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 Post subject: My first paddle blog :)
PostPosted: January 6th, 2008, 2:41 am 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
Got my basic tools from other woodworking projects. Got the 2x8 handpicked straight birch board (lumber yard planed square). Got the Paddle making book. Got many years of sign carving experience (my job) And I got my new friends here at CCR.

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I do have the hand power tools to do this faster and probably better, but I wanted to do the first paddle all by hand. I got tons of time as this is my new hobby.

Hardest part so far was deciding on a shaft length and making that very scary initial bandsaw cut hoping I had all my layout right.

I cheated only with the bandsaw to rip 3 shafts and the 1 piece blank. I actually considered using a handsaw for this but did not want to waste too much wood.

Carving out a Ottertail with a northwoods style grip.

Off to tune the blank to the top design lines, then mark out my edge stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 6th, 2008, 10:33 am 
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Joined: June 13th, 2007, 1:31 pm
Posts: 1102
Zapblam

Congratulations on the commencement of a really fulfilling pastime.

As a Woodworking Machinist, I offer something for your future consideration
which i did not offer previously, but choose to point out now that you are underway...
as I know that once you have Made One, you shall make another,
and this trick will cut your material costs in half.

I didnt suggest it earlier on a previous thread, as I firmly believe the First-timer
ought have the benefit of a Thicker Blank, first time around.

On your next paddle, order your 8 inch blank 2 inches thick by 72 inches long...
Then crosscut it to 66 inches long...
Leaving you a Blank 2 inches thick by 66, and an Offcut 6 x 8.

Then Bandsaw your 66 inch blank lengthwise to measure 1 x 8 x 66, and
shape this blank to form all of your Paddle Shaft except the Palm Grip Handle.

Use the 2 inch x 6 x 8 to make your Palm Grip Handles for the "Two Paddles"
you can make from the same Initial Blank Material.

Attach the Palm Grip Handles to the Paddle Shafts via Dowel or Threaded
Dowel into Predrilled Bores in each of the Palm Grip and Shaft Components.

Trees are hard to grow, and Material is Optimized this way, once you have
undergone the Paddle-Making Process the first time.

Good Luck, and Remain Patient, and you will do fine.

Regards

Sundown


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 7th, 2008, 10:33 am 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
I will need all the advice I can get....thanks.

The first thing I learned is why it is important to leave a fresh cut one piece blank sit for a few weeks. It did not move too much but it did move out of square. Thank goodness for reading the bit about roughing the blank with 1/4 inch extra material as a safety margin. Winding sticks and the handy smooth planer fixed that.

I have fully discovered the amount of work this is going to involve. I just got the grip roughed out so far and I have a rather large pile of shavings already along with 3 hours of pushing and pulling the spokeshave, gouge and rasp. Can see already that the blade will take a long time. But I shall not deviate from my determination to hand make this paddle. I keep looking at that 1 3/4 inch thick blade blank that has to get down to 3/8 thick lol.

Future ones will probably incorporate the power planer and belt sander to rough down to thickness.

I have managed to get 3 7ft shafts for other paddles. The space around the full piece paddle between the blade and grip I kept in tact so they can be used for future blade edges, I may even be able to resaw those cutouts in half to make 4 blade pieces.

I will learn all about truing straight edges for laminating after this one piece is done. That shall be an adventure in itself. I own only a spokeshave, smoothing plane, power planer and a handheld belt sander. Trying to comprehend using those to straight edge 1/2" x 7ft strips. Might try clamping between two long straight edged plywood pieces as a guide.


Last edited by Zapblam on January 7th, 2008, 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 7th, 2008, 10:47 am 
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Joined: June 13th, 2007, 1:31 pm
Posts: 1102
Zapblam wrote:
I will need all the advice I can get....thanks.

