View topic - Reinforcing a cedar paddle

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PostPosted: March 26th, 2013, 7:08 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
kolgrimr wrote:
I think I'll work on it a bit - just need a new brush for the epoxy. I'll try to remember to snap some "work in progress" pictures after I put the first coat on.


I’ll try to do the same. I have four old Sawyer blades I’m refinishing for a friend and I may get back to working on them in the next couple of days.


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2013, 5:15 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2004, 3:20 pm
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Location: Guelph, ON, Canada
After working on the paddle some more, I've decided to glass it after all. The wood seems to have the crushing strength of styrofoam - it accumulates dents just from stern looks and misplaced words. Also, the transition area between the shaft and the grip is quite thin and narrow, so I'm worried about the paddle snapping there. I don't mind a heavier paddle, if that means I'll use it more often. I'll stay away from cedar paddles in the future, though.

I'll post some pics once it's a bit more photogenic. Glass+epoxy are giving it a nice, dark look.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2013, 2:38 pm 
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I got as far on the two old Sawyer double blades as repairing cracks and the lifting/missing pieces of glass on the blades, and running a couple of beads of G/flex around the blade edges before stopping to consider the next moves.

I need to sand the shafts on those four pieces, but before I got around to it another batch of family historic paddles from the same friend showed up, Three 60” Old Town Beavertails from the late 60’s/early 70’s. One-piece ash sticks with 40 years of Ontario camp life and zero years of maintenance.

They are badly in need of some major TLC.

It’s easier to do a production run through each sequential step of refurbishing old paddles, especially when it comes to varnish coats, and production runs are easier with two people, so shop-mate Joby came by for a day-long session of sanding.

The varnish on the beavertails seems excessively thick, as well as excessively cracked and corrupted; it needs to come off completely. I should have run some stripper over them a couple of days ago, but it’s too late now. RO sander for me, (aching) elbow grease for Joby.

I do have the small weight shop scale, perhaps a few weigh ins are in order. I stamped the ends of the grips A, B and C, so I could keep track and weighed them pre-and-post sanding.

I hit the blades and wide flat handles with the RO sander, reshaped the rude sharp edges of the grip to something smoother and passed them off to Joby for hand-sanding the (nicely oval) shafts.

Removing the antique varnish revealed cracks at the tip off all of the beavertail blades, some worse than others. I need to epoxy & clamp the tips of all three paddles to seal the splits…wait for the epoxy to cure…sand the epoxied blades again…wait some more…and then get to the varnish.

I’m not sure if it is faster to refurbish an old paddle or build a new one from scratch.

With the old varnish completely removed I weighed the beavertails again:

Beavertail A – 1lb, 13 oz before sanding, 1 lb 10 oz after sanding.

Beavertail B – 1lb, 9oz before sanding, 1lb 6 oz after sanding

Beavertail C – 2lb 1oz before sanding, 1lb, 11 oz after sanding.

Hopefully I don’t add more than two or three ounces back in epoxy tips and varnish weight. Although those antique beavertails would look sharp with a carbon fiber tow and G/flex edging strip.

Kolgrimr, how did your Whiskeyjack turn out?


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2013, 4:08 pm 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
recped wrote:
Quote:
I just clamp the paddle with the blade positioned vertically, paint a thin bead of Gflex along the top edge of the blade, lay a length of carbon fiber tow atop the wet resin and smooth it out with gloved fingers. Once that has begun to set up I add another bead of Gflex on top of the carbon fiber.


Mike can you confirm the number of strands in the tow you use? I'm guessing it's 12k?


12K is far better and easier to work with than 50K.

I had new carbon fiber tow to play with, 25’ spools of 12K and 50K strand. It was time for some further CF tow experimentation.

First a bead of Gflex around the (vertically clamped) top edges of the three blades beavertail blades. Let that set a bit and lay on a 26” length of, um, let’s use the 50K to start; I’m familiar with using the 12K strand.

Crapola, that 50K application was way fuglier than using the 12K .

4.16666666666 times fuglier to be exact.

I used the 12K carbon fiber tow on the other two blades and it was perfect for wrapping a paddle edge. I won’t use the 50K again for paddle edging, except to complete the other side of the paddle on which I tried the experimental 50K installation.

Someone in Ontario is getting an ugly beavertail.


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2013, 10:48 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
12k...got it! (I'll have to get some first)

Thanks

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


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 Post subject: Measure twice ship once?
PostPosted: September 13th, 2013, 8:20 am 
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recped wrote:
12k...got it! (I'll have to get some first)


I ordered the tow from The Composite Store last year

http://www.cstsales.com/

When I finally got around to using it yesterday I discovered that the “25 foot 12k Carbon Tow” spool actually contained less than 15’ of tow.

