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 Post subject: Paddle Construction
PostPosted: December 19th, 2004, 10:59 pm 
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Joined: May 13th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Woodstock, Ontario Canada
I just have a few questions for those of you who have built a paddle in the past as I am looking at making one this winter. Does it matter what kinds of wood you laminate together? (I am looking at using cherry, and black walnut) Also what kind of epoxy or glue would you use to laminate it? For a laminated paddle is it recommended to wrap at least the blade in fibre glass?

Just a few questions I can think of off the top of my head!

Any suggestions/ideas are appreciated!

Thanks

Matt

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 8:43 am 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2003, 8:26 pm
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
I've used Cherry, Walnut, Ash, Bass Wood and Cedar with good success.
Carefull of some oil exotic woods.
I like to use only epoxy, left over from glassing boats.
A waterproof glue would probably work, but never tried it.
I want the strongest bond out there.
Some of your laminates will get fairly thin.
Never glassed the blade yet, adds weight, but would strengthen it.
See my post below for paddle finishes (oil vs. varnish).
I recommend the book, "Canoe Paddles" -A Complete Guide to Making Your Own, by Graham Warren & David Gidmark.
You will need a rasp, plane, spoke shaver and lots of sand paper.

Happy carving,
Doug

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 9:49 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Matt,

IIRC, there's at least one specialized West epoxy that's not recommended for bonding wood - but generally, ordinary epoxies should be fine, and create a glue joint stronger than the wood itself. Don't use cheaper polyester resins instead of epoxy, the bond strength will not be good. The woods you mentioned should be fine, but heavier than a paddle made with wood selected for lightness.

Splitting at the tip is more likely to be a problem than epoxy laminations failing - if that starts to happen after several years, you can sand the tip a little thinner and glass the last couple of inches. Glassing the entire blade to prevent splitting shouldn't be necessary, if the blade is a reasonable thickness. Varnishing the blade rather than oiling might make epoxy repairs easier down the road, and as others have said, might be better for the laminations.

Glassing the entire blade might also result in a poorly-balanced paddle, where there's no good balance point at the grip near the base of the blade. This was mentioned recently on another board, where $300 custom paddles turned out to be blade-heavy because of the glassing there. In that case, the suck, ahhh... the customer... would be overpaying twice for that exquisite piece of craftsmanship - first in dollars, then in needless energy being spent when paddling.

Here's a page describing good grain orientation to choose for paddles - this might not apply so much to laminated paddles, since the glue joints will add to the warp resistance and strength. But planks such as "D" should be avoided as a source for laminations.

http://www.blazingpaddles.ca/tips/paddle_tips/index.htm

Rick

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 11:31 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Matt,

I've built / carved a number of paddles. My motivation for making them is to get a light paddle, thus most of the paddles I've made incorporated cedar in one way or another. I use the same epoxy used to build my stripper, West expoy, and have not had any issues with delamination.

As for wrapping the paddle in a layer of figerglass, yes I've done that, but only once, as it does add a noticeable amount of weight to the paddle. I had used 6oz fiberglass. Had I used a lighter weight glass I suppose it would have weighed less, but in retrospect I don't see that wrapping the paddle does much more than add weight.

To minimize splitting on the end, especially when using cedar, I have used a piece of fiberglass cloth on the last inch or so. Another method I have used is to make a mold shaped like the end of the paddle, but slightly larger, and pour epoxy in the mold, and place the paddle in the mold. Once it hardens and cures it is sanded into shape.

I used the the paddle making portion of Canoecraft as my guide when first embarking on the paddle making adventure.

cheers

moe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 1:34 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
I've built a couple. I too started with Epoxy (West System 105/205). That worked fine, but I got experimenting. I have successfully used Gorilla Glue for building paddles. It's easier to apply, and I've never had a joint break. I've never used the Titebond polyurethane knock off, but I suspect it would work also.

Wood selection and placement is key to building a good paddle. Most first time builders use too much hardwood (ash, oak, cherry, walnut, or exotics), and the paddle ends up being far too heavy.

I've gone to using pretty much only white and red cedar, redwood, spruce and basswood in paddles, with ash on the edges and tip. There is a reason why most paddle builders use those same materials in laminated paddles.

Best of luck..

PK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 3:40 pm 
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Joined: June 27th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Brampton, Ontario Canada
Where do you find the wood to make paddles in Ontario? I have been looking for some cherry since the summer and haven't been able to find it. I live in Brampton but would be willing to drive a distance to get some.

