Friday, March 28, 2008

New Bark Canoe Building Bed

Given that the original plywood building bed supplied with John Lindman's 3 ft bark canoe kit was slightly damaged when shipped, I set out to build my own improved substitute bed with some left over lumber.

Some months ago, I was given a ⅞" thick, 1ft x 6ft piece of damaged, knotty pine from a wacky neighbour who kept insisting I make a paddle from it. He's since moved and that worked out well because this piece of scrap (i.e. crap) from Home Depot wasn't suitable for a paddle. It was, however, suited for this model canoe project. Given the model was to be 3ft, I cut out a 3 ½ foot piece and sanded down the rough exterior with the ROS on the balcony.

Before & After sanding the pine board

The building bed's vertical and horizontal centre lines were then drawn forming a cross pinpointing the exact centre of the board. The plywood canoe frame (31" long x 6" wide) provided in the kit was then centred on the board and its profile drawn onto the wood. At this stage, I took the damaged bed provided with the kit and centred this on the new board (using the centre lines as guidance) so that I could mark through the pre-drilled stake holes with a pencil, effectively copying the pattern onto the new bed. 1/4" holes were then drilled into the pine (not all the way through however) so that the supplied dowels could be used to prop up the bark around the frame when I get to that stage.

Drilling staking holes & view from other end

Next steps include deciding on a canoe design. There are plenty of plans and models listed in Bark Canoes: The Art and Obsession of Tappan Adney by John Jennings as well as Adney's original work Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. Adney was absolutely amazing in his workmanship and attention to detail (almost obsessively so). It'll be a while before I mull over the many designs and come to a decision.

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