That spool of 12k tow was only $6, and I’ll probably order more in any case, but I e-mailed CST about the missing 10 feet of tow. We’ll see how/if they respond.


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2013, 11:06 am 
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Mike McCrea wrote:
When I finally got around to using it yesterday I discovered that the “25 foot 12k Carbon Tow” spool actually contained less than 15’ of tow.

That spool of 12k tow was only $6, and I’ll probably order more in any case, but I e-mailed CST about the missing 10 feet of tow. We’ll see how/if they respond.


I received an e-mail from The Composite Store within the hour, apologizing for the shortage and promising to send the missing 10’ of 12k tow ASAP.

I need to buy more in any case. For the beavertails I needed two 25” pieces per blade, laid on one pre-Gflexed (and vertically held) edge at a time. The 25” was enough reach from near the throat and around the bottom edge of the paddle blades, so that the more wear-and-tear blade bottom has a double layer of carbon fiber.

Crap. I just realized my math was wrong. I was counting 6 pieces of 12k tow at 25”, with two feet left on the roll. But I used the (sloppy, never again) 50k tow on one paddle. I used 4 pieces, not 6.

If I managed to do the math correctly what I had received was a 10’ spool of 12k tow instead of a 25 footer. That makes much more sense than some randomly spooled 14 ½ foot length


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2013, 11:40 am 
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Wow. That is some serious customer service from The Composite Store. E-mail and a follow-up phone call with Cyndi. When I expressed my surprise about the level of customer service response compared to the winky cost and quantity of my original order Cyndi responded:

“The owners are focused on customer service, and that’s part of what I do”

She also mentioned – twice - that they would be inventorying their spool lengths to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Damn but I l love dealing with people who are good at their jobs.

I ordered another 25’ of 12k, and probably should have gotten 100 feet. And I think I’ve got a go-to place for my composite needs.


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 Post subject: Beavertail weigh in
PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 9:28 am 
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The beavertails are ready for varnishing, but I want to wait at least a few more days for the Gflex to fully cure.

Meanwhile, it’s time for a pre-varnishing weigh-in. The carbon fiber tow was coated thrice with Gflex, one coat under the tow and two coats atop. I ran an RO sander with 220 over the blades again so that the tow and epoxy edging was smooth.

The previous weigh-ins:
Beavertail A – 1lb, 13 oz before sanding, 1 lb 10 oz after sanding (lost 3 oz)
Beavertail B – 1lb, 9oz before sanding, 1lb 6 oz after sanding (lost 3 oz)
Beavertail C – 2lb 1oz before sanding, 1lb, 11 oz after sanding (lost 6 oz)

After carbon fiber tow application and re-sanding the blades:
Paddle A after Gflex 12K tow application and sanding – 1 lb 11 oz (regained 1 oz)
Paddle B after Gflex 12K tow application and sanding – 1 lb 6 oz (regained nothing)
Paddle C after Gflex and 50K tow application and sanding – 1 lb 11 oz (regained nothing)

If I believe the accuracy of my shop scale I took off as much material with the 2nd RO sanding of the blades as I added in Gflex and CF tow.

(The pair of old Sawyer Double Blades have been varnished and wet sanded - 400 followed, by 600 grit - and await a second varnish coat. I wish I’d weighed them before I started)

(I’m not actually using varnish, I’m using Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane)

(And I need to but a triple-beam balance for the shop)


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PostPosted: September 17th, 2013, 9:42 am 
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Mike McCrea wrote:
The beavertails are ready for varnishing, but I want to wait at least a few more days for the Gflex to fully cure.


Those Beavertails are 40 years old and, once sanded down to bear wood, absolutely drank in the first coat of varnish (I guess I should start typing “Urethane” to be accurate). The 1st coat disappeared into the wood the way the 1st coat of contact cement vanishes on minicel.

I figure even using un-thinned urethane they will need at least 3 coats.

The tale of the scale after the 1st varnish coat (before wet sanding):

Paddle A – Gained less than 1 oz
Paddle B – Gained just over 1 oz
Paddle C – Gained less than 1 oz.

I’m surprised. I laid that urethane on thick and in places it is barely visible on the blades.

I taped off the grips and did not urethane over them. It’s easier to hang a varnished paddle from the grips, and once the urethane coats are done they’ll be oiled for a more silky top hand.


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