Canoe Caskets Let You Set Sail On Your Final Voyage
Once back up to the gunnel the boat was beginning to really take shape, much more than I had thought. It was no longer a collection of ideas and techniques on how I was going to do this, it became well, it started to take life and become something. The collection of parts and techniques had created something without me at first realizing it, it was growing into what it was to become, and from this point on it wasn't only the prototype but the first of it's kind. This was about to become someone else's someday . I would remember things I have done, notice marks in the wood, pencil notes here and there, all this thought, all this engineering, and this part of my life was embodied into this creation. This is way more than just what it is, it has my story in it, it has a piece of my soul in it. This one would be the only one like this, so unique and no other one could claim this originality , it is the genesis for all the others to come.
"My hands, they have been over every section over and over and again and again until I found what I wanted to see and feel."
It's a piece of furniture with a nautical flair and has three lives. In one mode it's a set of shelves, a book case, using the bow and stern sections, similar to others that have been made but designed with a few extra features. In the second mode the parts are assembled and the other features employed to which it becomes a canoe casket for the "Final Voyage". In it's third life it becomes the memorial, the shorter bookshelf or stern becomes the memorial. This can hold the urn if you'd like.
The total length is about 11 feet, width about 28 inches, height about 19 inches. Two sections are removable, the bow and stern which leaves the middle section of about 7 feet. The shorter bow section is about a foot long and the longer stern part is about 3 feet.
It's construction is all wood, no metal fastener are used in the finished product. Wooden bolts are used to secure the boat sections and the strips are of the "bead and cove" method of building wood strip canoes. Unlike in typical wood strip core canoes no fiberglas outer layer is used, it's a pure wooden structure. It was designed as a piece of furniture and not as a boat so it's not meant to be floated in water.
Both the bow and stern sections mount to the main body of the boat in the same fashion. There are wooden dowel pins that are put into place at the bottom/back and the smaller section is aligned and mated then secured with the wooden bolts. In the bookshelf mode there are separate designated "feet" to be used that are based on the wooden assembly bolts. There is also another set of breasthooks, the small triangle shaped pieces that can if desired be used instead of the pieces that mate to the top cover. The top cover can also be used as decor and be converted into another set of shelves, or used as is in other artfull ways. When the time comes the top cover is secured using the the smaller 1/2 wooden bolts, the so called nails in the coffin. The storage for the bolt pieces are in the area behind the breasthooks.