Saturday, September 1, 2012

c1878 York Sunbury Maliseet Replica: Part 2

I've been working on a replica of the c1878 York Sunbury Maliseet since the winter. Back in May, I posted about the progress and more or less thought the paddle was done for the decoration phase. But after letting it sit for a few months, it still felt too bulky and lacked some flex. So it was brought out again and worked down a bit...



The backyard workshop in winter




Reworking on the shaving horse 

The original oval-shaped shaft felt too thick so it was worked back into a round shape with a crooked knife. Didn't realize I acquired so much grey hair this year...



Given that this blank was hacked out with an axe, the symmetry isn't perfect. Kind of messed up the based of the grip above the carved drip-ring and it ended up being more narrow than the original... 


My yellow birch version & the c1878 original 

For now, the blank looks quite pale but after a bit of aging and oiling is should darken nicely. A few days after this pic was taken, my wife was spooked by a family of 6 raccoons that had decided to get comfortable on our deck in the middle of the day. A PBS documentary recently declared Toronto "The Raccoon Capital of the World" and the huge population of fuzzy bandits are quite the nuisance to most residents day and night. Anyway, loud noises did nothing and they even stood their ground after an aggressive spraying with water. I've come across black bears that are more timid than these little devils! Ended up using grabbing this paddle and gently poked the mama to make her realize that our little deck wasn't a good place to visit. She scurried off and her little ones followed.  

It reminded me of a drawing by Tappan Adney which appeared in an article entitled, "Beaver Ways" in Outing - Vol XLI - March 1903. Apart from propulsion, paddles can be used to keep the wildlife at bay (check out the hilarious caption on the lower left!)





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