Thursday, March 30, 2017

Shop Updates 3-30-2017

With another Nor' Easter looming in the weather report that could bring 12-20 inches of snow, I am not sure if it is winter or spring.  What ever season it is, we are having a fantastic time at Salmon Falls Canoe. The shop is full of super fun projects and we get to talk to really nice people who are enthusiastic about wooden canoes and boats every week.

The rib bands on the new Prospector form are getting a work out as 2500 tacks for each canoe we build get hammered into them.  We are on our sixth prospector this winter and have a few more to go.

With 5 Penn Yans going on in the shop at once, we sometimes feel like we are in Penn Yan-mania.

The cedar pile is getting shorter and shorter every week.  Since September almost 1000 rough sawn board feet of cedar have been turned into new canoes or replacement parts for restorations.

We just completed our second new canoe building form for this year, we can't seem to keep enough white oak stacked in the lumber shed, the steamer puffs away daily, Our second canoe building class just finished up, and the chisels and plane irons hit the wet stones every week. All good signs of a busy canoe builders shop.  We're loving it!

Here are some pictures.


  No builders tag but clearly an early canoe from the Charles River area.
It is apparent that the builder of this canoe was still honing his building methods.

 Emily working on replacing 24+ ribs

 Closed gunwale construction with a bevel cut on the inside of the rib 
and a corresponding bevel cut on the inner gunwale.
Yes, this is an odd way of doing it that creates more work,
but it is rather ingenious and the system works well.

 Emily paring the miter joint on the inwales

 New decks being made

 The new decks installed

 The classic inwale notch that is indigenous to most Charles River area builders.

A side view of the notch. A rather ingenious construction detail.  
It allowed for a very fine sheer line at the end while still allowing the rails, decks, stems, and planking to join together nicely with adequate surfaces for fastening them all together.
This is something most builders struggled with.


This one suffered some damage from a tree falling on it.

Most of the bow was rebuilt.

An interior shot of rebuilding the bow.

 Never met a transom that didn't need replacing.....
so the saying goes....

 The transom is shaped to size and then the rabbet (groove)
to receive the transom rib is cut along the outer edge.

Once the rabbet is cut the next step is cutting the mortise that receives the inner keel.
 The mortise is the center square portion that has been removed on the bottom.

 Above is a cutaway to illustrate how the inner keel fits into the transom mortise.
The white piece of wood on the right is the simulated transom.

 Transom being installed

 Somehow it grew legs and walked away... the finish room.
Now, if it could only grow arms and varnish its' self....


Many new canoes being built.
Here are a few pictures

 Bending ribs around the form

 Working on the cant rib installation

 Working on the hull

 A nice 20 foot long piece of clear ash for gunwale stock

 Emily planing some gunwales

 Birds eye view of the Prospector

Annie installing wannigan ribs

The Prospector is a big, big working hull.

Warning! If you are not Penn Yan obsessed, this section may not be for you
maybe you might just become Penn Yan obessed....

 The Cartopper in the finish room.
Yes, all those light colored ribs are new replacement ribs.

The interior of the cartopper all varnished.
Hey, where did all those new ribs go?

Getting ready to canvas the cartopper.
For such a small boat there sure are a lot of fasteners.
There are close to 200 nuts and bolts on this boat and that again in screws.
And, they are all frearson (R&P) - a canoe builders favorite
 (Yes, I am being mildly facetious).
All kidding aside, we do have a soft spot for Penn Yan's.

 Annie working on removing the bow deck on the Trailboat

Once the deck is removed the rot has no where to hide. 

 Emily installing the new inner gunwales.

Working on a little rib replacement

 The Penn Yan Swift getting a new transom

 Dylan making a pattern for the new transom ribs

 Test fitting the new transom

Just the beginning of a long Penn Yan Swift journey

 The wheel deck being installed.

 The Swift and Trailboat lined up.

 Canvassing the trailboat.

Ready for filler.


 Emily at the jointer

 Annie installing gunwales on a new Prospector.
Yes, that's a Penn Yan canoe on the right. 

 Engraving a new paddle

 The finish room is filling up

 Big square ended boats require wide canvas

Emily in the canvassing department

 Gunwales being installed on the Chestnut

 The Chestnut interior

 Putting the BN Morris in the canvas sling

 The Morris ready for outer gunwales

 Emily installing the outwales.

Looking nice.

 Dylan working on a pair of outer stems

 Another new canoe form.  

 This one an 8' scale model

 Now that we have an 8' foot form, why not a 34' form!
Taking delivery of an original Old Town 34' war canoe form.

This sucker is biiiiiig!
Should be fun to clinch the hull.

Seats for a Brodbeck

 Mortise and tennon frames for a pair of new Mahogany seats

 Emily and Annie bending ribs for a new Chicot

 Emily getting the small form ready for building

 Full size and half size

 Planking the little one

 Students from our March class with the canoe they built.
They did an amazing job!

Yes, there's a dog in there somewhere.
She loves the snow as much as we do!