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Thread: Paddles 2013

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    Paddles 2013

    Kind of late in the season, I know, but I promised my #2 son to make him a paddle this year. He outgrew the one I made him early last year, so this one is adult sized. As well, I wanted to make myself another one -- beaver-tail this time. (My first one was an otter-tail shape.)

    Here's one being clamped and glued...



    Ash shaft, walnut, ash, paduak, and ash (counting out from the center, same on both sides)



    And here is the other one being laid out as I'm arranging the strips...


    Ash shaft, Cherry, Ash, think piece of padauk, yellowheart, another thin strip of padauk, and then finished off with ash.
    It's almost like making a cutting board out of contrasting strips of wood...

    (That is referring to the blade, pictured below. The arrangement for the handgrip -- in both paddles -- does not quite match that of the blade. For one thing it is so much smaller that it wouldn't all fit. But I do try and keep from the same assortment of lumber pieces. Usually off-cuts from the pieces I prepare for the blade get used in the grip.)


    You could just make them out of one piece of wood, but where is the fun of that? I love sorting and piecing it out and going for visual affect.

    Just getting started here. Give me a few weeks and I'll post the finished products.
    (I posted more detailed build photos on my website last year, so no need to do that again)
    Canoe Paddle 1
    Canoe Paddle 2

    ...art
    Last edited by Art Mulder; 08-20-2013 at 12:23 AM.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,698
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    You could just make them out of one piece of wood, but where is the fun of that? I love sorting and piecing it out and going for visual affect.
    ...art
    You answered my one question before I could ask it +


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251

    Re: Paddles 2013

    Way to go Art. One item that is on my bucket list. Both the canoe and the paddle.

    I read ur site write up and wondered how you would fare shaping something like that on a shave-horse where one can clamp and move the workpiece continuously. Would make for all sorts of tools such as draw knife spokeshave and rasp.

    Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk 2
    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nova Scotia, 45N 64W
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    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    Kind of late in the season, I know, but I promised my #2 son to make him a paddle this year. He outgrew the one I made him early last year, so this one is adult sized. As well, I wanted to make myself another one -- beaver-tail this time. (My first one was an otter-tail shape.)

    Here's one being clamped and glued...



    Ash shaft, walnut, ash, paduak, and ash (counting out from the center, same on both sides)



    And here is the other one being laid out as I'm arranging the strips...


    Ash shaft, Cherry, Ash, think piece of padauk, yellowheart, another thin strip of padauk, and then finished off with ash.
    It's almost like making a cutting board out of contrasting strips of wood...

    (That is referring to the blade, pictured below. The arrangement for the handgrip -- in both paddles -- does not quite match that of the blade. For one thing it is so much smaller that it wouldn't all fit. But I do try and keep from the same assortment of lumber pieces. Usually off-cuts from the pieces I prepare for the blade get used in the grip.)


    You could just make them out of one piece of wood, but where is the fun of that? I love sorting and piecing it out and going for visual affect.

    Just getting started here. Give me a few weeks and I'll post the finished products.
    (I posted more detailed build photos on my website last year, so no need to do that again)
    Canoe Paddle 1
    Canoe Paddle 2

    ...art
    Nice project Art. You made him an heirloom!

    As Rob said, this is one of the things on the list, boat AND paddle, but Debbie says I have to build a houseful of furniture first. Could be a year or two before I get to this

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,698
    Man I thought I was the odd one out (at least everyone around here looks at me like I'm weird when I talk about it) - who here DOESN'T want to build a boat

    I have two on the list, a high prow canoe and a sailing skiff - but no idea when or if it will ever happen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    Welllll, I thought I'd take more photos anyways....

    Here is the 2nd paddle now glued and in the clamps:


    The next step is to clamp it up to the bench at an angle like this:


    ...And establish the centre line of the blade. Note that the central shaft is the main reference. THAT is the core of your paddle. If the other pieces slipped while gluing, you need to ignore them and base your centre line off of the shaft piece. Once I have the central line, I measure 1/4" on either side of it and mark out those lines.


    I also continued those lines around the edges of the blade as well.
    I then took it over to the big bandsaw and ripped along those lines. This requires a bit of care, to make sure I am straight alone the line. It helps a whole lot if you were careful during the glue up, so things are as true and square as possible. This does not mean my blade is going to be a half inch thick. Rather, I need to leave space for planing it down, and also leave space for accidents or slop on the bandsaw. Also, I try to have it a bit thicker at the middle, for strength, and then planed thinner at the edges.


