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Thread: Building a Birchbark canoe...

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Building a Birchbark canoe...

    Got this link off the Canadian forum...

    Cesar's Bark Canoe -- national film board of Canada

    "This documentary shows how a canoe is built the old way. CÚsar Newashish, a 67-year-old Attikamek of the Manawan Reserve north of Montreal, uses only birchbark, cedar splints, spruce roots and gum. Building a canoe solely from the materials that the forest provides may become a lost art, even among the Native peoples whose traditional craft it is. The film is without commentary but text frames appear on the screen in Cree, French and English. "

    I believe it dates from 1971

    I'll warn you, it's an hour long. I jumped around and watched chunks of it. Fascinating to see what he does with so little.

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
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    Fantastic! There are many interesting details, like the way the bent laminated stems are made of a single piece of wood split into slats but left attached at one end. Thank you so much for posting this.
    Last edited by Alan Schwabacher; 06-21-2010 at 08:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    Art i just spent 60 min watching the whole thing.. Just coun't pull my self away from it. Sure wish i was that good.
    Steve

  4. #4
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    Art that was great. Did you notice all the precision tools. I guess you knew to throw that bait out there and i would bite hook line and sinker.

    I have a book on this topic that covers a number of different builders. The tool this guy uses to shave the wood and shape it they made from a file that gets ground down and bent up. I bet they dont have any use for Shapton stones to sharpen the pocket knife or the shaping tool.

    If you got access to the library they might have this book if you interested to read more.

    By the way thanks for posting this. As a new canuck i really appreciate it. Makes a bit of a mockery of the expoxy special i am set on building.

    They also say the problem today is getting birch bark wide enough to start the base. There aint too many paper birch trees that get to grow that big any more.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    I liked the "fiberglass" he used on the keel, I think that's what you call it.

  6. #6
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    That was great. Gives a whole new meaning to the word "woodworker".
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  7. #7
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    Very cool film, Art. Thanks for the link. I'm afraid I might lose some more time at that site, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Wouldn't open for me.
    My father claimed he made one when he was a Boy Scout. That would have been about 1922.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    Frank, it's not a file, it's a link. Copy and paste this URL address in your browser if the link doesn't work for you. I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't be able to access the site.

    http://www.nfb.ca/film/Cesars_Bark_Canoe/
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    Frank, it's not a file, it's a link. Copy and paste this URL address in your browser if the link doesn't work for you. I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't be able to access the site.

    http://www.nfb.ca/film/Cesars_Bark_Canoe/
    The page opened but that particular video just wasn't there - for me. I'll try again.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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