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Rick Nash, Master Craftsman

Discussion in 'Birchbarks, Dugouts and Primitive Craft' started by Rob Stevens, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Rick Nash is a birchbark canoe builder.
    Woodland Heirlooms;

    He also makes other traditional items. Here's the most recent he shared (permission to re-post given);

    "This is a 'Trade Axe',circa,1750's, that I finished making recently at nights in my spare time. The axe head is made from a forge,and was given to me as a gift when I first came to Canada back in 77. It was raw forged, and I spent time shaping the tool head with files,such as, shaping the bowl, the emblem below the bowl,and ring pattern around the bowl. I put the axe head on top of the wood stove until the head was hot to touch,and I applied gun blueing until the color was right. Buffed with steel wool then. The handle is made from tiger maple from Kentucky,given to me last year by one of my longrifle makers down there. I hot wired the hole through the handle with a 1/8th steel rod...took 5 nights and Rowans Creek bourbon. The length of wood was then shaped by axe and files,scrapers and steel wool. The stain is steel wool,dissolved in nitric acid,very dangerous ****,swabbed on,and heated to color over a flame. Linseed oil is then put on and heated by flame and burnished with burlap.I made up some bees wax,wax, and buffed to a shine. The mouth piece is made from moose antler,filed and scraped to shape,also hot wired through. The axe is 22 inches in length." Nash Trade Axe08.jpg

    "This a detail shot of the axe head where I made a cover plate from a 1921 silver dollar. I pounded it out on the anvil,and then cut off the ends to make the pins/nails to fasten the plate down. I did the engraving with a small triangular file that I worked for a tool,and chiseled the pattern in. The edge was also filed to shape. The pin is a clean out plug."
    Nash Trade Axe10.jpg
  2. Dylan Schoelzel

    Dylan Schoelzel born in a canoe

  3. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I had the opportunity to first meet Rick while he was working at the Kanawa International Museum of Canoes, Kayaks and Rowing Craft (the Canadian Canoe Museum now holds the Kanawa collection)....he is a master was incredible to watch him work....I last spoke with Rick and his wife Doreen at the Canoe Museum's memorial to Kirk Wipper in May....but hope to visit with him next time I'm in Haliburton....his work definitely speaks for itself....thanks Rob for sharing this....
  4. beaver

    beaver Birchbark CanoeingBuilder

    I am also honored to have met Rick back when he worked at this Museum near his home in the early 1980's. He's the best!
    Thanks for Posting Rob.

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