2 great films carving an expanded dugout canoe

Though being known primarily as a turner and carver I seem to be getting more and more involved in interesting boatbuilding projects. I have a long term dream of building a birch bark canoe and loved my time helping with a viking ship build. Another boat I would love to help build one time is an expanded dugout. These boats look simple and elegant but I have no doubt there is a lot of accumulated knowledge in getting them to work just right and there also looks to be some potential for it all to go horribly wrong at the last stage after many days of work. These two films showing making them have quite different techniques for judging the thickness which is I suspect critical to getting an even bend.

and this one from Finland in the 1930s, if you have thought of dugouts before as ugly logs think again.

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6 Responses to 2 great films carving an expanded dugout canoe

  1. Brian March 13, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Here's a really fine dugout from Cajun Louisiana, 1949: http://www.folkstreams.net/film,188Felling an splitting a cypress easily 150 cm at the base, and then cutting a boat out of it that ends up looking like a piece of furniture. If you hadn't just watched them chop it out of at tree, you'd think it had been popped out of a mold. Remarkable documentary on the people too. Beautiful music and beautiful film.

  2. jarrod March 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I feel the same way about the dug outs…there were also very nice dug out canoes made from basswood. there are only a few left in museums. when i was out in seattle i visited the center for wooden boats. they have a few west coast native dugouts! those are really impressive as well. you know what you need to do to build a birch bark….fun stuff….check out "The Canoe" by John Jennings…there are some good pictures and text of construction.It's all north american stuff but still. It's one for the personal library section under boats/boat building.

  3. Administrator April 7, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    Hello!I am your subscriber from faraway Russia. If you want, I can translate first video about Siberian boat to Eng. Perhaps not be the literary language, but full understanding guaranteed.Respectfully yours,Konstantin Do.

  4. Robin Wood April 9, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Thanks Konstantin that is a very generous offer but there is a lot of talking which would take a long time to translate and maybe some of it I can guess from the film anyway. The things I would be very interested in are the details which they may not say like how long they get it hot for before starting to bend it or how long the whole bending process takes. I'd also be interested to know where abouts exactly it was filmed and if they still build these or if it's just some folk showing how it used to be done when they were young.

  5. Robin Wood April 9, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks for the Pirogue link Brian, one I had seen before but mislaid the link, good to see it again.

  6. Mike tyson July 13, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    I feel the same way about the dug outs…there were also very nice dug out canoes made from basswood. there are only a few left in museums. when i was out in seattle i visited the center for wooden boats. they have a few west coast native dugouts! those are really impressive as well. you know what you need to do to build a birch bark..commercial shade canopy

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