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Attempting to make a couple of paddles

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I am attempting to make a couple of canoe paddles that match the canoe I made. I'm a little discouraged, and don't really know what to ask other then, is this going to work? The canoe I made is constructed from sassafras, red cedar, cherry and black walnut. The woods are a little on the heavy side, so I don't expect an ultra light paddle. The shaft roughed in at 1 and 3/16 square. Mine was going to be 61 inches and my wife's is going to be 57". The rough weight with the grip and shaft, as in the picture, is right at 2lbs. I was going to make an otter tail paddle, well sort of similar. I am planning on fiberglassing the blade and then oiling the shaft and grip. Am I just creating a door battering ram, or this going to work?IMG_20220629_195317831.jpgIMG_20220630_183345569.jpg
 
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Roy, or is it Mr Brew,
Here's a link to a thread where I recently built a batch of ten bent shaft paddles.
Some of the construction may not apply for you, but there should be something in that thread of use.
The blades were fairly thin, and I covered both sides and the edges with 2 oz cloth.
They're pretty light and plenty strong. I'm pretty sure I have the shaft and blade dimensions detailed in the thread, otherwise, I can measure anything you need to know.
Good luck!

 
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You still have a lot of wood to remove if I am seeing the pics correctly. Laminated hardwood shafts can be pretty slender. Don’t give up hope yet.
Jim
 
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The batch I made covers off a Otter tail and a Beaver tail, you may find some answers there.


I don't think you are off track ( or at least not far) ... just keep going forward, worst that will happen is you will learn, lol

Brian
 
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Thanks you all. I remember reading your posts last year thinking to myself that I probably wouldn't want to attempt to make a paddle, but what the hay. Might as well.

I guess I'll go by Roy, that's what the wife calls me. Brew is the last part of my last name. We've always joked about opening a pub. Ha.

I didn't get to in-depth on reading the technical aspects of your paddle builds, I was skimming over looking at the pictures. Wow those paddles Stripperguy and Brian made are stunning! Works of art.

Well I rounded 1 of the blades off to the paddle template. Blade thickness is 3/4" by 8 1/2" wide by 23" longIMG_20220703_085713656~2.jpgIMG_20220703_150804988~2.jpgI have 3 hand planes, and I made an effort to use them to shave the blade thickness down. I'm not very good with these things, and not very knowledgeable with them. IMG_20220703_090157409~2.jpgFrom right to left Bailey #5, Stanley C557mp?, and a Stanley #220. Seems like they shaved the walnut and cherry fine, but ripped into the softer cedar and sassafras. Eh, I just resorted to the flap disc on grinder and my orbital sander. Got a feeling I've done doomed myself to some hard labor getting the blades to a proper thickness.

I like the phenolic resin edges. Going to have to think of that. If I get the paddles down under 2lbs, I'll start getting excited.

Thanks for the encouragement. Jim's right I still have lots of wood to shave off.
Roy
 
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I’ve never made paddles that I didn’t glass, my blades are nearly 1/8” thick.
Belt sander, disc sander, even a random orbit… any of those with a 32 grit abrasive will knock those down pretty quickly.
 
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Yep, belt sander. My old one couldn't pull a greased string out of a cats a.... Oops sorry, that's what Dad always said. Yep yime for a new toy.
Roy
 
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Personally, the one under utilized or even mentioned power tool that is simply awesome for making paddles is a hand held power planer.

In my shop I had a Ryobi power planer kicking around the shop that just never seemed to have a use. Once I started hogging off wood for paddle making,I decided to give it a try. The high rpm doesn't care if it's hardwood or soft, has minimal tear out and it is very easy to create whatever camber you want.

I don't actually any other jobs I typically use the power planer for, but I reckon it is the ideal hogging and shaping tool to use for paddle blades.

Brian
 
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Agreed power planer can be very effective...but can quickly get past your mark too. I have a Porter-Cable 2 1/2"x14 compact sander that fits in one hand very well and is great for refining blade shape and thickness.

