Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The wooden frames are done

The wooden frames are done

Here we are, at day 5 and all of the wooden frames for the qajaqs were done yesterday and oiled with linseed oil. The looked beautiful in the evening light.


We started out saturday and finished the frames over a course of four days. Everybody worked fast and long days and we had e few more helpers coming in to join us. Jane Rosalind and Peter Gengler. Peter is well know for his short movies on kayaing and biking. Look him up on Vimeo. You won't regret it!



Starting out with to skinny sticks. Anders shows how to prepare mortises for the ribs.


Ben working on his gunwales.


Jannie helping Francis with the lineup inside the gunwales on the bow.


Now we have started the prosess of shaping of the deck.


After the deck is done, we mount the stern and bow and then last the keel. Making everything ready for bending the ribs.


Here we see the keel and the frame before the ribs are bent.


Ron lashing the bow of his west Greenland style qajaq. In the end everything that holds the frame together is dowels, lashings and the skin.


With the stern, bow and keel in place, Anders starts working on the ribs. He bend ribs for eight qajaqs in record time.


 ... so a break is eventually needed!


Here is Rebeccas Iqyax with the ribs done. She was the first to get those done. She does look happy :).




After the frames are done we started oiling the frames. We worked in the dark and the group teamed up again and everybody helped everybody. Qajaqbuiling in only 6 days are highly build on a team effort.



An here we are on Wednesday morning. Ready for skinning. Calmer days awaits :).


The group photo. The Iqyax frames are shown as number five and eight. Anders and Jannie in the middle.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Building class at Delmarva Paddlers Retreat

Here we are at the end of day two at the Qajaq build at Delmarva. A group of hardworking participants are working on 6 westgreenlandic qajaqs and two Iqaks (baidarkas). The are as follows:


Abbie an Ben from Arnold, Maryland. building a west Greenlandic style qajaq. they both work in the spaceindustry. 


Dan from Maryland building a west Greenlandic style qajaq. Last time he went to Delmarva was i the early 90ties.


Rebecca, Kensington, Maryland who builds an Iqiax with her very own support team represented by Dubside himself.


Francis from Maryland, she is working as a conservator at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab and has both a professional and personal interest in qajaqs.


George from Washington DC, building a westgreenland qajaq. Also known as Peter Genglers friend! Peter will join him tonight and help out on the rest of the class.


Ronnie from Maryland, building a west Greenland style qajaq. Ronnie sells kayaks for a living at Easton Cycle & Sport.


Terry from Massachusetts building a Iqiax (baidarka).

Other than that we are still Jannie and Anders. Anders is the masterbuilder and Jannie the little apprentice and our host Chris Beckman. Well we will save them for later :)!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Kayak building in the US

The last couple of days and weeks I have been busy preparing a semi-huge project - going to the US to give a kayak building class. This came into being at the Delmarwa Paddlers retreat some years ago. We did one class that went well, and after a year we would do another one. That happens to be now :)

Delmarwa Paddler's retreat has been going on as greenland style kayaking event for 30 years. It's a yearly event, arranged by Qajaq USA, the American branch og the Greenlandic kayaking association.

It happens next weekend, where a bunch of people from all over the country will meet to socialize and exchange skills and knowledge. Prior to the weekend event, 8 of the participants will be building their own kayaks.

These 8 people signed up for the class half a year ago. That is a full class. I've been in touch with them forehand to figure out what kind of kayak they should build, so that we could prepare the right materials.

At home in Vestfossen, I made the cockpits and other technically difficult kayak parts. I stuffed it all in my slightly oversize and overweight luggage, and went over from Oslo to Washington DC on Tuesday.

Chris Beckman picked me up at the airport. Chris is the main organizer of the event. After a few stops at local breweries, we finally made it to his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.



Yesterday we started preparing the main part of the materials. We went to the lumberyard and bought a bunch of very fine 16' whipe pine boards, that we cut up and planed into finished kayak materials in Chris' driveway. It didn't look much like a driveway anymore...

Chris had already prepared a huge bunch of red oak for ribs, cutting, planing and finishing the edges really nicely. a half day's work saved for me :)






Sunday, September 29, 2019

Autumn so far

I feel like it has just begun, and I feel as if it's almost over - autumn.

