Builders of Wood & Canvas Canoes and Classic Rowing Boats

Build Your Own Wooden Canoe or Kayak

Paddle Making Workshops

Canoe paddle workshop:

March 30 & 31, 2018 (Friday evening 6-9 and Saturday 9-5)

In this class you will make your own canoe paddle from either a variety of laminated woods or with a single-species, cherry, for a traditional beavertail or Ottertail blade. Pre-laminated shafts will be supplied for you to glue up the blades and grips to.

We will hold the Friday evening session at Bent Paddle Brewery located at 1832 W. Michigan Street in Duluth, MN. Saturday class is in our shop in Knife River.

A discussion of the various types of paddles and how to size a paddle to an individual will take place Friday evening and there will be time to glue up your individual paddle. Saturday will be spent paring the wood down with hand tools to make a fine canoe paddle.

Cost: $100 plus materials ($30 to $50 depending on type and species)*

*options include a laminated basswood straight shaft ($30), a laminated Basswood bent shaft ($50) or an all cherry traditional shaft and blade ($35).

It should be noted that you may not have time to finish the carving and/or sanding of your paddle. You will be provided with some varnish to take home to finish the paddle there.

Canoe paddle-making registration form

Canoe Building workshop:

May 11- May 17, 2017 (Held at Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum, Spooner, WI)

This class is offered for anyone interested in learning to build a high-quality wood and canvas canoe. We will build a canoe using white cedar ribs and planking covering all the steps necessary up to (not including) the finishing steps of painting and varnishing. A member of the class will have the option of buying the resulting canoe for the price of materials.

Cost: $750 ($700 for WCHM membners)

A downpayment of $350 is required with your registration.

Contact me for further details.

To registar call Jed at the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum 715.635.2479


Other Classes

We may be scheduling other group classes in our shop, please contact me if interested.

Private Sessions - $250/Day Plus Materials

Kim's PalI will schedule one-on-one classes for individuals to build their own boat. Any of our stock models can be built with my instruction and full use of our shop. Custom boats of other designs can also be built. This option allows you to select your own convenient time to build your very own boat. I will not build your boat for you though I will be available to explain and demonstrate the required steps and offer any assistance you need. You may bring a helper if you wish for a slight additional fee.  Cost for these classes is $250 per day ($275 with a helper) plus materials ($1050 to $1550) depending on canoe model. Groups building two and three canoes can be accomodated for a reduced daily fee. For prices for groups and for all other boats please call for a quote). Please call or e-mail to arrange  time and dates. You are encouraged to watch our video prior to attending a canoe-building private session. One half the price of the video will be refunded to those attending a private session.

A deposit of the cost of materials is required. Please call or contact to schedule.
Cost: $250/day plus materials


" Alex combines classical music, Zen & yoga to create a relaxed atmosphere where work becomes fun. I found skills I never knew I had and built a canoe I will admire, cherish and most importantly, use for years to come. Thanks Alex for helping me fulfill a dream!".

~ Mike Davies, Finland, MN
"I finished the kayak. Thanks so much for helping to make this a reality. Spending the week learning from you was important to my sabbatical journey".

~Tim Nelson, St. Paul, MN
" Alex had prepared the stock before I arrived. We worked steadily the first day and the days to come. He gave me room to build my own boat, but was there to help when I needed it. In the end (eight days) I had on the canvas and two coats of filler. Thanks again, Alex, for all your help. I will be proud to paddle this beautiful canoe for years to come".

~Jim Okkema, Harvard, IL
"The best thing I did this summer was to stop by and talk with Alex and he suggested we build this boat together".

~ "Ole" Ollila, Helena, MT


Articles On Canoe Construction

One-off wood and canvas canoe construction

Building a One-Off Wood & Canvas Canoe

Dacron for wood and canvas canoes

Slideshow Presentation

Available Lodging