I have fully discovered the amount of work this is going to involve. I just got the grip roughed out so far and I have a rather large pile of shavings already along with 3 hours of pushing and pulling the spokeshave, gouge and rasp. Can see already that the blade will take a long time. But I shall not deviate from my determination to hand make this paddle

Future ones will probably incorporate the power planer and belt sander to rough down to thickness.

I have managed to get 3 7ft shafts for other paddles. The space around the full piece paddle between the blade and grip I kept in tact so they can be used for future blade edges, I may even be able to resaw those cutouts in half to make 4 blade pieces.

I will learn all about truing straight edges for laminating after this one piece is done. That shall be an adventure in itself. I own only a spokeshave, smoothing plane, power planer and a handheld belt sander. Trying to comprehend using those to straight edge 1/2" x 7ft strips. Might try clamping between two long straight edged plywood pieces as a guide.


Power Planer? I assume a handheld? 3 or 4 inch?

Trick is to rip your strips and "run them" while all strips are clamped together,
over a solidly-mounted hand Power Planer. If you keep all factory-edges up,
and powerplane the rip-side, you will greatly improve the quality of your laminated
joints, by simply reversing every other board in terms of orientation.

Your could actually make the error of setting up your Planer as much as 10 or
15 degrees out of plumb, but by inverting the alternating strips, end-up with a
flat panel-blank (which is actually stronger than a rightangle joint anyway)

Sundown


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 7th, 2008, 2:46 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
Just had a bad vision of me with my handheld power planer clamped into my workmate bench.

Upon much reading I have discovered that I may be able to adapt my table router to joint wood edges. An "after this paddle" spring project.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 7th, 2008, 2:50 pm 
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Joined: June 13th, 2007, 1:31 pm
Posts: 1102
Router????
:o

Now you tell me.... :wink:

Well, if your router breaks down, at least you know how... but if you explore
the Workmate thing, make sure she is Tapconned to the Floor !!! :lol:

Regards

Sundown


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 7th, 2008, 5:09 pm 
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Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
More work and no more pics? C'mon Zap, feed us some images! Shavings, blisters and Band-Aids, whatever, keep it coming.

Router table is great but I hope you have a real big router. Besides jointing stock, you can make plexi templates and use a piloted pattern bit to true the blank to the line from a rough cut outline. Mark Ornstein of Dog Paddle has a photo on his website of a really cool cambering setup that you can get the gist of and make for yourself.

You will find that as you work the paddle thin it will move even more as locked in stress is cut away and the thin parts are free to warp. There is no way around this, every tree has some stress built into it. When I was working at Woodcraft Supply we were cutting up some very old air-dried walnut for display cabinet rails and stiles. On one perfectly quartersawn board one slice suddenly took an outside curve that you wouldn't believe. That tree was probably growing out from a bank at an angle and all that stress was locked in until we cut into it.

Your eye will be the final judge of straightness as the paddle progresses, so sight it often. My ottertail ended up with a slight curve at the very tip in spite of being what I thought was very careful. A flaw at the throat identifies that side as the power face for most of my strokes. :roll:

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“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 8th, 2008, 2:57 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2005, 2:27 pm
Posts: 1657
Location: Saskatoon
Zapblam wrote:
Upon much reading I have discovered that I may be able to adapt my table router to joint wood edges. An "after this paddle" spring project.


Hello Zapblam from a fellow Saskatonian & paddle carver. I use my router as jointer. Works OK but I need to improve my setup - my fence is imperfect and for that task it should be perfect (or as close as reasonable). It gets the job done though, uses tools I have and doesn't take up the shop space nor the expense of a real jointer.

I have made laminated paddles using scrap wood I've gotten for very cheap at the Habitat Re-Store over on Avenue L. It seems like it's getting harder to find good stuff there though, with more junk filling it up. It's still worth the trip and one I'll be making in the next couple of weeks probably. While in that neck of the woods, head across the street and visit Martin at Kisseynew Canoe Company.

Send me a PM if you want to drop by & talk paddle making some time. I'm in Lakeview.

