Author Topic: Birchbark canoe  (Read 6792 times)

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Offline Spyder1958

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Birchbark canoe
« on: April 18, 2015, 09:00:36 AM »
MadMax posted ideal canoe and during my travels thru the great wide web, I stumbled onto this guy from Minnesota building a birchbark canoe. I have a cedar strip 17' but would like to own, paddle or maybe even build one someday. (bucket list)
I've seen other videos (several out there) and all are good info, but I really enjoyed this one. Hope you do too.  :)

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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 09:08:21 AM »
Thanks for passing this along. I have never run across this one.
:)


I will watch it later on today!
:)


 :thumbsup:
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline wolfy

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 12:22:56 PM »
32 views and only ONE other comment, so far? :shrug: :[

I watched it straight through earlier this morning and give it two hearty 'thumbs up' for its clarity and close-ups of the splitting of the cedar skeleton, spruce roots, use of the canoe awl, froe & materials softening methods.....just excellent videography compared to most of these types of videos. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Of course, it helps that it was filmed by professionals and narrated by an historical archeologist that was a true educator and knew how to explain and show the little nuances of the construction project that are ignored or glossed over without comment in many of these videos.  It reminded me of the narrative and methods presented in THE BARK CANOES AND SKIN BOATS OF NORTH AMERICA by Adney & Chapelle, but in video and in living color.  I believe that the 'blueprint' they were using, almost certainly, came from the pages of that book.  This video & book belongs in everyone's library that yearns for the opportunity to own, or get the opportunity to help in the build, of one of these epitomes of the canoe-builder's art!

We owe A BIG THANK YOU to Graylan for bringing this video to our attention! :hail: :cheers:

                                                                              :canoe:
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Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 12:55:43 PM »
Thanks JB and Craig, Glad I'm not the only one who thinks its one of the best on the subject.

JB, while I'm thinking about it, Thanks for that birchbark you sent along with the mullen stalks. If you look close in our Buck lake outting, you can see your box in the middle of the common area. some folks took some of the stalks. We never did get around to trying to do a hand drill.  :( Not enough time to do everthing I guess.
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
Zig Ziglar

Offline wannabe

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 03:35:50 PM »
There's a guy up here in Toronto running a course where each participant will build and keep their very own 14' birch bark canoe. It costs around $1200 CDN and takes place over a few weeks.

I'd love to do it for the building/learning aspect alone. I don't canoe enough or frankly have anywhere to store it anyway but it seems like a fantastic way to spend some time.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 03:50:53 PM »
That wouldn't be a problem for me......I'd store it in the living room!  :hail: :canoe:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 06:34:51 PM »
Very good video and it certainly shows some good skills working with the root and doing the splitting and bending.  Their method is similar to that of Cesar Newashish in this traditional methods video made in 1971.  This video was posted a while back but its probably time for a rerun. 

http://www.nfb.ca/film/cesars_bark_canoe/

By the way Wolfy........... I would hang that canoe from my ceiling too, if I had a vaulted ceiling.   :-[

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Quinn

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2015, 06:40:43 PM »
Since my computer is Neolithic, I can't watch nor comment on the vid...
howsomenoever...Joh n Mcphee's old book, Survival of the Bark Canoe mite be of interest to some (if you can stand McPhee...'that little Yankee bastard', as one of his subjects called him).  The book's about Henri Vaillancourt, a tradition birch bark canoe builder in New Hampshahh.
virtue is nothing more than insufficient temptation

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2015, 06:47:30 PM »
Since my computer is Neolithic, I can't watch nor comment on the vid...
howsomenoever...Joh n Mcphee's old book, Survival of the Bark Canoe mite be of interest to some (if you can stand McPhee...'that little Yankee bastard', as one of his subjects called him).  The book's about Henri Vaillancourt, a tradition birch bark canoe builder in New Hampshahh.

McPhee is, regardless of being a "little Yankee bastard", an accomplished and terrific writer.  Every book of his I have read has been excellent.

I have one of the very early Whole Earth Catalogs and in it there is a letter from Henri Vaillancourt noting that he is interested in selling his birch bark canoes.  The price back then was around $200 in total for a full size model as I recall.  Today they are from $650 to $950 per foot; and worth every penny of what he charges.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 06:56:59 PM by wsdstan »
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2015, 07:02:41 PM »
I have that McPhee book on the Vaillancourt canoe-build and trip.  I'm not sure putting up with Henri's eccentricitys would set well with me on a 10-day wilderness canoe trip! :[ :lol:
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Offline Jbradshaw

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2015, 07:27:43 PM »
Thanks for posting this. I don't have timeto watch the whole video right now. But I'll definitely watch it tomorrow.
I would really like to try building a canoe one day. I've carved a paddle, but haven't had the chance to try buildings canoe yet.

Offline Quinn

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2015, 09:16:29 PM »
wsdstan, I've got a number of McPhee's books also, and do think highly of his writings (li'l Yankee bastid & all), and wolfy, I do agree about eccentric Henri.
I've got a thang about canoes, like 'em muchly, however, the only one I've owned is an old 18' alu-minium freighter that I gave to my son some years back. Would like to build one someday, nice li'l solo job along the lines of the famed Sairy Gamp, or some suchlike.
virtue is nothing more than insufficient temptation

Offline wolfy

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2015, 09:29:16 PM »
Quinn, is that you or Charon there in your avatar? :shrug: >:D
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Quinn

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2015, 09:58:41 PM »
Quinn, is that you or Charon there in your avatar? :shrug: >:D

Ahhh...well, I'm a squalid, bad tempered old man. My beard's unkempt and my clothes are fouled with grease. Fathered by Erebus, mothered by Nyx, I keep a nasty hound.
;)
virtue is nothing more than insufficient temptation

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2015, 10:31:08 PM »
I wish that all that fouled my clothes was grease.   :P  I am covered in the excrement of cows.  Knee deep in rotting hay befouled with their urine and the smell lingers. Branding leaves the stench of burning hair in your nostrils where it festers like a boil.   It makes me ill tempered and unwelcome among all who know me.  I am loved by but one woman who apparently has no sense of smell.

Charon will refuse me passage when it is time to cross the river even though I have the coin upon my lips.

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Offline wolfy

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2015, 04:12:45 PM »
I remember old Bill Hafeman of Hafeman Boat Works up in Bigfork, MN......he used to be about the only one around, still building birchbark canoes.   His shop is still open for business and he has passed the skill on to his grandson.  Some of you may remember Charles Kuralt's interview with old Bill Hafeman when he was still at the helm........now under new management, but still in the family! :thumbsup:

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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Birchbark canoe
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2015, 08:15:27 PM »
Thanks for sharing that Craig. I'm watching it now.
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
Zig Ziglar