Sunday, 21 September 2014

New (old) table saw - Finally!

For some time now we've been looking for a heavy, powerful cabinet style table saw, the kind that have been made for decades but are more rare today.  We were looking for a General 350, Delta Unisaw or similar. Content to buy an older unit and rebuild or refresh it, the search began. With new units now made offshore, and around $1800 and up we focused on resale units. Every condition was represented, the main hurdle being the electric motors. The majority of these saws saw commercial work, and 3 and 5 hp motors are common, however they are usually 3 phase motors. A replacement motor can run over well over $500 new, and a phase converter is similarly costly.
We were fortunate enough to find '40s or '50s Rockwell Unisaw, that had been repowered with a newer Delta 1.5 hp 220v motor, in dual voltage and single phase. Fence is on it, and may just be cleaned up and used, and it even had the riving knife and guard, though i doubt that will make it back on. It has the great looking art deco cast iron base as well. Next to tear it down, check the trunion and bearings, and blast and paint it before reassembly. Bye bye modern, light and underpowered units!

Into the trailer, its also waiting for a tongue extension and an paint job. Never enough time!

As found, a great unit. The motor dust cover is available as an injection molded impact plastic piece, already on order. 

An added  bonus was the 4" dust chute on the back of the cabinet, when the motor cover is in place the dust collector will extract the majority of the dust and chips. 

Nice art deco base, nameplates and door. Fence extensions were present as well, this will be a great unit for another 70+  years!

Stay tuned for the rebuild...

Thursday, 7 August 2014

18.5' Wilderness Guide by Island Falls Canoe

A new project, not seen in Ontario or many parts of Canada, Guide canoes are highly developed canoes that originated and are common in Maine, and are direct descendants of birchbark canoes. The 18.5' version built by Jerry Stelmok at is a great example of this style of boat, and built since the late '70s in his shop. We were lucky enough to find one of his earliest boats, confirmed by Jerry to be his at the WCHA assembly in the Adirondacks this summer. Needing a completed rebuild, it will perform beautifully paddling and tripping throughout the province. 

Guide equipped for sailing

Guide loaded for tripping

Newly finished

Shellac bottoms are popular on boats that are tripped hard

Yet another boat left upside down on the ground

Both ends needing a rebuild

Classic sheerline

Half ribs, popular in these boats

Characteristic carry thwart from Island Falls Canoe

Early seats done in woven cane, to be replaced

Copper patches from hard use

Fully biodegradeable!

Jerry with our boat, from one of his first runs of boats circa late 1970s

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Annual WCHA assembly, Paul Smiths College, Adirondack region New York

Paul Smiths is a hamlet in the Town of Brighton in Franklin County, New York on Lower St Regis Lake, in the Adirondacks 10 miles North of Saranac Lake. 
Many WCHA assemblies have been held here, and the last couple of years have seen it return. A gorgeous spot in the Adirondacks, with access to several lakes including Lower St Regis and Spitfire, home to many wonderful cottages and boathouses, from the unassuming to the extravagant. 
Below are a few photos of boats, scenery and so on.

From the deck of one of the buildings located lakeside

The green, with tents and boats on display

Closer to the lake

Chris Pearson from Holland, Michigan with his Old Town sailing canoe

Heading out onto Lower St Regis

Cottage compound on Spitfire Lake

Idem class sailboat, a design peculiar to the area

Grand Laker guide canoe and 6hp from Maine, brought by Dale Tobey

Backside of tents on the green

Another view of the Idem class gaff rigged racer

Jerry Stelmok, who confirmed our new project 18.5 ft guide canoe is one of his early boats from the late '70s

Raft up after Paddle by, an annual event where owners paddle their craft by the crowd as details are announced, at which time they salute the crowd, later rafting up for a group shot. 

The annual auction, run by yours truly. This year we interrupted sales for the auction of this beautiful lapstrake canoe built by Geoff Burke, and donated to the college as a fundraiser. 

Gerrish replica  built by Pam Wedd of Bearwood Canoes, Parry Sound district

Nose art on canoes displayed on the green

John Allen packing up his 16/30 sailing canoe for the return trip to Hudson Valley, NY.

Another shot of the stone residence on Spitfire Lake

Peterborough Square stern canoe

Soon to be in the shop for restoration and canvas, this will officially replace the Tremblay V-Stern canoe we used for fishing and hunting with a 4hp Mercury outboard. These are flat-sterned craft, making them better suited to outboard motors, and loads. This will officially be the fishing machine for kids once restored to its former glory and will be used for day, weekend and longer trips into the wilds for 3 seasons. 

A shot of it 10 years ago, waterworthy and looking great. Needing new canvas and refinishing, it will again return to the water

Custom made trailer for transport, this will rack up some miles running to Ontario's near north, as well as into Northwestern Ontario

Vintage 5hp, to be restored and tuned for reliability. These hulls move through the water with minimal power and great efficiency.

Now the work begins, as with all wooden canoes there's whats immediately evident, and what you find once work begins. Fooling the transom off. steel screws and bolts and rotten framing.

Gunwale repair, many rib tips and planking. New knees and transom of white oak are in order.

Keel, knee, and framing all need attention before we hang an outboard on it. 

Hammer and punch persuaded the bolts to loosen their grip.

Crack in gunwale near the bows. 

Bulky repair, to be replaced with an splice and invisible spline. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Skid plates

Usually seen on royalex and river canoes, these dont slow you down noticeably and for glass canoes such as this one, with no bang strip, there's nothing to protect the gelcoat stem. 
A few pictures on how to put them on, once the felt is impregnated they are near bulletproof.