Ray


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PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 4:22 pm 
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
In order to prevent the tip of the paddle from splitting / chipping.
After I have rouphed out the paddle shape, I cut, with a hand saw (smaller to larger width cut) a slot down the center line of the paddle tip. The slot will measure a width of about 1/8 - 1/4 inch by about 3/4 inch deep. The slot will run the circumference of the paddle tip (a "C" shape). I then duct tape the slot, all but the top (about 1/2") an opening. In a sence you make a mold. I then pour epoxy into the mold / slot. As it settles add more epoxy (1/2 hour). Takes a day or two to cure. Finish off your paddle as you like.


Raymond, find a saw mill for "rouph lumber", yellow pages, word of mouth.

Happy paddleing
Doug

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 20th, 2004, 6:18 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Raymond wrote:
Where do you find the wood to make paddles in Ontario? I have been looking for some cherry since the summer and haven't been able to find it. I live in Brampton but would be willing to drive a distance to get some.

Ray


Ray, Look in your Yellow Pages for Woodworking Supply Stores. These usually have hardwoods for furniture builders. Brampton is surely large enough (325,000) to have a woodworking supply store. The costs for Cherry, Walnut, Maple, and even Ash at these places can be pretty high per board/ft. But It's easy to get them in sizes useful in paddle construction.

PK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2004, 2:52 pm 
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Joined: September 28th, 2004, 6:52 am
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The wood you use depends upon what you like most in a paddle.

If you like light weight in a touring paddle that wll get some abuse laminating the shaft with red cedar or sitka spruce in the middle and thin (i/8") layers of ash front and back works nicely. If you make a bent shaft paddle and know which side is the front al the time you need only put the ash on the forward side (Paddles usually break in compression rather than tension). Make the blade from either red cedar or sitka spruce. I have had good luck with glassing only the bottom 2". I have made hundreds of paddles this way and have lots of happy customers. My own paddle (5 degree bent shaft) weighs 540 grams and has seen rough use for ten years

If you do not abuse your paddle you can make an extremely light paddle using just red cedar with sitka spruce or basswood veneers on the front and back of the shaft. I have a kayak paddle made this way and it weighs 725 grams. I once made one of all Red cedar but it broke :(

I believe an all sitka spruce paddle would hold up well if you used aircraft or ladder grade. Sitka and basswood are rather bland looking woods so i never used them much. Basswood is very cheap and easy to find in clear boards though. Where to get wood? I always bought from Oliver Lumber in Toronto. I think they require a $200 minimum order but when you buy clear stika spruce or red cedar $200 doesn' t go all that far. If you have trouble finding clear red cedar try one of the companies that make saunas. They usually have clear 2/4's and sometimes wider stuff.

I always used epoxy for gluing (West or System Three) but suspect others would work just fine. I also varnish. I rub the shaft and grip down with extra fine steel wool to get a surface something like an oiled shaft which seems to be easier on the hands.

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John Winters


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2004, 2:53 pm 
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Paddle Physics 101;

http://www.blazingpaddles.ca/tips/paddl ... htm#effort

All the best in this Hoilday Season
Doug

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"Some people hear the song in the quiet mist of a cold morning..... But for other people the song is loudest in the evening when they are sitting in front of a tent, basking in the camp fire's warmth. This is when I hear it loudest ...."



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2004, 4:53 pm 
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Joined: July 18th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Mounds View, Minnesota US
I've made a few, both straight and bent.

I basically copied Peter P's paddles, see link, which are laminated cedar with hardwood edges.

http://www.wildwoodpaddles.com/wp/index.html

I started with epoxy resin but had trouble with the joints starving, so I went to the poly glue, (Goralla knock off), it worked much better. I did make a jig to clamp the laminations together and keep them straight.

To resist blade cracking I glued a maple strip to the working edge of the paddle blade. I also put 1 layer of 2 oz glass on both sides of the blade. The paddles came in at around the 22 oz Peter's paddles weigh.

I used scrap woods left over from other canoe projects, red and white cedar, redwood, cherry, butternut and mahogany.

Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: December 23rd, 2004, 7:08 pm 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2003, 8:26 pm
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Jwinters,

You stated; "My own paddle (5 degree bent shaft) weighs 540 grams and has seen rough use for ten years"

Tell me more.
Please

Is that a solo paddle?
Why 5 degrees, as opposed to (a standard) 14 degrees?
540 grams!
What kind of woods are you laminating for that?
What are your wood sequencing patterns for the shaft & blade?

Doug

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"Some people hear the song in the quiet mist of a cold morning..... But for other people the song is loudest in the evening when they are sitting in front of a tent, basking in the camp fire's warmth. This is when I hear it loudest ...."



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