Bent Shaft Paddles

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Let's see....where did I leave off?
Uhmmm, oh, OK, when last I posted any progress, I had finished the epoxy fillets and attached the phenolic tips.
Since then, I have sanded all of the blades' top surfaces and blended the shaft/blade interfaces.
I ordered and received some 2 oz E-glass from Sweet Composites, and purchased and received more RAKA epoxy resin.

And I decided to try to wrap the 2 oz cloth around the edges, rather than attempt to cleanly add any other sort of edge protection.
I chose to glass the pair of longest paddles first, the 52" OAL ones. Here's a look at one, freshly wet out and with the glass wrapped around the edges.

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It may be difficult to see from the photo, but the glass conformed easily to the full radius on the blade edges. I trimmed the cloth pre-wet out to allow about 1/2" overlap onto the power face. No doubt this helped keep the glass tightly wrapped around the edges.
After the epoxy cured, I blended the wrapped cloth to the power face.
Then I laminated the power face, allowing the glass to overhang all edges.

Here they are, anxiously awaiting some more resin. Yes, that resin is mixed and the clock is ticking. 3 oz total mixed, 2 oz left after wetting out both blades and soaking a 1" brush.

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And here's the second side (power face) after wet out.

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And here's a pic showing the trimmed edges...the camera angle distorts the blade shape. These blades have a very mild taper, wider at the tip, but looks straight edged in the pic.

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Lastly, here's a close up view of the blade edge. It's hard to tell, but the 2 oz cloth is tightly adhered to the blade edges.

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So these first 2 paddles are essentially done, all that's left is to finish sand the shafts and grips and then varnish everything.
Both 52" paddles currently weigh 17 oz...hopefully the weight I remove while final sanding with be about the same as the weight I add in varnish.
 
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Well, it's the end of the story, mostly.
Shafts and grips are sanded as smooth and soft as a baby's behind (ignoring any rashes).
I have 2 coats of varnish on the shafts and grips, many more to go, as well as a coat or two on the blades to protect the epoxy.
Blades and shafts are a tiny bit flexy, just the way I like them.
From an aesthetic point of view, they're not gonna look much different until they get beat up during use.


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I'm glad I ran across this thread! The phenolic tip with glass overlay makes sense. Is the phenolic plastic flexible at all? I ask because my paddles are getting beat along the sides as well as the bottom edge so running that up the edges should help reduce the damage.
 
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Sort of, the phenolic is not flexible at all with the glass overwrap, but by itself it’s slightly flexible.
The paddles that I built 25 years ago are still serviceable but they do have edge wear where everybody (me included) occasionally bump against the hull. This latest batch, with the glass wrapped edges, should eliminate that sort of damage.
Hopefully, the paddles won’t wear out my hulls!!
 
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Nice Work.

I recently found an article about birds mouth shafts for paddles and other uses.. I made a couple of test shafts but table saw is having a small issue so it hit the back burner but I thought many of you might find it interesting. Generously I am a novice woodworker and the two shafts I made where quite easy.
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/paddles/ This one got me started and page two is worth it. To give example of weight savings the author made a 72 inch paddle for standing in his canoe it weighed 18 oz.

The birds mouth method can get way more complicated. This site gives more details and offers equation to determine your desired size and shape. The paddles above are 8 sided but you can do many more sided with increases in strength and loss of weight but angles and dimension of each piece changes.
 
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Nice Work.

I recently found an article about birds mouth shafts for paddles and other uses.. I made a couple of test shafts but table saw is having a small issue so it hit the back burner but I thought many of you might find it interesting. Generously I am a novice woodworker and the two shafts I made where quite easy.
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/paddles/ This one got me started and page two is worth it. To give example of weight savings the author made a 72 inch paddle for standing in his canoe it weighed 18 oz.

The birds mouth method can get way more complicated. This site gives more details and offers equation to determine your desired size and shape. The paddles above are 8 sided but you can do many more sided with increases in strength and loss of weight but angles and dimension of each piece changes.
I've done a few crude bird's mouth paddle shafts. I found it quite fiddly and didn't want to take the time to get it right. If you're going to do these, I think you'd want to make enough stock for quite a few paddle shafts to make it worth your while. Unless you're can soak this stuff in a lot easier than I found it (which is certainly possible).
 
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