Building the Paper Tcîmânens

Gathering the wood

canoe drawing

First off one needs to decide what size and style of canoe to build. I have in mind a small solo canoe for one paddler of no more then 150 pounds similar in size of the Wee Lassie or slightly larger. For style I picked the 2 Fathom Algonkin Hunter's Canoe, the old style, as pictured in Addney & Chapelle "The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America" page 116, figure 108; pictured above. Length to be around 10' - 11', width about 28", and depth perhaps 10 - 11". Most wooden parts from basswood, the manboards (a.k.a headboards) are made of pine. Thwarts and ribs will be from ash.

hauling basswood Hauling basswood home by toboggan. Wife was steering and I was brakeman keeping the toboggan from running away down a steep slope.

basswood Here basswood from the recently felled tree is being split into manageable sections; the 4.5' lengths will be for sheathing (a.k.a. lining or planking). The longer lengths are for gunnels. I found basswood to be difficult to split; it tears out sections leaving gouges and ridges in the split sections. Basswood is also very wet when green; do not leave it, even over night, on machine surfaces! A sample of basswood that weighed 9.4 ozs (265 gs) wet only weighed 4.5 ozs (122 gs) dry. It requires steaming to make even moderate bends else it fractures on bending.

ashlog In later February I returned to the woods to get ash for the ribs. I found the basswood to difficult to bend for ribs.

Previous page................ First page................... Next page

pcpage2 Jan. 11, 2008 Bob Bear's Paddling Club