Redbird Woodstrip Canoe

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Project by lobbster posted 11-12-2007 01:00 AM 10818 views 8 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this canoe over a 3 year period while we lived in the desert of Southwest Texas. It was inspiration to get out of the place we were living and to the Pacific Northwest where I could use the thing.
At the time, Redwood was readily available at Home Depot in 1×6 stock. It was the best lumber I could find at the time short of custom ordering cedar or spruce. I bought what I needed and milled up the 1/4×3/4 inch strips for the body. The gunwales are ash. The bow and stern pieces were made by steaming 3 strips of ash and bending them over a form. The decks are oak. The moon and star carvings were a gift I received when traveling in Eastern Africa. The symbol is one that is displayed on the sides of Dhows (traditional Arab sailing vessel). I took many trips by dhow while I was traveling. The seats are canvas. The canoe is 17’6”.
The whole canoe is sealed in fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin then finished with spar varnish.
I have to say I knew little about woodworking and even less about boat building when I started this project. I was with my wife at Barnes and Noble perusing the woodworking books when I came across a book called Canoecraft. It has several different canoe designs as well as kayaks and rowers. My mother taught me at a young age that I could do whatever I wanted and there was probably a book to tell me how. That was one of the best lessons I ever learned.

-- lobbster, Oregon,

25 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4638 days

#1 posted 11-12-2007 02:12 AM

An excellent project. Truly beautiful and well executed.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4413 days

#2 posted 11-12-2007 02:54 AM

I love strip-built boats, and this one is absolutely beautiful! Great work!

-- -- --

View TomFran's profile


2961 posts in 4533 days

#3 posted 11-12-2007 03:45 AM

Wow! Nice job. That looks like it would have been a complex woodworking project to say the least.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4939 days

#4 posted 11-12-2007 04:07 AM

A great looking boat. What does it weigh and how does it handle.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View lobbster's profile


24 posts in 4399 days

#5 posted 11-12-2007 04:43 AM

It weighs about 55 pounds, I can easily portage and lift it on to my truck by myself. I had no idea what I was doing as far a the shape of the boat and it’s performance. If I do it over I will make the bottom more flat for a more stable ride. When I paddle alone I’m fine ‘cause I’ve learned how it handles. My wife and I, on the other hand, have discovered that it’s best we don’t canoe together. With two people, one always thinks the other is leaning or tipping too much. It is fast though.

-- lobbster, Oregon,

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4939 days

#6 posted 11-12-2007 05:16 AM

Thanks. Especially for the size. A husband and a wife in a canoe really tries a marriage.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4757 days

#7 posted 11-12-2007 05:36 AM

Beautiful canoe! I’ll bet the neighbors in Texas thought you were crazy building a canoe in the desert.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4419 days

#8 posted 11-12-2007 05:55 AM

its so sweet id have a hard time useing it afraid id scratch it very well done

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4421 days

#9 posted 11-12-2007 06:20 AM

Beautiful job. Good for you for having the confidence to try whatever you wanted to.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4853 days

#10 posted 11-12-2007 07:05 AM


View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4544 days

#11 posted 11-12-2007 01:54 PM

That just looks like it would be fun to build. I don’t know about availability of Redwood in other parts of the country, but here in Alabama its not too difficult to carry a thousand dollars worth in your arms!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4616 days

#12 posted 11-13-2007 04:53 PM

FANTASTIC job! Wonderful placement on all those grains of wood.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4501 days

#13 posted 11-14-2007 02:44 PM

Just great! I love these canoes and some day I’ll make one as well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4575 days

#14 posted 11-14-2007 06:52 PM


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4631 days

#15 posted 11-15-2007 05:25 AM


-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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