Bob Mills

Phone:  248-540-8658       e-mail:  ramills@comcast.net


Joinery Workshops in June, 2011

There are two joinery workshops being given in June.  Mortise and Tenon Joinery is being offered by John Fitzgerald on Saturday, June 4th from 10 am to12  noon.  Cabinetry Doors and Joinery is being offered by George Fletcher on Saturday, June 18th from 9 am to 12 noon.  Both are "hands on" workshops and are described more in the May Guild Newsletter and on the calendar page of this website.        RAMIlls

Boat Building Books

The Guild has recently purchased 8 books on strip building canoes, kayaks and row boats.  Guild members can access the books through our library.  The books are listed below in arbitrary order..

1. "Featherweight Boat Building"  by Henry "mac" McCarthy (The original Wee Lassie instruction book, It contains complete plans for the canoe hull forms but lacks a lot of construction detail..)

2.  "Illustrated Guide to Wood Strip Canoe Building" by Susan Van Leuven (Focus is on the Wee Lassie, lots of pictures giving great detail about the building process.)

3. "Canoecraft: An Illustrated Guide to Fine Wood Strip Construction"  by Ted Moores (Good plans for the strongback and lots of other building details.)

4. "KayakCraft: Fine Woodstrip Kayak Construction" by Ted Moores (Companion book to "Canoecraft...".)

5.  "The Strip-Built Sea Kayak" by Nick Schade (Tables of offsets for three rugged beautiful boats you can build.

Lofting is discussed and is required to use the offset tables.)

6. "Building Strip-Planked Boats"  by Nick Schade (Complete plans and instructions for a dinghy, a canoe and a kayak you can build.)

7. "Strip Built Cano" by Randy Folsom (How to build a beautiful, lightweight cedar strip canoe.  Contains many tips and details not in other books.)

8. "Woodstrip Rowing Craft" by Susan Van Leuven (Large number of photographs of the building process and extensive written descriptions of the details.  An awesome book!) 

SketchUp Workshop Schedule for May, 2011

  I am available Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning, Thursday afternoon or Friday morning for the 2 - 3 hour introductory SketchUp workshop.  These workshops are one-on-one, the morning sessions are from 9:30 to 11:30 am and the afternoon sessions are from 2 to 4 pm.  Give me a call at 248-540-8658 to setup a time or for more information.  Bob Mills

Another Wee Lassie being built; April, 2011

Jim Doig who lives in Dearborn Heights, decided to build and has just started the process of building a Wee Lassie.  He and I found a bunch of pre-milled cedar strips and a no longer needed strongback for sale in Grand Rapids which he purchased.  A set of forms also came with the other things, but unfortunately they are for a Wee Lassie II which is 13' 6"" rather than the 11' 3" Wee Lassie.  So Jim is in the process of making up drawings for the Wee Lassie forms from McCarthy's book "Featherwight Boatbuilding".  The great thing about Jim's effort is that he is 85 years old and still going strong...................Awesome.

Wooden Canoe Building Workshops

  Any MWG member interested in getting some hands on experience with the "Strip" building technique call Bob Mills at 248-540-8658.  I currently have a Wee Lassie partially built and am willing to use it as a group project.  The canoe hull stripping has reached the bottom (football shaped portion) and needs completion (fitting strips).  After that the external stems will be added (laminating and bending thin hardwood strips) followed by a lot of sanding.  Once the sanding is complete the exterior of the hull will be fiberglassed with 5 coats of epoxy and (of course) more sanding.  I will update this notice with additional information (work status) periodically.

  My shop is located at 31636 Auburn Drive, in Beverly Hills, (48025), near 13 Mile Rd. & Greenfield.

 Update of work progress on the Wee Lassie (November 1, 2010).  A significant amount of sanding (fairing the hull) has been done (Kevin Knowles and Bob Mills).  One half of the bottom "football" shaped area has been filled in with strips and the hull mid-line along the keel has been established and faired (Bob Mills).  Work is continuing slowly.  Call Bob to join the work team.

Larry Scruggs building a Wee Lassie Canoe, December, 2010

   Larry has started work on the Wee Lassie Canoe, a double paddle single person canoe, using the strip building technique.  The strongback is built (on casters for ease of moving), the forms are all cut out  (using 1/2" 5 ply plywood for stability) and mounted on the strongback.  Attaching the forms as the diagrams (in the Featherweight Boat Building book by H. "Mac" McCarthy) show, Larry discovered errors in the placement of form #7 and the length of the stern stem form.  After correcting these errors the shear strip (the 1st strip placed on the hull at the upper edge of the canoe) did lie in a fair smooth curve over all the forms.  

  To get on with building the hull Larry purchased four, 4/4 x 8" x 12' flat sawn planks of cypress, ripped them into 1/4" x 3/4" x 12' strips, and routed a bead on one edge and a cove on the other.(Note: The use of cypress rather than the traditional cedar (usually western red) will result in a slightly heavier canoe and since the wood is harder than cedar sanding will be more labor intensive).  See some pictures on the PHOTOS page as of Dec. 28, 2010.  New pictures added January 2nd  and January 3rd, 2011.