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