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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 10:01 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
I thought that builders might like to describe their projects here and maybe provide some ideas to toss around.

Last year, I found an extremely light piece of western red cedar at a Home Depot - it was from a fast-growing tree and the growth rings were widely spaced, which created the lightness. I carved it into a thin, very flexible paddle and then encased it entirely in 6 oz fiberglass. It's become my favorite cruising paddle because of the springy nature of the fiberglass and the light cedar core... I don't think it's durable enough for tripping because of the softness of the cedar underneath, but so far it's been resistant to damage. I'm going to build a bent shaft the same way since the first worked out so well. Still looking for a good piece of cedar.

There were problems with the first, because the fiberglass sheathing stiffens the core greatly, much more than I had planned on and the paddle had a dead feel to it. So the fiberglass had to be sanded off, the blade thinned further and then re-glassed... it's now more flexible and the outer casing of fiberglass is where all the strength and spring is, with a different feel from a traditional solid wood paddle. The kinks have been worked out on the construction side of things and I'm hoping for more good results with the bent.

The other project, if there's time, could be Steve Killing's new Freedom solo:

Image

http://www.bearmountainboats.com/15-3FreedomSolo.htm

I really like the hull shape here, especially the cross section amidships combined with the shouldered tumblehome. The overall lines look like they'll make for a really great-looking canoe.

I still don't know how I'm going to build this, instead of cedar I might use foam core strips, and apply several layers of glass and kevlar on the exterior, then tear out all the foam, and stiffen the hull with foam core ribs. The construction details still have to be worked out with some tests on core materials, so this is only a maybe at this stage.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 10:35 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
FT,

Not to mess up your plans. But.... give some additional thought to building a bent paddle made totally of cedar. First, you don't see bent paddles with totally cedar shafts, because the cedar alone isn't very strong. I'd opt to laminate a thin layer of hardwood on the back (compression side of the shaft). That will add plenty of strength without adding alot of weight. The addition of glass will make the paddle pretty heavy, which really defeats much of the inherent mechanical advantage that a bent paddle has... which is the ability to paddle with a higher stroke rate while pulling the paddle from the water with every stroke. I would seriously strive for a bent paddle weighing less than 20 oz when complete, and getting down less than 15 would be optimum.

PK


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 10:57 am 
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PK,

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The addition of glass will make the paddle pretty heavy, which really defeats much of the inherent mechanical advantage that a bent paddle has...


Hmmm... I weighed the straight paddle I built with cedar and glass during construction, and the glass made up about 20% of the total weight, so most of the weight was in the wood. The bent might have different stresses on it as you point out, I thought that I'd reinforce where needed with additional layers of glass and that way maybe save the greater weight of wood. All grist for the mill at this stage though.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 11:09 am 
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Location: Just outside the Blue Line
I'll be working to finish up the cedar lapstrake canoe I helped build at a group class this summer. I won the semi-finished boat in a raffle and got to take it home. I already fixed all the goobers that occurred during the class and now I need to install the thwarts and breast hooks and varnish it before the heat gets turned on and it has to go outside for the winter.

I'll be making a 10' version of Nick Schade's boat Nymph (offsets and construction details are in the latest issue of Wooden Boat magazine) for my wife. 1/8" cedar (I'm going to use northern white and lots of splices to cut down the weight), the outside will get one layer of 4 oz. S-glass and the inside will be a Kevlar/carbon cloth...really spiffy looking. Hope to get the weight down to 15#.

After that, I am going to start on a very special project. I asked for, and was granted, permission to build a copy of the Bell classic solo canoe Wildfire. I fell in love with the boat after I tried one of the Placid Boatworks Wildfires at the Adirondack Paddlefest last spring. Bell no longer makes the design but Charlie Wilson (formerly of Bell Canoe) and Joe Moore are making the canoe under the Placid Boatworks name using the original Bell mold. Their version is beautiful and tough as nails but $$$$....much more than I can afford right now. The designer David Yost (DY) , Charlie and Joe all said I could make a copy (always ask first :wink: ) so DY sent me the plans. Awesome group of guys.:D

Frozen, that Freedom solo looks an awful lot like the DY designed Bell Merlin II (maybe a bit more stability) and that one is supposed to be a fantastic touring canoe. Good luck with it and make sure you post photos.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 11:24 am 
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Location: Saskatoon
Hi Frozentripper,
I'll look forward to seeing the Freedom Solo, like so many others that are eagerly awaiting a review of it's performance. Which version will you build?

On my list for this winter:
1. kids paddles (one for each of my daughters, some for friends).
2. A Tom Yost Sea Flea kayak for my daughter. Here's a picture of one nicely done. My daughter, Amelie, is pretty excited by this prospect and recently drew a picture of her kayaking.
Image
3. I also have long list of other things to do in the shop such as build a router table/stand, build a rolling table saw stand, build a lumber cart, improve the wiring in the garage (including better lights and 220V plug for a heater).

Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 11:27 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
BK, I haven't paddled a Bell Merlin but thanks for the encouragement on the similarity with the Freedom... the hull just looks like it'll perform well and I realize that building it without even having tried a test-paddle in anything similar is a gamble. Hey, canoetrips are a gamble, so why not building?

:wink:

Those photos of the Nymph you posted earlier looked great and maybe there are some building hints you could could suggest after building yours... at only 15 pounds, maybe there's a pack canoe somewhere in the future.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 11:33 am 
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Pawistik,

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I'll look forward to seeing the Freedom Solo, like so many others that are eagerly awaiting a review of it's performance. Which version will you build?


It'll be the 15'3" version... at the upper end of it's load capacity for me, OTOH, the smaller size will be lighter on the portage. All this talk about projects has me rarin' to go now!

