SPRUCE BARK CANOE

~~  SPRUCE BARK CANOE  ~~

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100_0074These are the basic tools for making a spruce bark canoe….awl, axe, crooked knife and bark peeling spuds made from naturally curved tag alder wood.

993927_10153002688155582_1062951245_nA large white spruce tree was located and cut down. The log was scored down its length to open the bark. The axe is used to start the peeling process.

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Using the peeling spuds the bark is slowly worked free from the tree.

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1069989_10151768754633352_1438151120_nThe peeling crew with a 19 foot sheet of spruce bark

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The spruce bark is rolled out on the building bed (smooth side down, the balsam inwales made from saplings is centered on the bark and weighed down with rocks.

The bark is gored in three locations on each side and staked up around the frame. Then the inhale assembly is raised to gunwale height.

The bark is gored in three locations on each side and staked up around the frame. Then the inwale assembly is raised to gunwale height.

Using wooden clamps to tighten the gunwales to the bark, split spruce roots is lashed at 8 inch intervals to secure all together.

Using wooden clamps to tighten the gunwales to the bark, split spruce roots is lashed at 8 inch intervals to secure all together.

Lashing the gunwales tightly with split spruce root

Lashing the gunwales tightly with split spruce root

A spruce center thwart is hewed in place

A spruce center thwart is hewn in place

Lashing the thwart with split root

Lashing the thwart with split root

The ends of the canoe are sewn shut using spruce root lashed over a cedar batten strip.

The ends of the canoe are sewn shut using spruce root lashed over cedar batten strips. The triangular awl makes all the holes throughout the entire building process.

Preparing the cedar ribs and sheathing

Preparing the cedar ribs and sheathing

Laying in the cedar sheathing in the bottom of the canoe & pitching the knot holes from the inside

Laying in the cedar sheathing in the bottom of the canoe & pitching the knot holes from the inside

Bending the split cedar ribs

Bending the split cedar ribs…these ribs were bent without the use of hot water or steam…just soaked in water overnight.

Ribs are bent and drying in the canoe

Ribs are bent and drying in the canoe

We're having fun know!

We’re having fun now!

Spruce pitch mixed with animal fate is mixed together with pounded charcoal from the fire.

Spruce pitch mixed with animal fate is mixed together with pounded charcoal from the fire.

The pitch is applied hot using a wooden spatula

The pitch is applied hot using a wooden spatula

With the pitch applied, it is smoothed out

With the pitch applied and still warm, it is smoothed out using a wetted thumb so it will not stick to the fingers

The Canoe-makers

The Canoe-makers

Signatures of the canoe-makers

Signatures of the canoe-makers

The magic moment has arrived

The magic moment has arrived

The canoe handles beautifully ~~

The canoe handles beautifully ~~

 

 

 

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  1. Mitchell Sabattis – Boatbuilder | Fifty Acres of Beach and Wood

    […] image courtesy of https://beaverbarkcanoes.wordpress.com/spruce-bark-canoe/ […]

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