Cedar Strip Canoe 1


Hello everyone. We have been very busy with custom furniture orders this year, but we’re also looking forward to some down time to finish planning and offering some new classes to the public.
In the meantime, I thought I’d take a minute and tell you about a slightly different project I have been working on for a client this last week – a classic 16′ prospector canoe.

It’s been an intriguing learning process, as there are so many things that affect how a canoe operates. For starters, it’s imperative that the layout is precise, and that the wood is properly selected and milled.
My first step however was buying a set of plans from Bear Mountain Canoes (www.bearmountainboats.com). The next step was carefully picking out some 17′ long A grade extremely tight grain quarter-sawn western-red cedar for the planking. I’ve just recently started building the straight-back which is the bench upon which the forms and canoe are built. Trying to make bowed and twisted plywood perfectly flat and level was a serious challenge, and took longer than anticipated.

I’m looking forward to updating you regularly on the progress of the canoe.

Jonathan Schwennesen

Making the perpendicular lines for the station molds from the center line

Marking the perpendicular lines for the station molds from the center-line


Marking the centerline, just over 16′ long

Leveling the straight-back






Using string to get a perfectly straight centerline.







2 Responses to Cedar Strip Canoe 1

  1. Bill McCaffrey September 8, 2016 at 5:42 PM #


    Good to hear something from the school. I know that you will have fun with the canoe project. I have built both strip built and stitch-n-glue boats with great success. Fun and rewarding projects.

    Take care,
    Bill McCaffrey

  2. Ed Connors September 10, 2016 at 7:49 PM #

    Hey Jonathan… Wow, what a project. I always wanted to build a canoe! It’ll be fun to check back and see how you make it and the progress. Building my own personal home furniture is fun, but your project is amazing! Can’t wait…