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Builder Stories: Dragon Canoe by Frank Turner

Builder Stories is a feature where we share photos and stories from builders in their words. Today we're showcasing the unique story of Frank Turner and family.

Frank writes:

"Having built a canoe for myself, my wife, and my youngest son, it was time to build one for my oldest son, who is on the autism spectrum. He's not much of a canoe enthusiast, but he's very passionate about Hot Wheels cars and a movie series called "How To Train Your Dragon," with dragons and vikings. So I did my best to combine them into a viking "longboat" with Hot Wheels accents.

The inlay strip is a pattern designed to look like a cross between wheels and viking shields, and the masthead is my best effort at the main dragon from the movie, incorporating the Hot Wheels logo. The thwart is Thor's hammer. I had originally planned on having the stems extend through the decks and building the masthead and tail around them, but wiser heads than mine pointed out the nightmare of transporting it, so the head and tail are removable, attached to the decks by heavy duty magnets. That also allows the head and tail to swap ends depending if he's paddling solo or with a partner. I'm still putting the final finishes on it, but I've included a few more in-progress photos."

Dragon Canoe by Frank Turner on the water
Dragon Canoe by Frank Turner
Dragon canoe by Frank Turner progress shot
Dragon canoe by Frank Turner inlay detail
Dragon canoe by Frank Turner magnet attachment system
Dragon Canoe by Frank Turner bow detail
Dragon Canoe by Frank Turner stern detail
Dragon Canoe by Frank Turner seat detail
Dragon canoe by Frank Turner thwart shaped like Thor's hammer

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