I’m so excited to be blogging at long last about the truck canopy Cam built. This project has been in the works for about 5 months!
It all started with the milling of a large sitka spruce that had been abandoned on a powerline right-of-way. Cam had spotted it a short distance off a road early last winter while mountain biking. It wasn’t until the spring that he actually got around to milling it. The section of tree Cam milled was 14′ long and 66″ in diameter. It was big job but he came away with approximately 300 board feet of high quality inexpensive lumber. The milling took two weekends, and some free labour from friends Keith and Kevin. Cam blogged about it here.
Cam has long wanted to build a cedar striped canoe or kayak so this project was an excellent testing ground for the methods and materials involved. He spent a good couple days on the canopy design itself. It wasn’t easy for me to see Cam’s final vision from the scaled drawings; he’s a true craftsman.
From the milled lumber, Cam built the canopy frame and half the planking. The other half of the planking was made from cedar. The 1″ x 1/4″ planking was milled with a cove and bead for better joinery. Many hours were spent fiddling with a big stack of small pieces of wood. This whole process was complicated by the fact that it had to be done outside in a makeshift lean-to on the back of the house. Through terrible rain, wind and stormy weather Cam slowly glued and clamped two strips of planking at a time. It was then left to dry before more pieces could be glued on. The true difficulty came with the complex curves on the top surface.
Cold weather meant that Cam had to find a temporary indoor space to finish the planking. Once it was planked and sanded he started the fibreglassing. This meant one layer of fibreglass and three layers of resin. The last coat was quickly completed during a terrible wet and windy storm. Cam finished the roof rack on the canopy just in time to load up for our raft trip to celebrate BC Rivers Day.
The windows were salvaged from a free derelict canopy. We have the side windows from that canopy also but haven’t decided if we want to put them in yet. I think I love the finish enough I don’t want Cam to cut big openings in the side to put the windows in.
I felt so proud each and every time someone complimented Cam’s craftsmanship.