January 2005

Bark Canoe Store

2317 West Fairview Avenue
Spokane, WA 99205



John Lindman


1. News
2. Building Tip - More on Miniatures by Ted Behne

News From Movie Land

Casting Call! Attention All French Voyageurs

    Are you up for a challenge?
    Do you have the taste for adventure?
    Are you a nature lover, an amateur historian, a backwoods explorer?
    Are you looking for a totally unique experience?
Les Productions Destination in Ottawa and Les Productions Nor'Ouest in Winnipeg are looking for 8 participants and a guide to join a voyage unlike any other ever filmed for television. This journey will be the subject of a documentary series to be filmed between the end of May and the beginning of September 2005 and broadcast by TVA et TFO. Destination Nor'Ouest is a historical documentary series of eight one hour episodes that will chronicle the physical and emotional experiences of 9 men and women as they travel the traditional fur trade route by canoe. Throughout the 100 day expedition spanning more than 2500 kilometres from the Lachine Canal (Montreal) to the Red River Valley (Winnipeg), these modern-day voyageurs will confront the elements and test their mettle encountering challenges inspired by the way of life of the Voyageurs of the past.

Whenever possible, our modern-day 'Voyageurs' will navigate the same rivers, paddle the same lakes, follow the same portage trails, live off the land and dress as the very first voyageurs did. Each day, they will travel an average of 40 to 50 km and camp at night out under the stars.

A Selection Committee will choose fifteen (15) finalists from among eligible candidates. Those chosen must undergo a medical exam and a criminal record check. Finalists will then participate in a training camp, during which experts will teach such necessary skills as canoeing technique and environmentally conscious wilderness survival. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the life of the Voyageur, as they will be expected to model Voyageur habits and customs - style of dress, food and so on.

These modern voyageurs will bring the echoes of the past to life and commemorate history in all its authenticity and magnitude!

Participant requirements:
    1. Completely fluent in French
    2. Minimum 18 years of age
    3. Good level of physical fitness and ability to swim
    4. Various outdoor experience
    5. Interest in history, and/or willingness to challenge oneself, seek adventure
    6. Desire and ability to dedicate oneself for a period of at least 3 months (ability to be absent from personal and professional life for the duration of the voyage)
Additional requirements for the position of guide:
    a. Extensive canoe and wilderness survival experience
    b. Passion for Canadian history and geography (especially for the history of the Voyageurs)
    c. Good communication skills and an ability to explain historical and technical information to non-experts
To apply please send:
    1. Your resume (please include your wilderness experience)
    2. A recent photo
    3. A letter that includes the following:
    A self introduction that describes your personality
    What motivates you to take part in this adventure and why you think you should be chosen;
    Any expertise you may have or keen interests in areas essential to the expedition; (for example: I am a meteorologist who can read weather patterns)
    Other assets that you would bring to the adventure: (for example: being an historian, a geologist, a chef, an athlete, a musician or a passionate outdoors person)

For questions you can e-mail Gabrielle Touchette at gtouchette@productionsrivard.com
Send Applications to:
Les Productions Nor'Ouest Inc.
354 Marion Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 0V3

Consignment Page

There are some slight changes on the Consignment Page. Check it out.

Building Tip - More on Miniatures by Ted Behne
Creating the 1/4 Scale Building Platform

The last issue outlined some of the preliminary steps in making a scale model birchbark canoe. Selecting a canoe was discussed including the importance of carefully reducing its dimensions to accurate scale. A procedure was presented for preparing a -scale "blueprint" of any of the canoes depicted in the Adney and Chapelle book, "The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America."

This article will deal with how to make a quarter-scale building platform that can be reused over and over with many different styles and sizes of model canoes. As with all other aspects of building model canoes, a building platform should be made just as it would be for a full-size canoe, using the same materials and the same techniques, only scaled down to smaller size.

A full-size building platform consists of wooden planks, about two inches thick, at least a foot wider than the canoe to be built and several feet longer at each end. It is crowned up to two inches higher in the middle than at the ends, to help control the amount of rocker in the finished canoe. A full size platform is typically about 20 feet long and about four feet wide. Reducing the dimensions for a quarter scale model yields a model platform that is five to six feet long, about one foot wide and a half-inch or more thick. Suitable pre-cut lumber can be found in the shelving area of Home Depot and most other building supply stores.

To make my model platform portable, I fastened it to an extra tall sawhorse that I built especially for the purpose. I screwed down one end of the platform to the sawhorse, then positioned a 3/8" dowel, widthwise, (more about this later) under the exact center of the platform before I screwed down the other end. The resulting building platform is slightly crowned in the middle, which helps to control the amount of rocker in the finished model. I made the sawhorse extra tall to work either sitting on a stool or standing up.

In a full-size canoe, stakes are pounded into the ground to hold the bark upright while it's being lashed to the gunwale. With a model, I use 3/8" diameter dowels as "stakes." I drill slightly larger holes into the building platform and insert the stakes into them to hold the bark in place.

I buy 3 ft long, 3/8" diameter rods at Home Depot and then cut them up into the various lengths I need to hold the model in place. The "stakes" at the bow ends are about 8" long and the ones nearer the center are about 4" long.

You can view it here.

The crown in the middle of the building bed helps control the amount of rocker in the finished canoe. When ribs are forced into the center of a canoe, they stiffen the gunwales and lift the ends off the ground. This rising profile at each end is called the "rocker" of the canoe. Some canoes need a lot of rocker, i.e., those designed to run rapids or to slice through ocean waves. Others need very little rocker, i.e., those designed for use on flat water.

If the building bed is flat, the resulting canoe can develop more rocker than is wanted. If the building bed is crowned in the center, the amount of rocker in the finished canoe will be reduced by the amount of crown at the center. More crowning equals less rocker, less crowning equals more rocker. Each canoe requires a separate decision about rocker and crowning. A typical full-size canoe with moderate rocker would have about 1 1/2" to 2" of crown at the center of the building bed. At one-quarter scale the measurement becomes 3/8" to 1/2". A 3/8" to 1/2" dowel inserted widthwise under the center of the building platform serves the purpose perfectly.

Next issue will cover other preliminary steps such as measuring and making scale-size thwarts, gunwales, ribs, sheathing, pegs and roots for lashings. These preparation steps constitute about half the total construction time for any canoe. They can be done at your leisure, with no particular timetable, and stored until you are ready for assembly. It's relaxing and rewarding to see steady progress as you complete one component after another. If you are hesitant because you feel you may not know enough to do it right, I will be happy to coach you through the step-by-step process at no charge.

Just send me an email at tedbehne@comcast.net.

You can view Ted's work here.

To remove yourself from this list, simply reply to this email with the word "REMOVE" in the subject.