Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tech Tip Tuesday

Planning ahead to get a design where the parts all blend well is sometimes hard to do with my students. Most have not seen what is possible when building a strip canoe in terms of wood types and designs. I try to bring books into the first class to point them in the direction of resources that will show both interesting and unique designs.

Before they get started with building a boat, I encourage them to draw a sketch - even if it is a very rough sketch, showing what the feature strip might look like, what colors or wood types they would like. I also encourage them to pick good woods that blend or contrast nicely, woods with interesting figure or grain and woods of appropriate hardness for the part of the boat it will be used on. There is really a lot to consider even on a small boat with regard to the stems, gunnels, seat, thwart and decks.

While the books and on-line resources are great, there is sometimes no getting around looking at finished boats. That's why I encourage my students to go look at boats at places like the Maine Boatbuilder's Show, The WoodenbBoat Show and the John Gardner Small Craft Workshop. They are outstanding opportunities for a student to see what is possible and to dream a little bit about what they might like.

So sketch, plan and dream and have some pieces of scrap around so you can think about color and grain as you plan your next boat!

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