Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shop updates - January/February 2012

Finally the first significant snow fall of the year.  It's 5:30 in the morning on January 12th and I haven't been outside yet to measure the depth. It looks like 3-4 inches have fallen so far. Just enough snow to cover the brown grass and hide all the dog poop. There is something very appealing about an early morning snow fall.  It's quiet and most sounds are muffled.  It's a perfect morning for a walk in the still woods under the snow covered pines and naked hardwoods in search of good quality tress suitable for steam bending.  I'm not sure that will happen this morning so I will settle for the next best: building canoes in the semi warm shop while it is snowing outside.

 A view from the workbench window

Speaking of building new canoes, we pulled a Temagami Traveler off the form just before Christmas. This was a canoe Emily and I designed about 2 1/2 years ago. We designed it from scratch, lofted it, and built the form.

Our new canoes are built from quarter sawn northern white cedar ribs and planking.  Typically the all the ribs will come from the same tree as does the planking.  It is no easy feat sourcing material for building like this but we think it's worth it.

 Vertical grain (quarter sawn) rib stock fresh off the table saw

The finished ribs ready for steam bending

Ribs are bent on the form 

 Emily planking the hull

 The hull is just about planked and ready to come off the form

 The hull is off the form and Emily continues to plank it

It is almost more work getting the canoe to the stage of varnish once it comes off the form than it is to get the hull to the stage of coming off the form.

The Temagami Traveler in the finish room

 Old Town Sailing Dinghy

 To insure accuracy, we test bent a few ribs for fitting. 
Everything looked good so we proceeded with more.

 Emily loading the stem box with ribs

 More ribs are bent on the hull.  We can only replace a few at a time due to severely broken ribs.
It takes time, patience is the key, and you just can't rush anything.

Emily installing one of the nearly 40 ribs to be replaced

What is that under the rib? Stones? 

Kingsbury Canoe

The original inner gunwales were made from fairly atrocious stock with lots of knots that resulted in cracks and rails that were broken in several places. 

The Kingsbury getting new inner gunwales. 

            The Kingsbury before being canvassed. 
The new inner rails have been installed and all the structural work is complete

New workbench

We made a new workbench for the shop. It was built from scrap materials lying about the shop.  The construction is mortise and tenon joinery that was draw bored together. It will serve as a utility bench, mainly for metal shaping and sharpening tools.

Dry fitting the legs, aprons, and stretchers.

The finished bench with a 3 inch thick top. 

Canoe building class

Our canoe building classes finished up the other week.  This is were you can come to our shop and build your own canoe under our tutelage. For more information check out our website.

Here are Walter and Steve working together on planking the Smoothwater they built.


Well, what in the world should we show next?  How about decks?  Here are some shots of installing decks in a new canoe.

 Some of the tools used to shape the decks.
Each deck is cut from a pattern and then hand shaped with planes, a draw knife, spoke shaves, and chisels.

 They are secured with silicon bronze screws and finish washers

Note the grain pattern.  Just one of the many attentions to detail around here at Salmon Falls Canoe.

Canoe Seats

The seats we make are made with mortise and tenon joinery.
It takes longer to make seats with mortise and tenons than it does with dowels and they are more difficult to make but they are eons stronger and just a better joint for this application.

 Seat frames with the mortises and tenons cut and ready for assembly

 A nice tight and clean looking fit.

Here the joint is being pegged together.  We make our dowels for pegging.  The wood is split with the grain and hammered through a dowel plate. You can see the plate in the picture just above the upper left corner of the seat.