Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rob Stevens - Paddles & W/C Canoe Restoration

addling friend Rob Stevens sent in some pics of his recent paddle creations...

• 2 American Chestnut
• 2 Sassafras, including a northwoods style with notched handle
• 2 black cherry

 Notched Northwoods Grips

In addition to being busy with paddles, Rob also organizes the annual WCHA Wooden Canoe Assembly in New York State. He's also found the time to restore an old canoe for his daughter. The boat is a 14 footer from the 1960s, believed to be a Chestnut Fox or Peterborough Mermaid. 

A few years back at the annual Killbear Paddlers Rendevous, Andre Cloutier of Ravenwood Canoes brought it to showcase its original condition. In order to get it into the water, the weakened canvas was temporarily sealed with loads of duct tape. 

The magic of duct tape
Photo Credit: Andre Cloutier

Andre padding
Photo Credit: Andre Cloutier

Being a smaller guy, I'm partial to 14 footers for solo canoeing. Although my own cottage garage is getting cluttered with canoe gear, I'd be interested in acquiring another 14' vintage canoe eventually.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Old Photo - East Coast Canoe with Interesting Guide Grip

An Ebay seller is a photo featuring an interesting paddle grip design. Sadly no details about the origin or date, but the seller is from Nova Scotia and the long canoes and grip shapes are consistent with the East Coast paddling tradition.

Original Ebay link

Paddle Grip Closeup

Another photo featuring the same party has showcases the grip from a different angle...

Original Ebay Link

Paddle Grip Closeup

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Algonquin Outfitters - Opinions on tripping paddle designs

Been away for quite some time and will have new content soon. In the meantime, here is a quick paddle related video sent my way by friend Rob Stevens...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Leather Paddle Hanger

A while back, I wrote a post about Norquay Company, a Canadian startup which is trying to put an artistic touch to utilitarian paddles. Their ever-growing series of artisan canoe paddles are manufactured by Teal Canoe in New Liskeard, Ontario with bold patterns painted on the blade.

Also featured on the site is their Leather Paddle Harness, a simple and rustic looking way of suspending a paddle.

Norquay Leather Paddle Harness

With the recent completion of my 2nd son's heirloom paddle, I wanted to hang it and his brother's paddle in the basement man cave. However, I've found that most paddle hangers only function properly with a standard shaped pear grip and not with the elongated style grips featured on my own paddles. With a batch of leather scraps waiting to be used, I set out to make two of these styles of hangers.

Leather Scraps

I ended up using pieces roughly 4" long by 1.5" wide but this can be enlarged or reduced depending on what you want. Holes were punched in the corners.

An edging tool used to give some borders.

In my case, a piece of scrap lace was used that would not match the final color, but it didn't matter since it would not be visible in the final hanging. The pic below shows the partial lacing pattern (the final knot has not been tied yet)

After stamping my son's name and staining in a mahogany color, the leather harness was placed on the grip loosely. The tension created by pulling on the loop (right side) created an effective friction fit on the northwoods style grip. This would then been hung on a standard picture frame hook.

Here's a pic of it suspended in place...

And a final pic of my boys' heirloom paddles on the basement wall next to my bourbon shelf...

Monday, June 8, 2015

c1920 Abercrombie & Fitch "Algonquin style" paddle

Here is an interesting set of paddles from the June current selections page of the

Abercrombie & Fitch Canoe Paddles
Both of these paddles are stamped with an early Abercrombie and Fitch brand on the blade, and both are decorated with a Turk's head knotted rope collar beneath the grip.
Circa 1920
6" w, 72" h

Blade Closeup

Decorative Turk's Knot on grip bases

 Abercrombie and Fitch mark on blade 

Back before Abercrombie & Fitch morphed into a casual clothing retailer, it was a major US outfitter for camping gear. One of their early catalogs (1916) is available online on Page 53 of this document has a small writeup on their 2 paddle models. Here is the screen grab..

Looks like these paddles are their 6-foot "Algonquin" style which were priced at a whopping $1.50 back then.

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