Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Paddle Art Contest

A paddle art contest? Awesome! 
We've lifted this unappologetically from Algonquin Outfitters website, our small way of promoting a kool contest. Have a read below, enter if you dare. Still working on our idea, we'll post some shots of it in progress and before its turned in. 

Help us celebrate Algonquin Outfitters 55th anniversary (1961-2016) and Tom Thomson’s 100 Anniversary of his death in Algonquin Park (1917-2017).
The Paddle Art Contest connects a couple of things in local culture that we love, paddling and art. We’re hoping to have 100 paddles created for Tom Thomson’s 100th anniversary (did you know that Tom’s paddle was never found?). To enter the contest all you have to do is visit an Algonquin Outfitters store (paddles will eventually be available at all of our stores but right now they are already available in Huntsville and Oxtongue lake.) There’s a $25 entry fee and for that we provide the canvas for your masterpiece; either an unfinished paddle blank or a rough paddle blank (for carving). It’s your job to create something unique. It’s not limited to painting, you could burn an image or design into the paddle, or carve it into something unique it’s totally up to you. We can’t wait to see what creative designs you come up with.
Tom Thomson 100 years


Registration is just $25 (taxes included).  Included with your registration is a paddle blank to create your masterpiece with.  Registration can be made in person at the following Algonquin Outfitters locations:
  • Bracebridge: 60 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge Ontario P1L1S1 (Map/Directions) 705-645-9262
  • Haliburton: 218 Highland Street, Haliburton Ontario K0M 1S0 (Map/Directions) 705-457-3737
  • Huntsville: 86 Main Street East, Huntsville Ontario P1H 2C7 (Map/Directions) 705-787-0262
  • Lake of Two Rivers Store: Highway #60 at km 31.4, Algonquin Park (Map/Directions)
  • Opeongo: Lake: Opeongo at Access Point #11 Algonquin Park (Map/Directions) 613-637-2075
  • Oxtongue: 1035 Algonquin Outfitters Road, Dwight, Ontario, P0A 1H0 (Map/Directions)  705-635-2243
  • Port Carling: 119 Medora Street, Port Carling Ontario P0B 1J0 (Map/Directions) 705-765-2074
Q: Must I use the paddle blank provided by Algonquin Outfitters.
A: No you don’t have to use the paddles provided but registration is still $25.  If you would like to use your own material to create your paddle and ship or drop it off at one of the Algonquin Outfitters stores you can register online and pay your $25 by using this online registration form.


With your in-store registration you will receive either an unfinished paddle or a rough paddle blank.  Rough paddle blanks are best for those wishing to carve their paddle and provide more material to work with. During the creation of you paddle you can use any style of art you wish; painting, burning, carving, sculpture, etc.  You can use extra material to create your finished paddle art as long as some part of it is still a paddle.  The only limitation is your imagination!


(Deadline: Aug 31st 2017 Next Year)
  • Complete the Completed paddle submission form and securely attach it to your paddle.
  • Return your completed paddle art to any Algonquin Outfitters location before the contest deadline.  If you wish to ship your paddle please package and protect it to insure safe delivery to the address below.
Optional Shipping Address:
Paddle Art Contest
C/O Algonquin Outfitters
86 Main Street East
Huntsville, Ontario


The final step (and how we choose our winners) will take place in September 2017 with an online and live auction at the Algonquin Theatre held to raise funds for our supported charities.  Auction details will be provided later.
Prizes from our prize pool (a minimum of one prize will be added for every 25 paddles received) will be awarded to the artists of the paddles that raise the most at auction.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Getting close to paddling..

Progress! Strongback is off, ribs are faired ready for planking. Boat will be off the form before months end.

Close to done

Heavy tumblehome shows

Thinned coat of varnish on backsides of ribs and rails, plaking will get done as well before it goes on

No springback, floor will be flat as on original 

Next its carve thwarts and decks, and build decks AFTER the planking is planed, sanded, inside varnished and put on. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Kicksleds! Too much to do, so why not another project

The kicksled or spark is a small sled consisting of a chair mounted on a pair of flexible metal runners which extend backward to about twice the chair's length. The sled is propelled by kicking ("sparke" or "sparka" in the Scandinavian languages) the ground by foot.

Lots of fun, our first one got lots of use.  Still around, but to on the small side its time to get back to more time outside in the winter and so we need to start building a larger version. 
So many designs exist, we need a blend of traditional and durability and easy gliding

Plus they would make a great seat for ice fishing

Vintage unit, they go back a long way in Scandinavian countries

uhmw plastic runners will lower friction for better sliding

made out of purpleheart

lots of bent wood and nylon seat

folding units


Low effort!

