uk wood for canoes..


Hi,
Does anyone know if it is possible to use any of the UK birch / or alternatives to create a birch bark canoe ?
Thx...
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JimmyHoffa wrote:

Canoes can be made with a number of different barks. The requirement is that the bark is fairly uniform and elastic. Spruce, elm, chestnut, hickory, basswood and cottonwood have all been documented as used. However, only paper birch has the properties that are highly desirable. The other barks will produce a canoe with shorter life and will be more difficult to work with. Source: The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America, Adney and Chapelle.
Mike
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I know that people here in Sweden have built servicable canoes from spruce (Picea abies) bark. Not great by any means, but servicable.

I expect that you will have a real problem finding a birch with the proper quality of bark (remember, they tried to use as few pieces as possible since seams are weak -- and leak! -- points).
Some more sources to look at might be:
Michael Kerwin GA-O-WO: Building an Iroquios Elm Bark Canoe Bulletin of Primitive Technology (6), 1993
Jim Miller Building a Birch-Bark Canoe Bulletin of Primitive Technology (20), 2000
David Gidmark The Algonquin Birchbark Canoe Shire Ethnography (1988), Aylesbuty, UK
Jim Dina, et. al. Making a Spruce Bark Canoe In The Wilderness Bulletin of Primitive Technology (26), 2003
D. R. Doerres Canoe Tree Bulletin of Primitive Technology (6), 1993
/Par
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Par snipped-for-privacy@hunter-gatherer.org
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Par wrote:

It's hard to find good paper birch here in Canada - the kind of big, old growth trees that provide a large enough piece of bark are getting rare.
I never realized how elastic paper birch was until after reading Adney & Chapelle and Gidmark and then playing with some bark while on a hike. Remarkable stuff!
Mike
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