Wow! I built a Canoe! (Part one)

Good afternoon!

I have been living in the Austin, Tx area for the past two years. Since my move here, my older brother has asked me to participate in a Canoe building workshop with him. We coordinated and emailed and synchronized our watches until we found my last two Saturdays in Austin to build said canoes. We enrolled into Michael Bull’s workshop. My brother drove in from out of town and we prepared for our labor with a sunset meal at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

ImageThe next morning, lunches packed, we headed to begin the course. I was skeptical at first. Moreover, I was intimidated by the power tools. I pulled myself together, after all, these tools were not too far removed from the ones we use at work, right? Mike reassured me and so, we began.

We drilled, glued, sanded, forstnered, fiberglassed, glued and sanded again. After two Saturdays we had created, to my amazement, two beautiful, canoes.

The experience not only gave me the opportunity to work alongside my big brother, it also reminded me of the fulfillment that comes through crafting. In the face of my upcoming move, this project rekindled the drive that has helped me achieve my personal and career goals.

And while it may seem like silly advice, if you find yourself in a funk, try building a canoe! Worst case scenario, you have spent some time and have a canoe to show for it. Best case scenario: you have a confidence boosting boat as a constant reminder that a little determination, courage and hard work pays off!

Me and my Bulwark

Since this canoe has become such a powerful reminder, I am set on taking it to Minnesota. It is a race against the clock to paint and varnish the canoe before the big move. So far, after a week alone on Walden Pond (Cedar Creek Lake), it is looking pretty shiny and polished.

I appreciate that Mike leaves the finishing for our own leisure (or rush).  It let me brainstorm and problem solve and led to personalization that come with independent work. I chose the solid wood stain colors, ordered a Forstner bit, learned about sandpaper grit, thinned and applied varnish. (I felt one with the canoe, just kidding!).

Image

The final product is a few days away! Stay tuned for part II: Canoe on Camry.

Best of luck with your Canoes! Let me know about the projects that rejuvenate you!

GMI

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