A nice clear piece of Douglas fir is going to be my first thwart. I say first, because I have a feeling that this is going to take a few tries to get right. It’ll probably be something that only experience on some portages will tell. Luckily it’s an easy part to swap in and out.

I just drew out the lines for it by guessing what looked right. No idea how this will fit my neck and shoulders.

Kerfs down to the lines allow the waste to be popped out easily with a chisel. If you have a bandsaw, then congratulations. I don’t have a bandsaw, yet.



I start shaping by chamfering the corners. Then I mark out centre lines and go to town with an axe to make the chamfers meet the lines. No photos of the axe fury unfortunately.



But this is where the axe got me to in a matter of minutes. Right tool for the job.



The sloyd knife and spokeshave do a nice job of turning the axed surface into fair curves.

It’s going to take some finagling to get the ends to fit nicely with the curved and angled inwhales. Can’t wait to get rid of that cedar 2×4 that’s been my thwart for almost a year. Soon to come. It’s getting so close I can taste it.