
Since beginning this project I have been eagerly awaiting the day when we would get to steam and bend the ribs into place. That day had finally come. There is something rather fascinating about manipulating the wood so drastically. Apart from having to be mindful of the short window of opportunity that exists in regards to shaping the ribs while they remain hot (once they cool off, it is more difficult to shape the ribs), shaping the ribs is actually quite simple.
This week we wanted to establish the desired length and shape of all the ribs necessary for building our Greenland skin on frame kayak. To accomplish this we made temporary thin flexible ribs to establish the correct length for each of the permanent ribs needed.
Today we began by selecting a piece of straight grained red oak suitable to serve as our keel stringer (aka keelson) and proceeded to plane all faces smooth and round the edges. We needed to determine whether the chosen piece of wood had any curves in it as it is important to work with the natural curves of the selected piece in order for it to be oriented in the same direction as the curve of the bottom of the boat (moving slightly up toward the bow and stern). Luckily the piece of wood that we had chosen was ideal for use as a keel stringer.
Our first task today was to shape both the bow and stern stem pieces. The stem pieces form the sharp edges at the bow and stern ends of the hull and position the ends of the keel stringer in relation to the ends of the gunwales. There are a variety of different designs for stem pieces that we could have selected; however, we chose to follow the design suggested in our guide book – Building Skin-on-Frame Boats (available in the CCM gift shop).
Russ and I are both encouraged with the progress of the kayak. It’s exciting to see the kayak really start to take shape. In fact, we no longer have to explain to patrons what we are building, as it is rather obvious.
This week we put in place both the bow and stern deck stringers. The deck stringers are the thin pieces of wood that run between the two deck beams behind the cockpit and from the knee brace to the deck beam ahead of the foot brace. We first needed to cut and shape the pieces that we selected to serve as our deck stringers.