Monday, December 29, 2014

Valley Watermill Park & South Dry Sac River Greenway

After I cooked four huge meals for the family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my wife granted me a few hours to kill on the 26th. I took them north of town to Valley Watermill Park and the Dry Sac River Greenway. With only a short amount of time to blow through, Valley Watermill park can be nice quick fix if you want to take a walk or cast a Tenkara rod and fly. There are plenty of bluegill in the pond and some below it in the creek. This also seemed like a good time to test out the GoPro HERO camera a little further.

Valley Watermill Park

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Dry Sac River Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

Valley Watermill Park and the South Dry Sac Greenway

I'd like to explore more the South Dry Sac Greenway. I might have to ride my bike up that way soon to cover more ground in a quicker manner. I only saw one other person while I was there, a woman and her Vizsla dog.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kidyak Kayak Update: 12-15-2014

Untitled

I managed to spend a few hours in the garage on Saturday, shaping my daughter's Greenland kayak paddle. A draw knife is so much easier to shape a paddle with than just a hand plane, spokeshave and palm sander. I managed to do a much niver job on her paddle than I did for mine a few years ago. It came out very light and pretty.

Untitled

Dave Gentry Kidyak Kayak

Dave Gentry Kidyak Kayak

Dave Gentry Kidyak Kayak

Dave Gentry Kidyak Kayak

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kid-size Greenland Kayak Paddle

Following the specs in the build guide for the Kidyak kayak, I'm now working on the paddle to go with it. I managed to get it glued up from build scraps this week. Now onto the fun part, shaping!

Glueing up Gwen's kid-size Greenland kayak paddle.

Greenland kayak paddle blank, scaled down for a six-year-old. Now the fun part, planing and sanding it to shape.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kicking Boat Ideas Around

Teaching myself to loft a boat from a table of offsets.

I have been thinking hard about a rowboat for about a month now. I thought I'd settled on a design in the form of a rowing version of the Delaware Ducker in Howard Chapelle's "American Small Sailing Craft", but now I think I might need something with a little more capacity. I've contacted Ducker owners and asked them their pros and cons. It's really more of a one-man boat than I need.

American Small Sailing Craft - Howard I. Chapelle

I'm wanting a boat to row solo about 75% of the time, but having the ability to row two-up with a load of weekend camping gear and provisions. Something I can fish from, row for fitness, row out to some Midwestern lake islands to explore, à la Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" or just messabout in the fashion of the Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows".

One thing is fairly certain, I plan to build the boat in skin-on-frame. I kicked around cedar strip and lapstrake construction, but have decided to convert an older working boat design to SoF. It'll cut weight significantly, allowing me to easily cartop and pull ashore a boat in the 15-16 foot range. The key to making a boat useable is making it easy to use. Cutting ready and setup time makes it less of a chore and gives you more time on the water. That, the lack of registration and the added exercise is why I'm leaning towards rowing over sailing.

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Monday, December 8, 2014

So Much for That.

Beard today, gone tomorrow...

Off with the beard

Off with the beard

Off with the beard

Kidyak Kayak Update: 12-7-2014

I wrestled the rubrails onto the Kidyak kayak last night. Then I carried it into the living room to check the fit. Kid tested and approved. She's very excited to hit the water with dad this coming summer.

Checking out her nearly completed kayak. Needs some touch up paint and varnish, but it pretty much done.

Now to make her a small kayak paddle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

From Firewood to Utensil

About 20-25 minutes with a band saw and palm sander and you can take a piece of white oak firewood and make yourself a spatula or spoon. The firewood was cut a couple of weekends ago. See November's cabin post.

From firewood to spoon

Method: Take a log, make it into a board. Take the board and sketch a pattern or just eyeball it on the band saw like I did. When shaped, sand it with coarse grit sandpaper, followed by fine grit. I went 85 to 220, I think. Then clean your spoon in a mix of one part vinegar to 3-4 parts water. Let it soak in that for about 5-10 minutes. Dry and then oil with olive oil and Bob's your uncle!