Materials



Tom Byers follows the traditional construction techniques used by countless generations of his native forebearers.

Using only a few simple tools, such as the crooked knife, froe, hatchet, wood mallet, awl and shaving horse, Tom transforms material collected from the forest into functional works of art.


Each canoe is built by Tom and takes a minimum of 350 hours to complete.


A typical canoe consists of birchbark, over 37 hand-split cedar ribs, 50 wafer-thin cedar sheathing, full-length gunwales and caps, deck ends, birch thwarts, about 500 feet of spruce/jack pine root lacing, and two quarts of spruce gum/bear fat waterproofing.

Unlike many birchbark canoes made today, Tom Byers does not rely on nails, milled or planed lumber, or commercial black tar/rosins on the outside seams.

He truly builds canoes using the "old ways."

Consequently, each canoe built by Tom Byers is unique.

No two are alike.

What distinguishes a Tom Byers’ canoe, however, are the graceful lines, sweeping curves, and careful attention to detail that are the hallmarks of the St. Francis Abenaki, Maliseet, and Algonquin styles.

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Tom Byers
1518 Grassy Lake Road
Whitefish, Ontario, Canada
P0M 3E0

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