Saturday 31 October 2015

Wanigan for a Saturday afternoon

Fundraiser at the school, lets hope there's a couple of paddlers to push the price up.

cedar sides and lid , this one will be light! patriotic lighter too

Ye old steam generator

Heading to 200, the magic number

Steam is coming up

now its jumping

Ribs on

Alternating red and white cedar

Finished waiting to be oiled

oil, varnish, rope handles and lid and its done.

Moonlight restoration progress

Link to the Chestnut Moonlight restoration entry, update:

Gunwale tips done, deck mounted and deck crown enhanced 

Both ends done, small plank repairs next 

Small plank repairs to be done, hull reclenched and oiled. Canvas after varnish, then filled and set to harden over the winter

Seats repegged and glued, next is varnish and caning

Rear seat

Seats and thwarts oiled waiting for varnish 

Trailer progress/update

Link to here:

Quick visit to an old employer from 20+ year ago, and the parts went into a blast cabinet with a 6' table and in 3 minutes multiple layers of paint and rust are gone

Completely clean after the steel shot blasts it, light etch ready for primer and finish. 

Table from the Rockwell jointer project shiny and clean

Brackets and fittings


First coat of primer

Parts all primed

Everything coated, as once its bare steel it will rust even with elevated humidity.

Next up is assembly....

Finally it starts going back together

Clamp and drift for assembly

New clamps

Hardware to be replaced

Fender bar, also holds rails when set for a boat

Mocked up with rail in place

Stabilizer bars in place

Next is hubs, disassembly for paint and reassembly - silver and black most likely.
Racks to be assembled and welded and painted.
This one will be set for multiple canoes and kayaks, and as light as it is, will tow easily with the smallest of vehicles. 

Friday 23 October 2015

New (old) soak and boil tank

Way back when i first read Building the Maine Guide Canoe, i recall that Thurlow and Stelmok noted on page 64 that an old galvanized water tank, with a slot cut in it, was a great way to boil stem stock. Birchbark builders will drop ribs in hot water to make them more pliable, and stem stock boiled and bent is given as an option to soaking and steaming (which can dry the wood out). Soaking ribs the night before bending usually found them in the bath tub, but the tubs too short and it can lead to scheduling conflicts. We needed an older galvanized water tank, of course, soak ribs, and suspend over the gas burner to boil stems and such. 
While we've been trying to replace modern plastic and lightweight equipment with older cast iron machinery, remembering back to hunting years ago there was an old shack in a sugar bush deep in the woods that had fallen down decades before we used to frequent the spot deer hunting, and i hadnt been back in 20 years. 
Could we find it? Would it be rusted beyond use, laying on its side as it had for decades, and was the last time we saw it 20+  years ago?
Off we went, looking for ruffed grouse along the way.

After a fruitless search 2 weeks earlier, things started to look familiar this time, and eventually we walked up on it. 

Usually hunting this bush in mid November the bush is bare, but this time of  fall there's still lots of leaves and green were present, making the search a little more difficult as vision was limited. 

Sure enough we found it. 

A tree fell on it, one half on the ground, but found to be completely rust free, and in perfect shape. Likely brought in on by horse and/or on a sled all those years ago, the cabin and debris long gone. 

We were able to locate one of the trash piles, and the tin hasnt fared as well as the tank. The galvanizing, like most things, was done to last in the old days.

Usually separated, glass and steel would be in separate piles, but this being a temporary endeavour in a maple sugar bush, likely not much glass ever made it in during the short stays. 

Success! and a spot from my youth shared. We'll be back, looking for deer and just wandering .
As Tolkien said, not all who wander are lost.

Industrial/Steampunk/Vintage, whatever you call it a fully riveted pressure tank with over 200 rivets is a wicked nice addition to a shop filled with vintage tools.

Steve Cayard, bark canoe builder extraordiaire, putting ribs into a tank of boiling water to make them more pliable. 

Rice Lake Canoe Company

Found locally, less than 10 miles away is a 1926-28 Rice Lake Canoe Company with aluminum decks. Conceived no doubt to strengthen the gunwale-to-stem joint, it also prevented the all too common rot that sets in with wood canoes. As the Rice Lake Canoe company evolved into canvas canoe construction this innovation resulted, and shortly after the company was bought and moved to Montreal. Only in business 2 years, by 1928 this incarnation was finished and the remnants purchased by the Peterborough Canoe Company, moved back to Ontario and as the story goes, the forms burnt while burlap bags full of unused deck castings eventually dispersed here and there. Occaisionally these turn up in singles and in pairs, and in fact were never fitted to boats. 
This example is from the Montreal days, placing it as no newer than 1926.
Unique to the Rice Lake canoes, the canvas is in fact a cottom muslin, rather than woven duck. On removing the original covering it is found to be adhered to the hull, as on applying it the hull was covered in adhesive, the fabric hand stretched, and again filled with glue before being painted and completed.  This boat was still in its original covering, though some had been removed, the rails under the decks, fasteners and stem bands were all original. 

There was a time i'd wish for a picture like this that contained an antique motorcycle, but canoes have been the desired find for some time now. 

These models of Rice Lake canoes display heavily tapered ribs, wide seats, and the front thwart immediately behind the front seat.  

Nice ornate design cast into the deck, including a faux coaming. Dark stain seems original, as seen on the surviving examples that are known.

Not entirely without faults, a broken inner and outer rail, port side. The break is at the original mounting point for the rear thwart. Rails will be replaced entirely when the restoration is begun, and is about the largest undertaking in a restoration - not many canoes would warrant this kind of effort, reserved in our shop for the rare and/or historic

Another deck shot, to be highly polished when restored - wonder how it would look nickle plated? hmm.....