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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Goodwillie Voyager Birch Bark Canoe Build part 1


I had learned of the Goodwillie School a few years ago as I supplied some knives to them for projects. This is a school for 5th and 6th graders and a part of the public school system.The kids take regular classes as well as many hands on projects for learning.

Two years ago they built a 12' birch bark canoe and last year they built a 16' boat.

12' hunter and 16' ricer


Etching on 16' canoe done with winter harvested bark


Here also are pictures of a birch/cedar bark conical home and a round elm bark home.

Really cool stuff going on at this school.

This past year they decided to build a 24' French Canadian Voyager canoe from the fur trade era. They were looking for people to help and I couldnt wait to get a look at it and help with construction. I really wanted to get a good idea on how these things went together.

The first we got to look at the canoe, the main bark was sewn together and the thwarts and inwales and outwales attached.


Next step was to fit the stem piece and man board in the bow and stern.

Here Kevin shapes the stem with a crooked knife.

Man board and stem attached in the bow

Me stitching the gunwales with split spruce root.

Stem stitched up as well as the inwales an outwales.
More to come...

2 comments:

DendroFanatic said...

Now that is cool!

Gorges Smythe said...

Looks like some nice work going on there!