I'm Jim Dodd, a lifelong craftsman who has spent the last 45+ years, self-employed building furniture and cabinets. I began building custom made cabinets, then on to hand painted children's furniture. After that, I started an unfinished furniture plant that sold furniture in 7 different states. During that time, I have personally designed and built tens of thousands of pieces, my house, and almost all the furniture in it.
I have a passion and craving for learning new skills, and over the years have learned pottery, water coloring, stained glass, fly tying, decoy, and bird carving. I have made longbows, recurves, crossbows, and even geodesic domes. I do have to admit that my attempt at taxidermy was a failure. They looked like roadkill and stunk up the house!
My normal process is to work at a craft until I'm pretty good at it, then move on to the next one. However, building and paddling these beautiful little canoes is more satisfying than anything that I have done. Every one is a jewel that I am proud of. Think I'm going to stick with this a while longer.
Here in Virginia, handmade woodstrip canoes are not very common. Expect to get many compliments from other people when paddling one down the river. The most common comment I hear is, "That's a piece of art!" They maneuver beautifully with a kayak paddle, and are a pleasure to use.
This was the very first canoe I built by hand in 2014. It has a black finished bottom and glides smoothly in the water. It weighs 40 lbs, and is 13'4" in length.
This wood strip canoe is made with darker cedar wood with a double wide light pine strip. Model 2 weighs 36 lbs, and is 11'4" in length.
This is a little shorter wood strip canoe. It is 9'3.5" in length, and weighs only 29 lbs. Model 3 is made with walnut, white pine, & cherry.
The model 4 wood strip canoe is made with thinner white pine strips at the top. It has dark walnut captured ends. It has 2 seats. This canoe weighs 41 lbs, and is 12'6" in length.
I made model 5 for a friend. It also has 2 seats and is made with a combination of dark/light/dark/light wood strips. This wood strip canoe weights 45 lbs, and is 12'6.5" in length.
This canoe is made from unique western red cedar. I haven't been able to get my hands on this specific type of wood again. It is the only model I have made with a removable cowl on the end. The other light wood used is white pine. Canoe model 6 weighs 43 lbs, and is 12'5.5" in length.
Model 7 was made earlier this year. It is made with white pine, cherry, & walnut. It weighs 42 lbs, and is 13'4" in length.
I recently finished this canoe earlier in August. It is made with the model 2 form. It weighs 42 lbs, and is 11'3" in length. I have been told that this canoe is the prettiest of all the wood strip canoe models I have built thus far.