    I turn the blade out of the cut before reaching the shaft. I want the top of the blade to be thicker. Again, for strength


    On my previous paddles I cut out the shape first, and then ripped the blade thinner. This time I thought to do it the other way around. It seemed to work a bit better.
    I continue with marking out the centerlines, this time on the face of the blade and shaft, and then I trace my template for the blade shape and cut it out.


    And here is my son cutting out the shape of his paddle. (remember, I making two at once this time.)
    If you are wondering where our other hand is in this photo and the previous, you have to remember how LONG a paddle is. When Bandsawing, I find I need to hold one hand near the cut, but the other hand needs to hold the paddle way out to balance it, and steer it into the cut. It is VERY HARD to cut a paddle on the bandsaw in a small shop, since I am constantly swinging that arm all over the place as I make the curves at the tip of the paddle blade. I regularly bang into things. It was quite nice having my son on hand (I normally work alone) as he could move things out of the way as I made the cut.


    Final step today was to do my impression of Sam Maloof with some .... ah, creative freehanding of the grip-end of the paddle through the bandsaw. Like Sam has said, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to others (note how my piece is off the table while I am cutting) but it works for me.


    And that is about all for the power (cutting) tools.
    There might be a bit more tweaking of the shape on the bandsaw, but after this most of it will be the work of the hand plane and the stationary belt sander.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  7. #7
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    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
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    Nice informative trip, thanks for letting us tag along! Some day I keep telling myself...like Rob, definitely on my to do list.
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Time for a (long-overdue) update...


    Okay, I have a long stretch here with no photos. In part, I took a bunch of photos last year during my first adventures with making paddles, which are on my webpage (part 1, and part 2). The other reason, is that it was a very frustrating experience.


    Both of these paddles have a main shaft of air dried ash. I picked these boards up last fall (fall 2012) from a local Amish mill Southeast of London, and they had been recently cut. I let them sit and dry in my garage for the winter, and then around May I picked one and brought it into my shop in the basement to finish drying down to aroun 8-9%, as I was planning on using it for this project.


    I have not used Ash that much in the past, and never at all with a lot of hand tool work.


    In these paddles it was an exercise in frustration. I found the wood to be really, um, stringy. Not sure if that is the right word for it. I would try planing it, or using a spokeshave, and it was going fine, when suddenly a piece would just peel back along the grain and rip a deep chunk out of the paddle. Drove me nuts. Is Ash prone to that? I ended up doing a LOT more sanding on these paddles than on previous ones. On my last set of paddles I planed them down a lot more before switching to sanding. This time I actually pulled out the 50-grit belt and slapped it on my stationary belt sander and used that quite a bit for flattening the blade (and getting rid of those gouges that I dug into it with my planing efforts).


    That said, the end result is still pretty nice...


    Here they are, both sanded and vacuumed and hanging ready for finish:



    Close-up shot of the blades. We were going to carve in our initials, but I'm not a carver and don't have proper carving tools. So I thought I'd try using a dremel. Wisely I tried first on some scrap and when that looked horrible we fell back to making up a stencil and using a marker to write our initials. The finish covers it up and seals it in quite nicely:



    The paddles are hung from some wires hanging from the ceiling. A small hook/eyelet is screwed into the grip, which leaves just a small hole to be dealt with later:



    And a few days later, and five coats of Spar varnish (minwax helmsman) we've got this...
    After each coat we sand lightly with 220 grit -- progressively lighter touches with each coat of finish. After the final finish it is a buffing with some 3M scotchbright sanding pads. It's rather difficult to take a picture of an entire paddle, as it is so long and skinny. My paddle is the one on the right, with an ash shaft surrounded by cherry, ash, padauk and yellowheart strips. My son's paddle is the one on the left, also with an ash shaft, but surrounded by black walnut, ash, and padauk strips.



    Another view. Once they get in the water and get banged on a few rocks, they'll never look this good again, but it sure is sweet to see them now...



    Here is a closeup of the handles, which shows the tiny holes left from the hooks. They have now been filled with a dab of epoxy and a splinter of scrap ash, which I'll clean up tomorrow...



    And one more look at how they are so far:
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  9. #9
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    Art, those look great, nice craftsmanship there! As a point of curiosity, do you intend to apply a clear epoxy coating, or other means, along the end of the blade to protect it from chipping from rocks, etc?
    Thoughts entering one's mind need not exit one's mouth!
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  10. #10
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    Nice job! They look great. I made a double ended one for my kayak and it was a fun project. I always wanted to do a "birdsmouth" shaft (I think that is what it is called). I did it on my paddle and it was fun. Someday if I get back to it I will make a birdsmouth mast for my little 12' sailboat I started 8 years ago.
    Last edited by Paul Douglass; 09-17-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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