Builder Stories: Family Project by William John Beyette
Some of the most consistently inspiring stories we hear about at Bear Mountain are multi-generational. On the one hand, it’s great to see woodworkers spending quality time on a meaningful undertaking like canoebuilding, passing on skills to their kids and grandkids. On the other, knowing that younger people are engaged in the craft speaks to its enduring vitality and appeal. William John Beyette recently sent us a prime example of a successful family project.
William was drawn to the Bob’s Special after seeing an older cousin’s model decades ago. The name stuck in his mind, and finding himself retired and stuck at home through the pandemic, grabbed a copy of Canoecraft and rekindled his interest. His granddaughter Zara had been his “fishing companion and helper since she could walk,” so the pair sourced some red cedar planking and got underway.
As an apprentice electrician, Zara was a confident tool user and William reports her sometimes taking the lead as the project progressed. The pair trimmed their Bob’s Special with ash gunwales and cherry decks, completing the beautiful canoe seen below over the summer. Like many people, they found some solace in the woodshop during a trying time. In William’s words, “Zara working on this with me is probably the best thing that’s happened during this last year.”
It’s not hard to see why – enjoy William and Zara’s progress and launch photos below!