Sunday 26 November 2017

Canoe Museum trip

The view heading to Peterborough, with an 18' Maine guide canoe on the roof.
Collected in 2015, and found here
a rare example of the transitional early period from birchbark building to wood canvas, form built canoes. Too well preserved to give a cosmetic restoration, and too old to press into service paddling, it would be best kept in a collection where it could be interpreted and eventually displayed.

The decision was made to offer it to the Canoe Museum, and they were keen to acquire it

Down off the racks, covered in  years worth of sawdust

Typical of early Maine canoe construction, and reminiscent of early birch bark construction. 
The heavy tumblehome continues along the sheerline, all the way to the decks

Top and side caps missing, but still retains original seat caning. 

Showing the full ends and lower midships that were typical of a lot of guide canoe builders such as EM White and others. 

Rails extend beyond stem tips, and long narrow decks

Very fine, narrow entry in the ends. 

Arriving at the museum in Peterborough mid week; who wouldnt want a day off school

Yes, there is a gift shop

Jeremy having a quick look at some to the details

Nice early shape, perfectly suited to carrying a load. 
Currently there is no real representation of early form built, canvas canoes from the Eastern United States, where builders such as EH Gerrish are credited with developing cedar canvas construction, the next evolution after birchbark building. 

Yes, of course we managed to make sure the roof wasnt empty for the return trip home, with another stray coming back. The concept of one in, one out is upheld, at least for the time being....

Saturday 25 November 2017

Peterborough Minetta solo build

A 15' with great lines, these make terrific solo canoes, as they can be too small for two adults. Decal dates this boat from after 1954 as it has the anniversary decal, and would have been built by Chestnut in Fredericton for Peterborough.
 Anniversary decal remnants, and typical stem tip and gunwale end rot

 Intact decal

 Often these boats have far too short a centre thwart; whereas it should be 32" wide this one comes in at 29" and the flat run and pull in is evident in this shot. Shape is totally distorted

 This boat is built at 13.5 inches deep, where it should be between 11.5 and 12", far too deep and seats too high

 Boat shows 1815 stamp, denoting Minetta model, same as Chestnut Chum and Canadian Canoe Company Balmy models

 Standard maple seats, to be removed

 Ironically the rib tops are solid in this boat, but new rails will be installed below the existing, and the ribs cut below the old rails to lower the depth, returning the boat to the more correct depth, and providing for better handling as the paddling position is lowered

 The boat will also be turned into a solo canoe, like the above example. 

 Another example of a solo conversion, for an afternoon or extended trip

 A Chum modeled after Omer Stringers iconic Chestnut 15' in which he performed some of his great solo padding and demonstrations

 Gorgeous 15' solo boat built by Alex Comb at Stewart River
More updates to come as work progresses

Form progress

Reassembly almost done, the varnish and new bands go on. Then its flip it over, install new gunwhale backers and build on it. 

 new backers up front, strips werent carried to the ends. backers had split and were not longer holding. 

 Sanding belts, 60 and 80 grit when cut open at 8' long when cut span the form, and two people pulling across fair the wood quickly. high spots are taken down and the curve faired.

 First couple of strokes show wood removed where bands would not lie flat. Once smooth the steel bands lay flat, eliminating any potential bounce when the tack is driven through ribs and planking, for a good clench. 

Sunday 12 November 2017

Traveller form progress

Bands are off, ready to be faired. New steel has been sheared into strips, and new gunwale backers milled.

One of the problems to be corrected is that the bands dont lay flat, and the nail in the middle didnt help as they already were not tight

Hooking the bands under the bottom of the strip planking also was not tight enough to keep the bands tight to the form

 Besides the bands not being fit tight, the form is not faired smooth so the bands wont lay completely flat
 Growing pile of banding

Loose enough to get the aviation snips under

 Getting there

 Wrecking tools - no finesse here

 At the other end

 A few spots to repair

 Ready to be faired

Repairs, fair the form, new steel bands, gunwale backers and we can set the stems and rails and begin building.

Form tune up and new build

Time for a winter build, a new tripping canoe. Once the snow flies the sawdust will be flying the shop for a spring launch. The Atkinson Traveller, designed by Rollin Thurlow draws heavily from the early Maine guide canoes, designed for river and lake travel loaded for days or weeks.

Classic Maine shape
 Loaded for tripping with , what else, canvas packs

 Nice fair hull

 Form to be tuned up

 New bands are sheared to  2.5", ready to go on after the old ones come off

 Loose bands arent the best for building, they create the risk of bounce and tacks not clenching properly

 Nice looking traveller, well travelled and used. Boat has a great vintage look for a newer built boat

 Old wisdom always said not to stand in a canoe, but in Maine and out east wide, flat bottoms in canoes lend themselves to being poled, especially in shallows. 

The Travellers popularity extends to countries where North American canoe culture has many followers, this example is from Germany

All we have to do now is assemble it.....