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OT: The Northmen build a dugout canoe

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  • OT: The Northmen build a dugout canoe

    Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy a most satisfying 20-minute video showing the complete construction cycle of a dugout canoe, from log to launch. The video has high production values, an appealing musical soundtrack, etc:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueFiy-uxI4Y


    A whole collection of videos from the Northmen Guild can be found here:

    http://www.northmen.com/en/gallery/video

  • #2
    they lost me when the chalk string and level came out. it is not the old way or the new way.

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    • #3
      Can we call it a "billet" canoe? (oh boy here we go)

      wonder how many crack when spreading like that? has to be the highest risk part of the build, get that far and then CRACK! "ahhh crap!"
      Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 05-21-2017, 10:05 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
        Can we call it a "billit" canoe? (oh boy here we go)
        Actually, you can: billet, so far as I can tell, was a French word used in the 1700's, if not earlier, to refer to a block of wood ...

        edit: today, 'billet' ('bee-yay') means 'ticket' in French - so "block of wood", as well as "military barracks" seem to have fallen out of favor - but the latter sense is still found in American military references, and probably British as well.
        Last edited by tlfamm; 05-21-2017, 10:05 AM.

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        • #5
          I corrected my spelling of it --- I even went and looked it up on how to spell it, came back and then promptly spelled it wrong lol coffee takes a bit to kick in nowadays

          I wonder what the entire charring of it does? does it seal off the pores and make it impervious to water?

          Do you think it would be beneficial to just heat the boat up without charring it all up and then melt a bunch of wax into it? would keep it more pliable and durable I would think and keep it from drying out and also keep it from getting water logged...
          Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 05-21-2017, 10:46 AM.

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          • #6
            billet (just making sure of my facts):

            (1) a place, especially a civilian's house, where soldiers are lodged temporarily
            (2) a thick piece of wood

            Origin (of #2):

            Late Middle English: from Old French billette and billot, diminutives of bille ‘tree trunk’, from medieval Latin billa, billus ‘branch, trunk’, probably of Celtic origin.


            https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/billet

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            • #7
              Loved watching them build it, but no way I'd go canoeing in that. I'd be swiming within the first minute! [emoji97]

              Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AD5MB View Post
                they lost me when the chalk string and level came out. it is not the old way or the new way.
                To their credit, they do say "mostly traditional" in the video description.

                There were a few places where you could tell that they had somehow made straight, deep vertical plunges that helped them chop out big chunks. You can see it at 6:09 into the video (jump to there https://youtu.be/ueFiy-uxI4Y?t=369) . Circular saws were probably not traditional .

                Thanks for the nice description TLFAMM.


                Dan
                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                Location: SF East Bay.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by danlb View Post

                  Thanks for the nice description TLFAMM.

                  Dan
                  Well, we see that the term "billet aluminum" is not historically inappropriate - even though it sounds like someone trying to sex up a rather mundane material: like stepping into a garden shop and asking for "billet cow manure".

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                    I wonder what the entire charring of it does? does it seal off the pores and make it impervious to water?

                    Do you think it would be beneficial to just heat the boat up without charring it all up and then melt a bunch of wax into it? would keep it more pliable and durable I would think and keep it from drying out and also keep it from getting water logged...
                    That appeared to be warm pine pitch that he applied with the brush. (I had the sound off so because the wife was napping.) It seals real well and soaks in to wood well when warm. I suspect the torch treatment was to burn off the volatiles, leaving behind a tough, shellac like substance.

                    Dan
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                    Location: SF East Bay.

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                    • #11
                      that'll teach me for skipping through vids,,, makes allot of sense, would behave allot like wax and to some degree kinda is.

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                      • #12
                        A Cajun dugout pirogue being carved. It is a glorified home film paid for by Exxon in 1948. My uncle found quite a few films Exxon had in storage and did not know about.

                        https://youtu.be/kGM2lJHjS24

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                        • #13
                          Amazing what you can do if you have a crew of talented knuckle-draggers who stay on task. I love my buddies and relatives but every job they help me with devolves into a discussion of alternatives lasting the length of the project - and then some.

                          The job gets done but... sheesh!

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                          • #14
                            Huh, cool vid (and nice title..ducking).
                            That boat looks absurdly tippy compared to most birchbark canoes. You work with what you got... and in general aboriginal boats/paddles worked damn well. Lots of accounts from the old days of how sought after 'indian' canoes/paddles were, and how well all 'indians' of any age could paddle.
                            Re charring the wood, I have seen some Asian house building techniques where the batten/boards were stacked with paper or dry grass sandwiched between, tied together, and lit afire, resulting in boards that had a durable char on the exterior. Looked pretty slick when done.

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                            • #15
                              Early on they inserted dowels all over the shell. Why was that? I cannot see how it assists the structural intent.

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