Stripping and Planking
November 16, 2018 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Follow along as Jimmy Diresta builds a cedar strip canoe.

Back in 2008, a young Jimmy Diresta filmed his mostly-unknown pal Nick Offerman building a canoe for a DVD released by Bear Mountain Boats. That same boat would eventually be used by Ron Swanson on an episode of Parks and Recreation. All these years later Jimmy has built (and filmed) his own canoe.

Starting with a load of milled Western Red Cedar strips, a homemade strongback and some molds made on a Shopbot CNC machine (Nick made his molds the old fashioned way) the stems get steam bent and attached to the bow and stern molds. The strips are then mounted from stem to stem, lengthwise along the boat, temporarily attached to the molds using either staples (Nick's way) or a whole bunch of clamps, as Jimmy used.

Once all the strips are glued together you have something resembling a canoe, but you're not done yet. The inside and outside get lined with fiberglass mesh and epoxy. Gunwales and other details are built and attached. Seats are made (in this case, leather seats by designer and maker Taylor Forrest) and, along with hours and hours of sanding, scraping and a few hundred things I left out, you've got a boat.

You'll also need a paddle. Here's Jimmy making three of them and here's Nick making one with Martha.

Jimmy Diresta previously on MeFi. The canoe built in this video is currently on display at the Filson store in New York City.
posted by bondcliff (5 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
For more wooden boat building, Nick Schade has a youtube channel. You can follow along as he builds a cedar strip kayak or even build your own from his designs.
posted by peeedro at 10:42 AM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

peeedro: Building a strip built Night Heron is on my bucket list. There's a stitch'n'glue version, but it's not the same.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:58 AM on November 16, 2018

Building a dugout canoe is completely different, but this video really inspires me. Maybe not as much as the housebuilding one. Why not watch both?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:51 PM on November 16, 2018

Diresta is one of the very few reasons I check Instagram stories.
posted by DigDoug at 7:03 PM on November 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

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