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!

Finished truck canopy

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.

About to get started for the day.The final undercutBashing out the wedges

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.

Big and LittleHomeMost of the day's take

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.


Cam's Truck CanopyA wonderful way to wake up in the morningSmoothWorking through an intense storm and into the night

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.

Loaded up and ready to go!

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.

Finished truck canopy

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17 Responses to Spruce And Cedar Strip Canopy

  1. erin says:

    what a beautiful journey from fallen tree to useful canopy. Thanks for writing it all down and bringing life to the learning that you all take on. You’re an inspirational family.

    Cam your words had me laughing…you’re a terrific writer, in addition to a brilliant wood craftsman….keep going!

  2. Grammie says:

    Amazing story … Cam, I love your blog posts – I’m glad to have seen this in progress when I visited and to have witnessed some of your hard work. Looking good.

  3. elementsofmylife says:

    I’d like to second Erin’s comments. It’s so lovely to see what came of that tree on the side of the road and I look forward to following your adventures with the new canopy. Do you have more on your rivers day celebration?

  4. Jacinda says:

    That is beautiful, the product and the process. Awesome

  5. Dawn Suzette says:

    Wow! It looks amazing and what a process. Wonderful job Cam. I can see how you would not want to put the windows in Annie. It is so beautiful just the way it is.

  6. debra says:

    oh my gosh, this is so beautiful!! i’d be conniving how to use a truck canopy in the middle of my living room…the wood and the craftsmanship are just beautiful. what a skill to be able to look at a fallen tree and see this possibility.

  7. Wow Annie, that is amazing! Beautiful!
    Warmly, Lisa

  8. sarah says:

    W O W & double W O W ! !
    craftsman indeed.
    what beautiful work. i love hearing of connected spouses, when they are proud of one another and share that with others.

  9. Ella de Roeck says:

    Fantastic Work! I love that cam’s blogging now too ~ love his blog title :)

  10. Courtney says:

    It IS amazing! Each morning I go to work I dive by your House and an amazed each time I drive by and see the canopy! Beautiful! Cam is always working away on something! haha

  11. Justine says:

    Oh wow. What a fantastic labour of love. Looks like Cam for sure. Didn’t know he had a blog….gonna check it out.

  12. Annie says:

    Thank you so much, everyone!

    I totally agree that Cam should keep blogging. He has a couple drafts but finding the time to write has been hard for him, especially with the busy summer season and well, his personality isn’t at peace in front of the computer. Maybe more in the winter…

    L- I have many pictures from the weekend that I’m slowing looking through- blog post soon!

    Debra- HA! Maybe not a canopy but you could have a version of this in a play house, although I guess your girls are getting too old for this… hmmm…

    Ella- hee hee. Cam has slightly different goals in living I guess!

    Justine- isn’t he one of the last people you’d think would blog?! Ha. It’d be like you blogging!

  13. k says:

    that is such impressive workmanship – a true craftsman indeed!

  14. Just have to echo everyone else’s comments. I found it so wonderful to see something built from wood like this… from a fallen log to finely wrought functional thing!

    Thanks for sharing the process — both you and Cam!

  15. mb says:

    super cool! can’t wait to hear how the future canoe project goes (was there enough wood for that, too?) quinn’s dad is a shipwright by trade and has a half-finished strip built canoe in his shop, it takes some pretty mind-blowing skill. :)

  16. mb says:

    oh cam’s title IS hilarious. so great. let us know if he goes on a big posting binge so we can follow along.

  17. Annie says:

    Thank you Stacy and MB!

    Oh Cam, would love to see more of that project. Cam’s thinking about going back in the spring to mill the other half of that big tree for more lumber. We still don’t have a concrete plan for when the canoe/kayak project will be taken on.

    I’ll definitely let you know if he posts more often!

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