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Thread: Building a paddle

  1. #1
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    Building a paddle

    We need some woodworking talk on here badly! So I decided I would just show another little project I have going on. I have a couple of people wanting Greenland style paddles. They are both avid paddlers and will be good advertising so I cut them a deal they couldn't refuse. Of course I made them promise if they were happy to tell everyone who made them.

    So I started with a couple of 2x4s of Western Red Cedar. I had to do a lot of staring at them to decide how to cut around the knots and still get a paddle out of them. Finally decided a lamination was in order since clear WRC is unheard of around here! I could minimize the joints that way.

    I chose a piece of poplar and a piece of pine mainly because that is what I had. Not great boat building wood but if they keep the paddles varnished it won't matter. Plus it's such a small piece they won't add much weight to the paddle.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is where they are at this point. I will run them through the planer once the glue dries and start drawing out the paddle on the blanks and hope there are not hidden defects when I start sawing them.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Looks nice Jeff, will be watching with interest. My son told me today that he'd be up for trying out kayaking. Just need to find a place close by to take a lesson or two.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    I always believed paddles were made of something hard like ash or white oak.or something very hard as to not dent

  4. #4
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    ozarks
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    many moons ago i built a pair of speed paddles for a canoe, they where pretty complex as the blade was both angled and cupped. i covered them in glass cloth and resin, they worked well but where to pretty to use fishing on the ozarks roch strewn rivers so i sold `em.

    here`s the results of a quick google search;
    http://www.potholepaddles.net/front.html
    http://www.hawaiiandays.com/PAD/paddle_all.htm
    http://www.holzcanoepaddles.com/functional.htm
    http://www.cricketdesigns.com/artic_spoon.htm
    http://paddlemaking.blogspot.com/200...ing-blank.html
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    I always believed paddles were made of something hard like ash or white oak.or something very hard as to not dent
    Oars often are and I am sure some paddles are too, but that would make one heavy paddle!

    We paddled about 15 miles Saturday. I think we were out 7 to 7.5 hours. That long of a trip I want a paddle that weights nothing! I am going lift that paddle in and out of the water thousands of times before the day is over. 98% of the time there is nothing around to damage the paddle. I add a hardwood tip on the end of mine, but some nicks and marks are inevitable.


    My lightest one weights somewhere around a pound I would guess. The one I am using in the avatar. It's made of WRC with walnut tips on the ends. I can laminate a thin piece of a hardwood along the edge too if someone wanted. But me, I prefer it as light as possible and I don't do anything with them typically that will damage the edges. Just the tips from pushing off bottom or keeping the boat off a rock or something.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6
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    I made this one as an experiment. In other words just threw it together. It has a hollow shaft with 3mm plywood blades. I don't have any way to weight it, but is is amazingly light weight. Everyone is amazed and I can actually shave a some more wood off the next one and get it even lighter.

    Not sure how the blades will hold up. I didn't want to glass them so I could keep the weight down.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
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    I dont think like a kayaker.
    Ive rowed hundreds of row boats, and I never thought about how the oars are held in place on the walls of the boat itself, not free held like a kayak paddle.
    I think of all the days Ive rowed in NY lakes with so many rocks, and how we used to use the oars to push ourselves away from the shoreline or rocks, always giving them so much abuse.
    Thats how I was wondering about red cedar, cause I think of it as such a soft wood.
    I learn something every day.

  8. #8
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    Big difference in having your oars supported on the gunwales and having to carry them all day. I would also imagine you can apply a lot more force to the oars because of leverage. WRC would be too flexible I would imagine.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  9. #9
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    Blanks are glued. I ran them through the planner to get the width close to what I want and squared up. Not that square much matters. Just makes them lay flat.

    Now I needed to add a hardwood tip. I had a lot of small peices of walnut and I like the contrast so I used it. It took some creative clamping to hold these in place. Not happy with this, but it works for now. If I start to sell these, I will make me a special clamps that is easier to use.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
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    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,452
    Jeff, That is some creative clamping. Probably had to tighten both top and bottom at the same time to keep it even.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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