Tear out can often be tamed by skewing the hand plane - approaching with body of plane on an angle rather than parallel to the direction of the stroke, lowers the effective cutting angle of the blade...and well-tuned plane, sharp blade.
 
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Very cool! I was looking into making a paddle a couple years ago. I bought a cedar board & was going to carve it out of a single peace after watching some videos. But the board is still sitting in my barn. I guess with the price of wood now I can consider it an investment. It’s probably worth twice what I paid. 😁
 
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Yup, I use a power planer too, saves actual hours of work. I'll use the power planer first, then the belt sander, then a small block plane for sculpting the edges and stuff, then the orbital sander. Using the power plane, I can often have a blade completed in about an hour.
 
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Agreed power planer can be very effective...but can quickly get past your mark too. I have a Porter-Cable 2 1/2"x14 compact sander that fits in one hand very well and is great for refining blade shape and thickness.

Tear out can often be tamed by skewing the hand plane - approaching with body of plane on an angle rather than parallel to the direction of the stroke, lowers the effective cutting angle of the blade...and well-tuned plane, sharp blade.
The power plane is good to hog off wood till you get close to the guide lines, you really need to set the cut depth to light cuts only, say ~1/32" (a little more or less, depending on job) ... then I like to use a hand plane to smooth, set initial camber, then on to sanding for final adjustments.

It isn't the final tool, just one in a string of tools to get the final shape.

Brian
 
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Oh I forgot about the planer till y'all said something. I've got one that I haven't used very much, so thanks for the reminder. To be honest I'm scared of how quick those things can tear thru wood, but it's a thing to learn to use.

I spent an hour or so shaping the grip on one of the paddles. I had a feeling, after I made the shafts, that I might end up sanding thru some of the filler woods and to the cherry core, and yep that's what I did. IMG_20220705_174446543~2.jpgI'm going to say I meant to do that, and continue on. I wonder if Bob Ross ever messed up a color an said, "That's Ok it looks 😊 happy". Ha. He was always enjoyable to watch.

So moving on, I think I need to make some sort of clean cut line along the cherry wood. I don't think I can feather the other woods into the cherry clean enough? Eh something to think about when I don't have time to work on it.IMG_20220705_175454526~2.jpgI like the shape of the grip. I think it'll clean up well.IMG_20220705_174510416~2.jpgCurious what you all think.
Roy
 
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Very cool! I was looking into making a paddle a couple years ago. I bought a cedar board & was going to carve it out of a single peace after watching some videos. But the board is still sitting in my barn. I guess with the price of wood now I can consider it an investment. It’s probably worth twice what I paid. 😁
You ain't kidding. The price of lumber has gone thru the roof. I need to get back to the sawmill and get some more lumber. It's been a couple of years since I've been there. Pull that cedar board down and turn into a paddle.
Roy
 
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For the transitions (handle to shaft and back to shaft) I would just sand the "corner" area a bit to create a rounded transition. Then it starts looking like you planned it as a feature. The rounded edge looks planned while a feathered "straight line" just doesn't IMO.

I suspect just being a bit careful when you knock down the corners will achieve the look without any extra work.

Nice job and the colour contrast is really good, makes for an interesting visual.

Brian
 
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For the transitions (handle to shaft and back to shaft) I would just sand the "corner" area a bit to create a rounded transition. Then it starts looking like you planned it as a feature. The rounded edge looks planned while a feathered "straight line" just doesn't IMO.

I suspect just being a bit careful when you knock down the corners will achieve the look without any extra work.

Nice job and the colour contrast is really good, makes for an interesting visual.

Brian
Thank you Brian. I was just looking at some pictures that Kona posted on the post he started, Canoe paddle collectors, he displayed a few that transitioned from light to dark wood. That looks good. So hopefully I can smooth from handle to shaft nicely.

I'm at 39 oz right now. My blade thickness is an average of 1/2". I've still got plenty more to remove. I used my power planer to work the blade down. And worked on my old belt sander, trying to save a few bucks. Maybe this coming weekend I'll get this paddle carved down then I can start on the other one.IMG_20220706_171806741~2.jpgIMG_20220706_171839438~2.jpg
 
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