The Making and Spreading of Dugout Canoes

By James Hornell, published February 1948


The task of hollowing a stout log to make a dugout canoe is best accomplished by means of a tool which has been in use since the times of Ancient Egypt: the adze. With this tool a dugout canoe may be hewn out of a log, a tedious task which can be facilitated if the wood is surface burned as the work progresses. Stability and carrying capacity of the canoe then can be improved by widening the beam or ‘spreading’. This is achieved by softening the wood and inserting cross-bars to force the sides to bend slowly outwards and so to increase the beam.

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Filed under: Antiquity | Other (location)
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

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