Cheers,
Bryan S.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 9th, 2008, 1:58 pm 
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Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
I am deep in thought about the router techique Mark Ornstein of Dog Paddle is using. Interesting indeed.

Hey another Saskatoonian, I will have to check out the Restore and also Kisseynew Canoe. I never heard of Kisseynew. Dont see it in the phone book.

Fully handcarving a canoe paddle is definately a valuable route for us who are just starting. Deep deep appreciation for the craftsmen who have done this before myself. I will definately be utilizing my small collection of hand power tools for the next paddles though, at least to get things down to rough size.

6 hours of rasping and shavings I have what is starting to resemble a grip that I had intended on. Still tons of work to go yet to get it all straight and uniform.

No bandaids yet, just very sore arms. Wow every new hobby I pick up on I discover new under exercised muscles.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 9th, 2008, 4:27 pm 
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Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
Zapblam wrote:
I am deep in thought about the router techique Mark Ornstein of Dog Paddle is using. Interesting indeed.

Fully handcarving a canoe paddle is definately a valuable route for us who are just starting. Deep deep appreciation for the craftsmen who have done this before myself. Still tons of work to go yet to get it all straight and uniform.

No bandaids yet, just very sore arms. Wow every new hobby I pick up on I discover new under exercised muscles.


Yeah, Mark is a pretty intense guy. I met him briefly at a canoe fest last year. He is quite a Freestylist and his paddles are very well thought of in that community. One of the reasons his method works for him is that he makes laminated blades.

When you cut up wood into thin slices almost all the stress I mentioned above is released. After you true all those small pieces and then glue them up, you can work to a high degree of tolerance without worrying about the wood moving on you.

I think it's great that you are avoiding the use of power tools for this first paddle. Last summer I took a class in traditional cedar lapstrake canoe making. We did almost everything (except saw out and thickness the planking and cut out the stems) entirely with a block plane and a 2" chisel. If I did it at home I may have succumbed to power tools at times but the teacher would have no part of it and I'm glad for the experience.

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“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 9th, 2008, 6:33 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
I just thought this blog would be mildly entertaining to some. Watch a guy who does not even own a canoe (will this summer) yet try and wittle out a paddle.

I joined this group less than a year ago and the information found here is unbelievable. Not to mention hammering the nail in as far as increasing my NEED to paddle a boat.


Now for the long slow part, the blade.......


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 1:43 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
Hour here, hour there, 3 hours once in a blue moon. I guestimate total 16 hours of shaving with a wee tiny block plane as my #8 needs some repair. Oh well its only time right.

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Have since fine tuned the blade thickness and began rounding the shaft. Will upload more pics on my next lunch break.




Only 1 major incident. Following the books idea of sitting on the workmate bench. The locks to prevent folding on that old bench were not catching like they once used to. Thats the repairs needed on the #8. Along with a ego and a few bruises with a near face plant into the cat box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 1:46 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Sask, Canada
Getting inspired to do some wood burnin on this baby after its all finished. Maybe some relief carving in the wasteland space of the upper shaft.

One project at a time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 3:03 pm 
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Location: Saskatoon
For inspiration regarding wood burning, I would suggest looking at some of Doug Cox's work or Cam Merckle's work.

Doug Cox is from Warman and teaches pyrography & sells equipment. He also builds paddles which you can see at his S Creek Paddle Company web site. In fact, Doug will be teaching a paddle building course through the Saskatoon Canoe Club this spring (cost is $85 for the two-session course, see our website for details).

Cam Merckle is president (owner?) of Razertip Industries, makers of the famous woodburning equipment. Cam is from Martensville and a fellow canoe & kayak builder. I've seen Cam's boats and the artwork they host is really remarkable.

Cheers,
Bryan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: January 25th, 2008, 5:19 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 12:59 pm
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Location: Sask, Canada
Doug Cox is one of my main inspirations to decorate my paddle. My wife is related to him.....I think. Seen his paddles at the Wildlife Art Show and a few family event thingies.


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