Honda powered

well if its worth doing, its worth overdoing

Nice traditional configuration

Over the next few weeks we'll be working out a design to produce and standardize, stay tuned....

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Rails for new build

Clear white spruce, milled from stock thats been air drying over a year. Kiln dried stock will no longer reliably take the bend it needs to once he cells are altered. Air dried lumber bends fine.

Nice straight grain

For a sheer with as much upturn as this model has, rails go on form the easiest if pre bent, then heated up again when mounted on the form

Bending around a form ensures uniform curves

On the form against the backers

Ribs are next

Soaking in the pressure tank overnight

Couple quick stands for the tank

Saturday, 31 December 2016

FInally! heat in the shop!

4 years in the making, we can build and not see our breath from the cold! Tools are warmer too...
33k BTU direct vent wall heater is enough as the shop is fully insulated; filler can cure, paint won't freeze and we can finish off the first replica.

Can't say enough about this company, job done in 4 hours and not a glitch.  Only company to actually come out and quote, and their price was literally half of the others i called. Neighbours likely thought our furnace had quit!

Nice unit barely protrudes into the workspace

Sealed combustion unit, from an American company. 

Template time, installation starting

All done, now for the gas plumbing. Old buried gas line to a pool heater from the meter cut costs further

Just need to wire a receptacle for the fan power, and its done. Extension is fine for now, and it throws the heat! Shop went from 40 to mid 60s in an hour and a half. 
Life is good!

Friday, 30 December 2016

New (old) planer

Tired of the newer Rigid planer, too much aluminum and plastic, but mostly the replaceable blades that cant be sharpened and at $60 a set now we began looking for an older cast iron unit to take its place.  Been looking for one off and on for years, and got lucky this December. New blades, no motor, and looking for a quick rebuild, unit is in perfect shape with no broken casting. 

Unit as found, ready to be tilted into the trailer. Well over 300lbs even without the electric motor

Will need a new duct for chips and waste to connect to dust collection, and will have panels sheared for the base to close in, and to mount the switchbox on. New paint and bearings are in order after its been completed mechanically

Original folder from the factory in Drummondville, Quebec sometime late 50s or early 60s

Another 130 unit, complete. 2 speed infeed gearbox showing. 

New Wanigan in old Pine

Time to drag out the form and put one together for the Gr8 homeroom teacher. Good teachers just make you want to build...

Leftover big pine from what was used to plank the form. A really kool piece was kept for the lid

Old pine sides, white cedar ribs and western red cedar planking

Making the turn around the bottom

Planked and ready to lift from the form. 

Finished, sanded and ready for tung oil

That satisfying moment when the oil hits the sanded wood

Oiled inside and out, 3 coats rubbed and paste furniture wax rather than varnish

The apprentice oiling the lid next

Walnut, pine and WRC

Second coat of oil soaking in

Ready for furniture wax

The lid, complete with blue staining from Pine Wilt disease,
more here:

  • Pine wilt is a lethal disease caused by a native nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus), vectored to trees by a wood borer insect–the pine sawyer beetle (Monochamus spp.).
  • Rapid change in needle color from green to gray-green to brown or light tan, beginning in late summer
  • Wood from recently affected trees is very dry, brittle and lacks any resin accumulation when cut. No evidence of exit holes, sawdust, or pitch tubes associated with bark beetles or wood borers in branches or the trunk
  • The wood is discolored by blue stain fungi
  • The blue stain fungusGrosmannia clavigera, is a species of sac fungus. It spreads to lodgepole pineponderosa pineDouglas-fir, and whitebark pine trees from the body and a special structure in the heads of mountain pine beetles. The blue stain fungus has evolved a relationship with mountain pine beetles that allow them to travel from tree to tree on a special structure in the beetle’s heads and stops the tree from producing resin to pitch out or kill the beetle, encouraging the pine beetle infestation
  • The blue stain fungus spores germinate and produce a thread like mass (mycelium) that colonizes the phloem and sapwood. Fungal spores are usually blown away by wind but blue-stain spores are "sticky." This process eventually blocks the nutrient-conducting columns of the tree draining the trees of their nutrients eventually causing the tree to starve to death.[4] The symptoms and signs of blue stain fungus are a blue-gray discoloration of sapwood in wedge shapes of recently killed trees