Saturday, June 30, 2012

Building A Canoe: Step One

I have been contemplating building a canoe for many years. I'm not sure how many but at least ten, and during the previous year I've been seriously mulling over the design. Now, finally, I have officially started, and completed, step one, building a pair of midget -- sorry, vertically challenged -- saw horses. 
I think they look real funny, being just 25 inches high, but they need to be short because they are topped by a six inch high strong back and canoe forms which add another 18 inches.

Though they are aesthetically nothing special, I'm happy with them because I've finally found a use for some of the dozens of barn flooring boards I have had stacked in my backyard (I'm sure to my neighbors' dismay and annoyance) for the last seven years. I originally thought I could use them in some kind of domestic project, being that the boards are probably well over 100 years old (and probably old growth), but I quickly realized that they had been pickled in horse pee for many decades so bringing them indoors was not going to be an option.

I'll post images as the project comes together but my goal is that final product both floats and, most importantly, is a stunning work of art. Though I don't have any experience in building a canoe, or any other boats, I know people who have and I've been peppering them with questions for several months now. Based on their recommendations, I'll be using Gil Gilpatrick's Building A Strip Canoe as a guide and constructing his Wabanaki canoe design, a 16 foot general purpose solo or day tripping craft - perfect for exploring the many beautiful lakes throughout Vermont. Hopefully, it will be finished before the ice sets in this year.


  1. What a great idea, Rob! I'm sure your canoe will be beautiful. Do you know Lori Barg, who teaches people how to make wooden kayaks?

  2. I don't know Lori but I'll contact her. Thanks for the info.