Many woodworkers take years to realize their dream of building a canoe, but Alex Cutting's story is unique in that he laid the first planks as a child and finished the work as a full-grown adult. His story struck us as a testament to patience and perseverance—and the final product was worth the wait.
As of winter 2022, virtually everyone on earth can agree the past couple of years have been rough. At Bear Mountain we've been fortunate to be able to to continue supplying builders, and we're glad to have helped people pour their creativity into a project rather than spending more time stuck in a vicious news cycle. Sometimes, though, there's no substitute for a quiet moment with a good dog—and so we've put together a little gallery featuring two of our favourite things.
When Jon Evans first sent us his scale model photographs, we thought he had the subject line mixed up. He said he'd built a scale model Redbird using an older kit of ours, but the canoe appeared to be sitting in a well-appointed, full-size workshop. On closer inspection, we realized Jon had not only built a handsome model canoe—he'd situated it in a charming and painstakingly detailed diorama.
When Doug Brentnell shared his building story with us, we couldn't resist asking him to write something for our blog. Doug's canoes are rich with history and personal significance, and we were moved by his comparison between canoe building and quilting. Here's the story of how he set out to build a canoe for each of his kids and grandkids using repurposed woods.
Some builders are eager to get started as soon as their kit arrives; others savour having a long-term project to chip away at. Sometimes life intervenes, and a canoe build has to be moved to the backburner for awhile. That was the case for Howard Shepherd, who ordered a kit in 2000. His Bob's Special was finished and launched 21 years later, completing a decades-long dream. The canoe was a continual source of inspiration, and we're grateful to Howard for sharing his story. Read on to hear it in his words.
"When I started planning out my canoe build, I thought a lot about how I would fabricate the station molds. Should I use try my luck at cutting them out by hand using my bandsaw, or should I get a CNC to do it?" Christian Delbaere explains how he built his own CNC machine using mostly 3D-printed parts in order to cut his station molds.