Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gonna need a bigger canoe

Things have been quiet here as of late in anticipation of a new arrival. Our 2nd son finally decided to enter the world in the early morning hours of August 11th. All is well, but of course free time for paddle carving is non-existent for the moment.

I was, however, able to get this shot of our little one practicing his Canadian stroke with a mini Maliseet style paddle...

Here's a shot of big brother from 2008 with his first paddle...

Thanks for everyone's patience with the lack of posts while things settle down into a new rhythm for our family.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Craig Johnson Sassafras Paddles

Even though I missed the 2014 WCHA assembly again this year, some of the attendees have shared wonderful photos of all the canoeing fun. Jim Wilson recently uploaded a Flickr album of much of the action, including one of the long-standing traditions at the Assembly...the Paddle-by. Participants cruise by one-by-one showcasing their wooden boats.

I recognized a few paddling friends, most notably Pam Wedd of Bearwood Canoes. Pam was the wonderful instructor for my own build course way back in '08! She brought along a new 14' Gerrish Replica in a pretty turquoise colour.

Photo Courtesy of Jim Wilson

Equally stunning was Craig Johnson paddling his 15' canoe (also built at Pam's shop in Parry Sound, ON). Craig makes gorgeous paddles as well (see previous posts here and here). This particular one is sassafras Northwoods style with an indented grip, distinct blade spine and a unique copper tip.

Photo Courtesy of Jim Wilson

Craig had posted more of his beautiful sassafras creations on the WCHA forums a while back.

Craig Johnson's Sassafras Paddles

He's also come up with a pretty innovative way of mounting copper tips onto the blade end. A photo sequence of the basic process is found is this thread here.

Craig's Copper Tips

After having some serious sassafras envy, Craig was kind enough to mill some 5/4 Sassafras boards and sent them along with paddling friend Rob Stevens back home to me. Very much appreciated!

new 5/4 stock

Between this haul and Graham Warren's new paddle design book, I'm getting all sorts of ideas for some new creations.

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