Over the years, I have done a lot of sewing. Originally, I made backpacking and climbing equipment for my own use. As I became interested in woodworking, I started to make tool cases and bags. More recently I make tool rolls and bags for my own use, and accept the rare custom commission. This past week, I made myself a new daypack.

A new Tool Bag:

I designed this bag 38 years ago after a bag that Simon Watts had. I made and sold them for years. I am teaching the construction of this bag at the Wooden Boat Festival late this summer in Port Townsend, WA.

Make A Canvas Bag Friday 9/10/21 12- 1 PM Woodworking Stage - John P. McCormack

A New Daypack:

I needed a new daypack, and do not like the over tailored compound curved packs available currently. These packs have delicate zippers to bend around the curves. The zips are not sturdy enough to last the life of the other materials in the pack. The purchased alternative is a sturdy, durable, tactical pack, but the visual language of same, suggests fur-clad, horn-hatted knaves.

 DAYPACK front

Version 2


Version 2

A Baker’s Utensil Bag:

Recently a baker needed a case to organize and transport her utensils. This is my design.

A Spinnaker for my kayak: 

Spinnaker Johnstone Strait

                                                                                           Sailing in Johnstone Strait

The rig is versatile. A friend of mine suggested the concept of the Transformer Toy as a Design Idea. That is, an object can sometimes be used to do two or more things. This Spinnaker rig is uses a cheap telescoping boat hook as a mast. It also functions as a hook to reach one’s bear hung food when kayak camping. The spinnaker pole becomes an axle and the tabernacle with the dihedral deck stringers become the structure of a boat cart, with the addition of some cheap hardware store wheels. I sailed across the US/ Canadian border NW of Bellingham, WA in ’98 with this rig strapped to the deck of my touring sea kayak. The next day, I ran downwind in snotty conditions, at hull speed, from Lummi across Bellingham Bay, to finish that year’s trip.

© John P. McCormack 2019 & 2020