Blog - Tales From The River & Workshop

Lee Boards "Morris Style"

Having looked at the variety of lee boards and their shapes in Todd Bradshaw's Book I then went to look for suitable timber amongst my recent off cuts and "bits that are generally in the way" pile! Unfortunately I didn't come across anything suitable for the one piece designs but luckily I found a plank of very warped, badly sawn Sapele that was very twisted and as thin as 10mm on one side whilst the other edge of the plank was around 23mm rough sawn. This makes it not much use for many things but it could be planed up and cut into relatively narrow pieces to make a Morris style Lee Board. I combined it with some sycamore off cuts from a table top I made recently and planed, glued and sanded

Sailing Rig Lee board bracket.

Having studied different lee board bracket designs in Todd Bradshaw's book I decided on the Morris style set up but with my own cabinet makers twist. Where the cross pieces join the working faces I am adding a dovetail for extra strength. Having prepared the parts I cut the tails. and then marked and cut the sockets. then I cut the end pieces to a more pleasing shape I also made a pair of extra large buttons to hold it to the gunwales. I then glued up the dovetails and temporarily screwed the other blocks in place before checking the position of the buttons on the hull. I left it at that for now and the blocks will not be fully fitted until I have the bolts that the lee boards pivot on in pl

Sailing Rig Mast Part 3

After a good sanding I set up the tool rest (also on my work mate) and with care was able to turn the top of the mast into a pleasing dome shape. I will leave the very top of it to be finished later but for now I wanted to coat the whole thing in Epoxy. This will have two functions. One is that it will seal the mast and two it will provide a slightly harder wearing surface than varnish alone. Next I drilled two holes and cut away the timber between them with my jigsaw to form a slot in which I will fit a pulley later. I was in the process of putting resin on my lee boards of which more later and had some left over so I set up an extra slow rotation device in the form of a cordless drill atta

A Quiet Paddle on the Brecon Canal

The Brecon Canal is not far from where my brother lives so I was able to combine a visit to him with a bit of paddling. The first time I paddled this Canal it was on the section from Brecon to the Star Inn at Talybont. This time I decided to try and start around the same area where I finished last time. I found the Star inn on the map and another pub with a car park adjacent to the water a bit further on.However when I got there it looked like they mught be busy so rather than occupy one of their valuable spaces I drove a little further up the road and found myself a convenient spot to put in. The tunnel was ahead of me and all was quiet with nobody coming the other way so I entered and padd

Making a Sailing Rig for Wooden Canoes Part 1 The mast.

A while ago I read Todd Bradshaw's wonderful book “Canoe Rig the essence and the Art” This is an absolutely stunning book and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Canoe sailing and as many of you who may have this book may have already guessed I have become inspired to make a sailing rig to sell with my canoes! There are many different types in the book but at present I have started making a mast and some lee boards and will proceed with a rudder and so on. I started with cutting segments for the mast which is going to be made from 8 pieces of Cedar with a pine core at the base, boom area and top.I did a test run with an off cut to check I had the saw angle set correctly. Then I plan

Sotp Big meet Day 4 Dodging rocks in moving water on the Ure.

On Monday although some folks had gone home there were still a number of paddlers who wanted to paddle and I was one of them.It had also been raining so there was more water in the river particularly on the section above our campsite which meant we could do a trip starting up river at Mickley. We loaded canoes onto Greg's trailer which was really handy as it meant less shuttling and we were running quite late.The put in was at the top of a path that led steeply down through a wooded area about 200 yards to the water. We had several trips up and down the path with canoes and kit and then we got onto the water.You can see one canoe halfway down and another is just visible at the bottom. It was

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