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Thread: Canoe Paddle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Schenectady, NY
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    Canoe Paddle

    I bought a new (to me) solo canoe recently and want to build a paddle for myself. I have looked around the Net for kinds of wood used and have seen everything from Maple & Cherry to Basswood and Red Alder used to build up a laminated type of paddle. Hardwoods are kind of heavy for this application. Spruce has been suggested on some websites. I happen to have a bunch of nice clear Western Red Cedar on hand. Any thoughts if this would be strong enough for what I want to do ? I am going to add in some thin pieces of Cherry and Mahogany for looks and strength. I am planning to use West System epoxy as the adhesive as advised on several paddling websites.


    Suggestions, thoughts, warnings all welcomed.
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Don just a thought, but if you used a light wood like cedar and then wrapped it with light fibre glass cloth and expoxy as they do for the canoes would that not add to its strength. The glass would almost not be seen if its done like they do on the canoes.
    cheers

  3. #3
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    Schenectady, NY
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    Great Suggestion !

    I was planning on doing that on just the bottom 4" or so to protect the blade from rocks and things. Glassing the whole thing would make it pretty heavy possibly.

    Thanks for the input.

    Start your canoe yet ?
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

  4. #4
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    WRC is all I ever use.


    Check out Kurts page. He makes some beautiful paddles.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/ngc704/paddles/
    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

  5. #5
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    NH
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    Used to be an old timer round these parts that made paddles. He made a bunch of them and would use nothing but ash.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
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    ABQ NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Orr View Post
    ...as advised on several paddling websites...
    I know it's the result of my depraved mind, but that just sounds bad right there. Anything else you'd like to share with the group about these paddling websites?

    Glad to see Jeff chimed in, since he's built more boat paddles than anyone else here that I can think of.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    You're a sick man Vaughn-but that's part of your charm.

    Thanks for the input Jeff. I spoke with some of my kayak friends last night on the water and they said the same thing about the Greenland style paddles. One was not sure that WRC was appropriate for a canoe paddle shaft though. I think I might try it to see if it will work and get my process figured out. I'll try and take some photos along the way.
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

  8. #8
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    this may sound blasphemous, but here goes...

    when i built my kayak (18 ft sea kayak) i decided to make the paddle as well. not being as wise as i am now (or probably cheaper), i made it out of a perfectly good bit of borg 2x6 pine. i then laid out the lines from a template (smarter and cheaper) of the blade, and the connecting handle. if i remember correctly, the whole thing was just a touch under 6 feet long. i cut out the shape with my jigsaw, and faired out the blades, and rounded over the handle to a comfortable thickness with my belt sander. after all was looking fair and good, i sanded it with 180 grit, and painted it with some nice brown paint from the garage. funny thing is, when i took it out, it worked rather well, and it went with the kayak when i sold it. another funny thing was that it was a lot lighter than it looked, only 2-3 lbs. after pulling in one afternoon, one guy was admiring the kayak (also made of wood), and wanted to take a look at the paddle. we were a couple of feet away from each other, and i gently lobbed it to him. the look on his face when he discovered that it didn't weigh a ton was worth it.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  9. #9
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    Donn, be sure and check out the web site I linked too in my post if you didn't. Kurt is making hollow shafts out of WRC. I have made a couple and the shafts cam out great. The paddles weren't much to brag on though. But it plenty strong.
    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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    Schenectady, NY
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    Thanks Jeff

    I forgot to check out that site the other day. I just went there and read the whole thing. He makes it look pretty easy. I'll have to try that in the future. I'm mostly a turner and not the best around tablesaws. His pictures and descriptions are very helpful though.

    Thanks again!
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

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