Building a Cedar Strip Canoe

In addition to the spoons and sticks and flowers and other, smaller whittling and carving projects, I’ve also got some more grandiose woodcraft projects in mind. I’ve always wanted to build a strip canoe, and, being in possession of an Amazon.com giftcard, I ordered some books that will help me realize that project (or talk me out of it), even if it’s several years away yet.

First up is Building a Strip Canoe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded: Full-Sized Plans and Instructions for Eight Easy-To-Build, Field Tested Canoes by Gil Gilpatrick. Gilpatrick was recently interviewed by of Wired’s GeekDad blog, and he sounds like a really interesting guy.

I also acquired his newly republished Building Outdoor Gear, 2nd Edition, Revised and Expanded: Easy-to-Make Projects for Camping, Fishing, Hunting and Canoeing (Canoe Paddle, Pack Frame, … Boxes, Bucksaw, Other Trail-Tested Projects), which I imagine I’ll be working through before the strip canoe book.

And speaking of canoe paddles, I also got Canoe Paddles: A Complete Guide to Making Your Own by Graham Warren, which comes highly recommended.

I’m fascinated by paddles. There are plenty of makers out there making all sorts strong and light paddles out of carbon fiber and other space age materials, but I always like the feel of a wooden paddle. It also seems like a completely doable woodworking project. Also, it gives me a reason to acquire a crook knife.

In addition to the books above, there are numerous great articles on building strip canoes online. Here are a few:

Will we ever actually build any of this stuff? I don’t know. We’re pretty busy with all the things a 9-year-old boy is busy with, plus I’m active in Scouting, too (beyond what I do with The Boy), and I occasionally like to go fishing and/or canoeing with other grown-ups, plus I have other, non-outdoorsy hobbies I want to do more of, like playing D&D and making music. Hopefully, we’lll have a lot of time to work on something like this eventually. But, in the meantime, it’s fun to dream.