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 Post subject: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 15th, 2011, 11:49 am 
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Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 940
Well, after years of consideration, I finally got around to building a Wannigan.
Many thanks to all the CCR contributors for all the helpful hints.
Here's what I came up with:

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I built my Wannigan in the traditional Keewaydin style. I agonized on how big to build it: I wanted plenty of space, but not so big that I'd be tempted to overload it...
I settled on a compromise between the Keewaydin traditional wannigan and the larger Keewaydin "Jewelry" wannigan.
The inside dimensions of my design are 22" x 13" x 15" high.

For construction materials, I used white pine laminated into panels, then planed down to just under 1/2" to keep weight to a minimum.
I also inlaid a piece of Western Red Cedar that I had left over from a previous paddle carving project.
I purchased the Tump from Temagami Canoe Company - one of the few retailers who still sell this type of traditional equipment.

I copied Keewaydin's style of "keying" the lid into the side handles, to prevent movement of the lid in all directions. This design keeps it pretty tight, when strapped down with the tump.

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Using a piece of advice from my buddy John at Temagami Canoe Co., I used the table saw to undercut the side handles at 10 degrees, to provide a better grip when lifting the wannigan in and out of the canoe. A minor detail, but makes a huge difference.

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I finished the outside with several coats of Minwax tinted Polyurethane, but left the inside natural. I'm currently in the process of building a cutlery tray that will fit inside, resting on two narrow rails attached to the sides.

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I built this Wannigan so that it sits perfectly behind the poratge yoke in my Langford Prospector - my favorite canoe. I haven't tried it in any of my other boats, but I suspect it will fit nicely in any full-size canoe.
It is also built so that it will fit perfectly on my winter camping toboggan.

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I'm very happy with the outcome.
We're leaving Friday for Temagami for her "Maiden Voyage".
Can't wait. :thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 15th, 2011, 12:15 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 8080
Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
Somewhat envious of that solid chest, here's what comes to mind:

"Yo Ho Ho, and a Bottle of Rum...."

:rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 16th, 2011, 7:57 am 
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Joined: January 26th, 2008, 5:29 pm
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Location: Toronto
Fantastic stuff...a project like this is on my to do list as well. Really like the keyed lid and the idea about undercutting the handles. Prefer this idea to the rope handles seen on some other wannigans. Thanks for the inspiration and posting closeup shots. Have fun on her maiden voyage!

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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 16th, 2011, 8:44 am 
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Joined: January 16th, 2010, 8:46 am
Posts: 299
Location: Ontario
Mike, nice job on wannigan....like Murat, I really like the keyed lid and the idea about undercutting the handles....instead of rope handles. Great work....thanks for sharing.

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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 16th, 2011, 1:24 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 1661
Location: Manitoba
I love it, nice work.

I find we also use our around the house, as an extra table, as a storage container, etc. so it does duty around the home whilst not on a canoe trip.

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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 16th, 2011, 2:23 pm 
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Joined: March 19th, 2008, 10:18 am
Posts: 3
Location: Toronto, ON
I love the box. After years of rummaging through a pack for all my kitchen stuff, I am going to build one for this year's trip (Noire River).

Help me understand how the keying of the top works? I can see the two side rail pieces keyed together. It looks like the top has to slide sideways to release the keying. How does this work with the "keyed rail" on each end.

You've got me. I give. What's the trick?

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 16th, 2011, 6:24 pm 
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Joined: August 6th, 2007, 10:05 am
Posts: 49
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA
Great job, Mike. Thanks for sharing the details.
May you have many years of use out of that home built wanigan!


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 8:58 am 
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Joined: November 14th, 2008, 11:05 pm
Posts: 13
That wannigan looks perfect, almost too beautiful to take on a canoe trip.

I would still recommend some kind of clear sealer on the inside to avoid having spills (especially anything oily) soak into the wood and to make the occasional cleaning of the interior an easier job.

The key system for the top is designed to keep the top from sliding horizontally so the edge doesn't dig into your back or neck while portaging. And also to keep the contents dry during rainy weather. With the tump line in place, the top is held securely in position. But the top is easily removed by simply lifting it vertically from wannigan itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 10:16 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
A wannigan is a tool and as such is specific to its intended use.
What I see is a strong box that can be taken out on trips with a bunch of folks that you can't be sure of how gently they'll treat this little chest. That's why it's stronger built than need to be if only used on personal trips - I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 17th, 2011, 5:23 pm 
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Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 940
Thanks for all the positive feedback - it really was a fun little project... :thumbup:

silverfalls wrote:
The key system for the top is designed to keep the top from sliding horizontally so the edge doesn't dig into your back or neck while portaging. And also to keep the contents dry during rainy weather. With the tump line in place, the top is held securely in position. But the top is easily removed by simply lifting it vertically from wannigan itself.


This is exactly how the "keyed" lid/handle system works. The key on the side handle that meshes with the lid prevent movement in all four directions. The only way to remove the lid is by lifting straight up.

With the tump in place, the lid is held tight and secure.


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 1:11 pm 
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Joined: September 15th, 2006, 5:09 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Toronto, ON
Mike,

How heavy is your wannigan?
Have you used anything in addition to glue to make it stronger?


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 7:25 am 
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Posts: 940
The completed wannigan weighs in at about 14 lbs. I know I could have made it lighter by using plywood, but I really wanted something that was aesthetically pleasing, so I opted for the white pine/red cedar combination.

I used brass hardware sparingly, in combination with a waterproof carpenter's glue to join the panels together. Specifically, I used 3/4" brass screws on the corners, and brass 'L' brackets on the inside - two on each inside corner for added strength/support.

This weekend was the wannigan's "Maiden Voyage" on an easy Temagami trip, and it performed excellent.
I think I'm now sold on the wannigan idea for all but my most lightweight trips.


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 2:27 pm 
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Joined: November 9th, 2010, 3:56 pm
Posts: 10
Spectacular work.

Does anyone know where one can get plans for a project like this? It looks like this one's a pretty one of a kind design. I'm not sure if I have the know how to just start from scratch...

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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 8:23 am 
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Joined: February 7th, 2004, 12:37 pm
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Location: Guelph, ON
I saw Mike's Wannigan the other day and it looks better then the picture.

It was a bit heavy though, but I discovered it had a lot of liquid stuff in it adding to the weight. :rofl:


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 Post subject: Re: Completed Wannigan Build Project
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 9:05 pm 
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Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 940
MichaelM wrote:
Spectacular work.

Does anyone know where one can get plans for a project like this? It looks like this one's a pretty one of a kind design. I'm not sure if I have the know how to just start from scratch...


Brian Back's book, "The Keewaydin Way" is a great source of information on traditional tripping equipment, such as the wannigans used by Keewaydin Camps of Temagami.

I modeled mine after the ones described in Brian's book. Also, the contributors on this forum were a great source of information.

If you like the idea of a wannigan, I say go for it. They're really not that hard to construct, and myself and others on these forums will be more than happy to offer advice. :thumbup:


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