Days are getting much shorter. Early mornings are dark and evenings get darker every day.


It feels like yesterday we had the rolling festival in Vestfossen..


After rolling festival, I've been doing different practical projects in the workshop.

I've made a bunch of paddles. For customers, and new variations of old paddle designs by myself. I'm in the process of rethinking all my paddles for the future. With that comes experimenting with new shapes and sizes, finishes, woods, colors and more.


Harpoon and Aleut style paddles for Bjørn i Tromsø. All special and unique.


New epoxy edges on women's paddles, and below a cross between my reinforced and "special" Greenland style paddle. Maybe we'll have a "reinforced special" paddle in the future :)


I did a little restoring job on this pre-1960 kayak for a customer in Oslo. A very nice kayak that really needed some care. We added a sea sock to make it even better and safer, and I just got very positive feedback on the performance. The owner loved it!


I finally had the new sign for my church (workshop) made. My good friend Alexander designed it a while ago, but I finally had the time and money to get it printed and installed in the old message board that used to hang on the outside of the church.



Another "little" job I've been working on is a rolling kayak for a French customer. He wanted a red kayak, and he'll get a red kayak. The kayak is spruce/oak frame and nylon/polyester skin. 



Finally, I also had the time to work on a kayak from this winter. I's an old-style baidarka made for racing by me and my friend Jon David Jenssen, the rolling champion. Since this picture was taken, it has gotten ribs and stringers, but is still not ready for the water.


Today was a beautiful, warm and sunny day. Jannie and I went to the water to test the newest paddle board I've made and not tested yet.


A really positive surprise, that was!!! Fast, stable, well tracking and yet very maneuverable. We both agreed that this was the best board I've ever built...



Beautiful and light weight too :)

Now there will be no workshop time for the next two weeks. Tuesday I'm going to USA to do a kayak building class there. Jannie joins me helping with the class, and we'll end our stay at the Delmarwa Paddler's retreat. Lots of work and hopefully lots of fun too :)











Sunday, September 1, 2019

Rolling festival 2019

Rolling festival 2019

Rolling festival 2019 er is over. We had three days of good company and happy paddlers. A lot of the participants learned new rolls and hopefully all of them got a little more confident on using the greenland paddle. During the three days we were Dubside, Anders, Jannie and Jon David. It was a great crew. Every day ending with a special show from Dubside.


On Tuesday evening we had Karian showing pictures from Martin and hers trip from Jakobselv til Bodø.



On Wednesday evening we had our good friends Erling and Stein giving a very interesting presentation on their long paddle from Oslo through Russia and half way through Finmark. They wanted to paddle all the way back to Oslo but unfortunately Erling got sick and their trip ended very abruptly. Erling is well again and this year they continued to Tromsø and then came to give this presentation. It will probably be a while before anyone will take on the same challenge.


Besides that it was business as usual. Yoga/warm up in the morning, rolling and stretching. We forgot to take pictures this year really... even though it was the best rolling festival ever.









Before Dubside left we took a little work up the hills where you get a great view of the lakes surrounding Vestfossen.



See you next year!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Half a life lived as a kayak builder

I just ended summer's last kayak building class.

Again, a large group of student finished their kayaks in style. Even though they were very tired - worn out you may say :) everyone were very happy as the class came to an end yesterday. Thanks everyone for a great week!



We made 2 baidarkas, 5 general purpose Greenland style kayaks, a double baidarka, sea socks and paddles. The students came from Germany, England and different parts of Norway.

Thursday was my birthday, and I just realized that I've been on this planet for 48 years... and even more, half of my life, I've been working full time as a kayak builder! Half my life... kayak building....makes you think...

And then I dug up this old photo....


This picture was taken in the fall of 1996. It shows a part of my first group of students, posing in front of their new kayaks. 5 people built 5 kayaks that time. I'm in the background holding Olav, my son who is now a grown man.

This morning I made my first paddle using glasses....I'll spare you for the picture...

I find that older age is mainly good. I believe I still get wiser. And as it gets clearer that my life won't last forever, I try to value every moment, and get the best out of whatever time remains....


...Later in the afternoon, I went for a swim and realized that I had developed new skills walking on the water. Who needs a kayak?