This dugout canoe was created for the Hayward Area Historical Society Museum. The canoe is part of the exhibition from the California Exhibition Resources Alliance (CERA).
This canoe was first carved as a model from a section of a willow. Then an actual full size canoe was created from a 30" by 8' redwood log. Choose spruce, pine, cedar, cottonwood or redwood.
Step 1: Get a Log
We bought our log from a lumber company since we were in a hurry to make it on time for a museum. Try to find a downed tree to use as your log. Ask around; keep your eyes out; be ready, as you will want to work the log green since it carve much easier. Best to find your log next to water so you can get your boat into the water with out hauling. Some times you can find a log washed up on on a beach.
Step 2: Tools Used:
Tools used: Chain saw, ax and adze to remove the material. It can be done with a bucksaw or even without steel tools by using wooden or stone wedges, fire and stone tools. You will need a great deal more time with this method.
Step 3: Make a Modle and Remove Bark:
1) Make drawings of what you want your canoe to look like. If you are looking for reference on indigenous traditional canoes, do a search online for making a dugout canoe.
2) Make a small model of your canoe to see what it will look like in 3-dimension.
3) For the full size canoe, remove the bark and draw an outline on the top and side of your chosen wood.
Step 4: Cut, Saw, Adze...
4) Cut away, with a saw, ax and adze, the bulk of your unwanted material. Start by creating a flat bottom. We made saw cuts perpendicular to the length of the log about every 6" and then used an ax to split out the sections.
Step 5: Shape
5) Shape the ends again using a saw.
6) Cut the top of the canoe off as well as the bottom.
Step 6: Finish Up...
7) We made cuts across the grain in the center of the canoe being very careful not to cut too deep. Then we split out this wood with an adze and ax.
8) The finish work was all done with the adze.
Step 7: Get Your Dugout Canoe in the Water!
9) Get and keep your boat in water as soon as you finish it since it will develop cracks if it is not kept wet.
The dugout canoe is a natural and useful form of water transportation. It was also a fun project.
See a short video of the dugout canoe construction: http://primitiveways.com/dugout-canoe.html