Monday, June 8, 2015

We are once again embarking on that bustling time of year when canoes are coming and going from all over the country.  Finished canoes are leaving the shop and heading back to their owners. Orders continue to be placed for new canoes and restorations.  As canoes leave, we say goodbye to friends and acquaintances we made along the way and welcome new customers who will soon become the same.

We have received several wonderful comments about our blog and people asking if we can update it more frequently.  I would love to add new posts on a regular basis but the truth of the matter is that we are so busy in the shop that the blog kind of takes a hit.  Between working in the shop, office duties, customer correspondence, and time for the kids and family, we don't always have the time to update the blog.  I guess this is a good problem to have.

As you scroll through all the pictures you will notice all the different craft and makers we are currently restoring and the new canoes we have been building.  
Restorations include a rare Charles River Brodbeck canoe, a long deck Waltham courting canoe, a 1905 Old Town canoe, a double ender rowing boat, an Old Town sailing dinghy, a very uncommon and exciting Peterborough Canoe Company Admiral, Old Town canoes that represent every decade from 1905 through the late 1960's. 
New canoes range from family canoes to those that will see over 500 miles of canoe tripping in the arctic, a 39 lbs. 14 footer, to a 1900’s closed gunwale salesman sample reproduction.  It is a lot of work, it's a lot of skilled work, and it's a lot of varying work that requires a wide range of knowledge and workmanship but is all just so fun and exciting.
Without further adieu here we go. 

Old Town sailing Dinghy

A new outer keel needs to be made.  It needs to fit the arch of the hull
and have a slot for the centerboard.  Here you can see the hull arch.

Hollowing out the underside of the keel
with a good old fashioned hollowing plane
Getting there
New keel installed
New keel and outer stem
Now the attention is put toward new outer gunwales
Dylan fitting the outer gunwales to the outer stem
Back to the finish room for final paint and varnish
Back up to the shop final fitting of hardware,
sail, etc.  Seen here is the cotton bumper rope
being installed.

The new rudder handle made to vintage Old Town specs

. Almost ready to bring the dinghy outside and raise the sail!
That is always a fun day.  Stay tuned for pictures of that.

Around the shop

We are often asked how many canoes and boats we have going on at once.
The answer is usually 12-15 in all different stages from
new to restoration, just starting, half way through, to finished. 
Rather than show detailed pictures of each project, which would be nearly impossible, here is a glimpse of any given day at Salmon Falls Canoe.
An outer stem for an Old Town Otca that has been bent on the form.
The outer stem installed and Emily working on the new steam bent
Mahogany outer gunwales
Emily installing the keel on the Brodbeck
Emily shaping the new Mahogany rails for the Brodbeck
Installing the Brodbeck's new outer gunwales -
half round, steam bent, mahogany.  No easy feat, but Emily nailed it, literally.
Typical canoe builders work bench -
metal working and wood working all hanging out together,
sure to set the cabinet maker running aghast.
Finish room


The finish room is loaded!

Emily hand painting artwork

Little guy, big guy.
Speaking of the little guy, here it is.

Emily canvassing the half scale.

The half scale being filled......
and being railed.

The spa and oar department



Typical shot in the shop.

1906 Old Town getting its' gunwales installed.

Emily trimming the canvass on a new Chicot

The Double Ender and the Sailing Dinghy getting outfitted.
More gunwale installation.......

...and even more

From new canoes starting to be built.... being planked.... restorations being completed and picked up..... finished canoes being wrapped for transportation.
This one going to Michigan.
People in the shop

We had a film crew in a for few days shooting footage
for a made in America series.

Hey, why is Elvis in the shop and why is he drilling holes in that canoe?

New business manager with one of the new t-shirts on

Dave and his son standing next to their canoe they built in one of our classes this year.
Classes are held here in the shop are structured so you can
build your own canoe under our guidance.
Solid wood paddles being made by us right here in the shop!

Emily hand engraving a custom made paddle.

Dylan packaging a paddle for shipment.

Waltham Courting Canoe

Outer stems bent on a jig to establish the proper curve

The outer stems are shaped to an oval profile, the classic
Charles River shape.

The new outer stems ready to be stalled.

Before the deck work starts the stem end needs to be notched
to accommodate the outer gunwales.
Here you can see the outer rail is not snug to the hull.

A notch is cut on the end of the outer stem....

So the outer gunwale fits like this, as it should and as was done originally.

The new decks and trim have been re-sawn for a book-matched look

The new decks being fitted

More deck and trim work

A nice tight fit between decks and caps

The final joint.  Mmm, that's nice.
Love that look and these canoes!

The outer rails being installed

The coamings being bent in and shaped.

I just like this picture...

And ta-da, all the trim work completed.

Once sanded the trim is stained and varnished
Okay, I know I said I would post pictures of the finished dinghy later
but I couldn't help myself.  It's just too exciting when that sail goes up
to not share this.  More later.

After this post, this customer has the right idea.
This a light weight Smoothwater on its' maiden voyage that was built this winter.
Came in at 39 pounds - canvass traditional filler, etc, etc.

Here is the Smoothwater on top of the car with another Smoothwater!
The owners of each have been friends since age 4.  Pretty cool.

A view from the workbench.