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Thread: Greenland paddles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Greenland paddles

    Just finished up a new paddle and thought I would show it off.

    Every couple of weeks when I go to the lumber yard I go down to the basement and look through the western red cedar bin where they keep the 2x lumber. Mostly just junky, knot ridden boards. But the other day I could hardly believe my eyes. Obviously a lumber grader let this one slip through. A beautifully straight grained piece with hardly a knot in it. I have never seen a nicer board around here. Needless to say I grabbed it quickly. I found one other decent one and got it too. It's a simple case of I take what ever I find that is usable even if I don't need it. I will latter on.

    I took a break from the TV console and built me a new paddle last Saturday. I took some photo for the web site today.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is all my good ones. I have a couple of experiments and works in progress in the Lab. And yes those skinny sticks do work just fine. Much easier on the shoulders and you are less tired at the end of the day too. They surprise everyone that tries them. Most don't want to give them back after paddling with one.

    Fist one is the one I just built. Beautiful piece or WRC with Cherry tips.Next is the first GP I built. It's ugly and of the four sides of the blade each one is different. I learned a lot making that paddle and it is still my favorite for some reason. Just feels right.

    The last one was an experimental thing. Works well and has a hollow shaft. So it is an amazingly light weight paddle.

    Here are closeups of my latest two. The darker one with the stripe has a pretty irregular grain and makes a beautiful paddle but straight grain is much preferred but the strip down the middle gives is better strength I think.

    The light colored one is the new one. I tried it today an I like it! I am going to offer that one for sale though. I have a piece of wood I am saving to make me that 'perfect paddle' out of. Just haven't settled on exactly I want. But this one is close! I made is little longer and really like it. I will paddle with it till it sells and then improve the next one.

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    new york city burbs
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    they look great jeff,

    AFter you glue the tips on, do you just finish them with any marine varnish you have laying around or do you specifically use one brand.

    have you tried any redwood, or are there too many knots to use it? real lightweight stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Reno NV
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    You and that kayak stuff are going to get me in trouble some day...

    Beautiful work Jeff....
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807
    Ah HA!

    That is where that perfect 2x4 went, I was looking for it at the DIY place last time, they usually send that stuff over here to Japan

    Nice looking paddles, and I have to say, that while my kayaking experience is not great, all the paddles I've ever used had a LOT larger heads than those ones.

    Maybe you are on to something with those paddles Jeff

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Schenectady, NY
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    912

    Cool !

    Very nice paddles Jeff ! Some of the people I paddle with have made their own mostly out of WRC. They have not used the added tips though, just solid wood. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this difference. One guy made one from Eastern White Cedar and it's light but way too flexible for him.

    There are a few advantages to this style paddle. Made of natural wood which feels nice, they float, they look good and work very well. We have several paddlers in our group that can roll their touring boats with them. Surprisingly, there is about the same or even more surface area of paddle in contact with the water with a GP than there is with a "normal" paddle seen mostly today. They have been around a long time for a reason

    Have fun on the water !
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    The Heart of Dixie
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    I put the tips on mine because of rocks. Cedar is soft and I am just adding hardwood for protection. Often fending off and pushing off of rocks. And I like the way it looks too.
    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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    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Beautiful. How are the tips fastened? Aren't you concerned about the inherent weakness of the cross grain?

  8. #8
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    I had a chance to visit with our former doctor today, he is retired but still volunteers his time. Enneyhow, he has made several racing canoes, mostly just light (very light) frames covered with thin Kevlar. But, he still makes paddles and enjoys that as a hobby. I asked how the tips are fastened. He said they are just glued on then the paddle is fiberglassed. His personal paddle has lasted 12 years in our rocky streams and rivers. So, it must work OK. He did say some builders rabbet the tip into the long strips of the paddle before working the wood down to paddle shape.
    Last edited by Frank Fusco; 11-17-2008 at 10:55 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Beautiful. How are the tips fastened? Aren't you concerned about the inherent weakness of the cross grain?
    Hi Jeff

    Great looking paddles but I have the same question. Can you show us the joint you used on the end? Then I noticed from the pictures that the blade seems pretty thick like more than a quarter inch at the edge also the centre pole looks heavy so it led me to thinking what do these paddles weight and why such a heavy set middle section?
    cheers

  10. #10
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    Well the joint on the end, I don't have a photo of I don't think. But it's just a V cut in the end of the blank and the tip has a pointed v on it. But you can just butt joint them with epoxy and that works. Just hard to clamp it in place.

    These photos are actually a little old. I learn as I go. : I have since gone back and changed these two paddles. Long story and I will skip the details. But I had one paddle I loved. First one I made, lots of ugly in that paddle but it just "felt" better than anything else I made. Finally discovered why, the the edges of the blades needed to be rounded over. I had cut the first one to thin, I thought. But that was why it felt different. So I have gone back and redone the three I have and while I can't explain or describe it, they 'feel' much better now!

    Back to your question. The paddles are thin on the ends. The blades taper from the end getting thicker as you go toward the handle (loom). I like a thick loom, it's more comfortable to me so mine are probably thicker than most people make theirs. But you can make them whatever you like.

    As for weight they will surprise you at how light they are. Much lighter than all but the Carbon Fiber paddles. And I have some very special Cedar that will give Carbon Fiber a run for it's money. I have one good piece sitting in the basement waiting on me to figure out that perfect size paddle. Then I am going to make me a paddle out of it. I wish I had some scales to weight them but everyone comments on how light they are.
    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

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