Well, the survey results are in, and I have put together a schedule for January and February.
The courses will all be here in Flagstaff at my big ol’ shop. I work on a donation system: about $60 a day seems to make it worth our time and cover costs of running the shop. I do not have lodging available, so you’ll need to move in with a friend or find accommodation somewhere.
Due to insufficient demand, we won’t be doing Stand-up Paddleboards this year.
In order that everyone gets sufficient hands-on time, courses are limited to ten participants each.
If you are ready to sign up for one (or more), send a $100 deposit (refundable up to two weeks before the course) to me, Brad Dimock, 1000 W Grand Canyon Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. First ten deposits received for each course win!
Building the Briggs Grand Canyon Dory
An eight day course, from lofting to beginning to deck her out. This is the classic Grand Canyon boat, but equally lovely for many rivers of the West: Green, San Juan, Yampa, Upper Colorado, Salmon, Snake, Rogue, and so forth. It’s a big boat–nearly 17′, and accommodates a boatman, four passengers, and a lot of gear below decks. We certainly won’t get her done, but you’ll have learned all you need to know to build and complete one at home.
If plans go well, we will already have one hull complete at the beginning of the course. Some folks can divert to working on decking and other finishing skills, while others work on building a second hull. On the last day we will raffle both of them off to anyone who wants one for the cost of materials (and labor on the pre-built hull).
Four-day course. We will be making patterns, pounding sand molds, pouring bronze, trimming and polishing. We mostly make oarlocks, deck hardware, bow-eyes and stern-eyes, but the possibilities are endless. It is loud, smelly, smoky, filthy, scary, wildly fiery work. Oh yeah—all those fun things at once. You will also learn how to make your own low-cost foundry at home. Additional cost will be around $8 per pound for any castings you take home. I am planning to have two foundries running for this. You will need safety glasses, non-plastic clothing, and leather footwear. No exceptions.
So many people want to do this that I will be running two courses. Five days each. To my knowledge the perfect workingman’s oar is no longer being built, nor has it been for many decades. We will be making some oars from scratch and reshaping others to make kinder, gentler oars for the working boatman. We’ll work on shaft shaping, blade carving, leather wraps, mild counterweighting, and oar tips. If you already have oars but they seem heavy and clunky, we may be able to fix that. Or you can start from scratch.
I am currently trying to secure a mountain of decent ash lumber from the East Coast—whether or not that happens may determine how many oars we can make. Ingredients are tough to find. I also have some Port Orford Cedar on hand. Cost for wood for a new 10′ oar would be around $60+