Gotta go, maybe I'll find that perfect cedar board today.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 1:26 pm 
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pawistik wrote:
3. I also have long list of other things to do in the shop such as build a router table/stand, build a rolling table saw stand, build a lumber cart, improve the wiring in the garage (including better lights and 220V plug for a heater).


Bryan,

Here's a link to what I think is the best router lift available at any price. I have one installed in a frame I made that replaces one of my table saw's side wings. It is most definitely the cat's ass.

http://www.woodpeck.com/precisionrouterlift.html

I'll post photos and details of the setup I fabricated later when I have more time. It allows me to use the fence and table slots on my saw for routing operations and frees up the room in my tiny shop that would have been occupied by a dedicated router table.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 1:43 pm 
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Battenkiller wrote:
Bryan,

Here's a link to what I think is the best router lift available at any price. I have one installed in a frame I made that replaces one of my table saw's side wings. It is most definitely the cat's ass.

http://www.woodpeck.com/precisionrouterlift.html

I'll post photos and details of the setup I fabricated later when I have more time. It allows me to use the fence and table slots on my saw for routing operations and frees up the room in my tiny shop that would have been occupied by a dedicated router table.


Thanks BK. Right now I have one router and so it can't be dedicated to a table. The router has a Veritas table insert attached which allows me to drop it into the table or pull it out for freehand use. My table right now is a reinforced piece of scrap countertop (chipboard & melamine). I prop it up on a pair of sawhorses for use. What I want to do is build a box to put the top onto that will allow dust collection through a port in the back. The box can be stored under a bench when not in use and can be placed on the bench or a workstand for use. The table saw stand I mentioned earlier would be to fit my small/cheap saw and allow it to be stored out of the way under the bench when not in use, and would have a flip-up outfeed support and casters to move it around.
Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 2:52 pm 
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Location: Grand Marais, MN
I have a set of plans for the Freedom Solo. They are very well-done and worth the money. I'm very excited to see one get built. It's number three on the list for me right now.

My winter projects:
1. Finish my kayak build. (Release the form drawings, etc... after build is finished.) I'm getting close. Should be able to join the deck to the hull next week. Lot's of new techniques for me:
* Composite Recessed Deck Fittings.
* Composite Hatch Recesses.
* Carbonfiber Cockpit Coaming.
* Building a Composite Skeg right into the hull.
* New Deck Design with knee bump-outs.
2. Finish my latest twisted shaft, carbon fiber, cedar, ash, foam core paddle. It just needs final sanding, dyeing, and varnish. And then write about the newly designed jig for making this paddle.

Future Projects:
1. My adaption of the Modern Malecite Canoe. Test paddle and release the drawings.
2. The redesign of my Siskiwit Bay, the Siskiwit LV kayak. Test paddle and release the drawings.
3. Freedom Solo.

Image


Last edited by Bryan Hansel on November 21st, 2007, 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 2:56 pm 
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Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
I promised the wife I wouldn't make a boat this winter, and that I would settle for doing some paddles.

I really want to make this boatnext year, maybe even tackling doing in w/c.


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2007, 8:51 pm 
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pawistik wrote:
Right now I have one router and so it can't be dedicated to a table.


I see where you're coming from. Besides, this unit is made for a big router and is pretty pricey to boot. I had to think long and hard before I made the jump. I already had a Porter Cable 7518 so it made the decision a bit more logical for me.

FWIW, you don't have to dedicate a router to these lifts. My 7518 motor pops right out of the lift and into the original base in less than a minute. That leaves me with all the advantages of using a round base for freehand operations.

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PostPosted: November 21st, 2007, 8:12 am 
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Location: Clayton, NY
There are a few projects on the slate in the Dragonfly shop this winter...

I've got to build one of my Northern Foxes (based on the 14' Chestnut Fox) for a customer.

Image

Then there is a quick-n-dirty restoration of a 15' Old Town for the Antique Boat Museum livery.

Once those are done (or at least under control), then I get to move on to some fun projects that might include:

1) taking lines off my Rushton all-wood Indian and building a form to build repros

2) building the 15' lapstrake solo canoe I worked up based on the Rushton Ugo lines

3) restoring the 15' Chestnut Prospector I bought by accident... I broached the idea of solo through-paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail with my wife, who didn't hardly blink. This might be the canoe for that trip...

Oh, yeah - and I've just learned something about bronze casting, so I'm also setting up a small foundry for casting hardware for canoes and small boats, especially sailing canoes.

It's gonna be a fun winter!

Cheers,
Dan

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PostPosted: November 21st, 2007, 4:48 pm 
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Location: Vandorf, Ontario
I'll be working on finishing some laminated cedar and walnut paddles. I'll also be starting to strip a John Winters Mattawa (I have previously built a strip Winisk). John redesigned it for me with a bit more recurve at the stems to give it a more traditional look while still keeping its original lines. I basically wanted a Bob's but with more speed and sea worthiness.

BTW Dan, that pic you posted, is it the orginal fox, or your version, slightly altered but taken from old lines? It looks pretty sweet. I was thinking of a freedom 15 solo or Osprey after the Mattawa but your fox pic sure does look nice.

Moonman.


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PostPosted: November 21st, 2007, 5:01 pm 
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Location: Clayton, NY
Hi Moonman,

The photo is one of mine - the hull design is true to the original (so far as it can be); I USAfied the gunwale construction - tapering them to the stem in the manner of canoes built stateside rather than leaving them full width as is typical north of the border.

I liked the kneeling thwart, but it could have used a couple quarter thwarts as it had a slight tendency to spread. Next one for myself will have quarterthwarts and a Seavy Saddle Seat...

The Fox is a great canoe, but for myself (size and paddling style) I find the Minetta/Chum series to be more to my liking.

Cheers,
Dan

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