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Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by Prairiepaddler, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum. I've been building paddles for a few years now. Here's a link to some photos of three I've built:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/SwiftySuze/DrTSPaddles

    I have a question about the forum. I can't seem to get more than one thread to display at a time, so it's difficult to see what the discussions are. Is there a trick I'm missing?


    Thanks--and I'm happy to have found this site!

    P.S.--The link is to a website I use to show some of my students who are interested in paddlemaking--I realize that captions are probably pretty basic to the people on this forum...

    Suze
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2006
  2. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Ah...never mind--I've figured it out!:)
     
  3. John B in ID

    John B in ID Canoeist and Dreamer

    Welcome to the forum, Suze! Those paddles are beautiful and an inspiration. That workshop is going to cause some envy around here, as well. I do have a question about the weight of the paddles. Are you able to use all that wonderful wood and still keep the weight down?

    Thanks for sharing those pictures. I can imagine that I'll now spend hours planning my next paddle design.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    HI John--

    I love my workshop. I created it out of an old detached one car garage. It had one tiny window at the back and a lonely light bulb on a string when I started. Also, the walls were just siding nailed to studs. I used to freeze in the winters!

    Now it has a big bank of windows that I rescued from a house remodel we did (in addition to the one you see, which is also a recycled window), a dutch door, and two skylights. Plus, most importantly, insulation and sheetrock--now I can work out there on all but the coldest days. I did most of the work myself (a neighbor who is an electrical contractor helped me with the final stages of wiring, and my husband and some more neighbors helped me take down the old garage door). I've also updated the paddle and tool storage a bit since I took the photos. I learned a lot about construction in the process of turning it into a workshop--it was fun.

    Now to answer your question about the weight of the paddles: they are all working paddles (what good is paddle that stays home?), and vary in how much they weigh. The heaviest is the birdseye maple (probably won't use maple again--it's heavy and hard to work with a spokeshave, though it is beautiful), and the lightest is the bent shaft. I've kept the weight down by including basswood in the laminated shaft and blade. The bent shaft is remarkably light--lighter even than my first paddle, a "store-bought" Bending Branches. The "windows" of basswood that you see in the blade are not inlaid--they are part of the paddle structure; even so, it has proven to be very durable. The laminated shaft on the bent is designed after a similar one made by Dale Benham, who has a website called Bluestem Paddler. The other two paddles have a different laminated design that is not nearly as light. I definitely prefer Dale's.

    The design of the bent shaft's blade is one I came up with after a trip to the BWCA a couple of summers ago. I wanted to do something that would remind me of all the loons I saw. This is my sweetest paddle yet. I'm not sure I'll ever duplicate how nice it feels to use (though I'll sure try!).

    Hope that answers your question!

    Cheers,

    Susan
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2006
  5. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Looks pretty good, Susan. Yes, It can be pretty addicting, and calming at the same time. The perfect paddle is very elusive.

    If you ever want any comment or advice, please feel free to ask. I've got quite a few paddles under my belt.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks, Douglas. I've seen some of your photos of your paddles. They're very impressive. I'm inspired by them to try my hand at a one piece cedar paddle next. I've always been a bit worried about the durability of a soft wood like cedar, since most of my paddling in in these shallow, rocky Texas rivers. However, this summer I'm taking some of my students on the Upper Missouri, and I think a cedar beavertail might be just the ticket!
     
  7. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Thanks.

    The missouri has some pretty strong currents. As a result, you're likely to be putting a lot of strain on your paddles. If you want to try Cedar, I'd suggest using a cedar core and blade, hardwood facings and grips, and some 2oz glass over the blade and up the shaft(maybe a little more on the shaft for the Missouri). Try your hand at an epoxy edge around the blade before you glass it. Thin the core to a feather edge at the grip end so that the end of the grip doesn't have a big cedar core showing between the hardwood facings. It'll be an awesome paddle.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks! This sounds intriguing. I've been wanting to try out an epoxy edge. I've looked at your epoxy edges and I'm very impressed with them. I'm not sure I'm ready to try anything quite so fancy though...I'd probably messed it up!

    And I'm currently working on a paddle right now that I wanted to try to glass, so that will give me a feel for how it works out. I never thought about creating a core that is covered by hardwood, though. That will take some thinking about...
     
  9. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    The cedar core shaft is easy. Just like making a bentshaft shaft, but you only need to use three pieces: the core and the two hardwood faces. If you glass the shaft, you don't really need to use the hardwood faces, but it sure makes a nice looking paddle, and it blends the grip to the rest of the paddle, too. The epoxy edges are easier than they look, once you've figured out how to do it. It was intimidating for me, at one point, too.

    By the way, nice handplanes! Waaaay nicer than mine. I use a grinder an awful lot. Almopst never use planes or spokeshaves on paddles anymore. All the romance leaves after the first hundred or so, then its just what gets the job done best. My back can't use a shaving horse anymore, either. I do everything standing up, as straight as possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2006
  10. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

     
  11. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    I hope that these photos help explain. Feel free to ask for details. Its hard to anticipate what needs explaining.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    This one should be useful too.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes


    Wow! Those are slick. I'm definitely going to have to try something like that. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks!
     
  14. Ric Altfather

    Ric Altfather WCHA #4035

    Beautiful work, both of you!

    OK,

    I make my straight shaft paddles from the Northwoods and Tremelo designs and have recently made 3 Greenland paddles. I also have a few store bought bent shaft paddles but would like to make a couple while playing with the degree angle. I understand everything you have posted but the epoxy edging has me guessing. Prairiepaddler (Susan),I understand the playdough...Douglas, what have you surrounded your paddle blade with to create the dam for packing the goop?

    Thanks,

    Ric Altfather


     
  15. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I'd like to know this, too...
     
  16. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Suse,

    If you ever had a chance to see a Wildwood paddle by Peter Puddicoube(sp),
    they were probably the nicest flat water paddle made. Very light but strong with a flawless finish. He used red and white cedar.

    Dan
     
  17. Ric Altfather

    Ric Altfather WCHA #4035

    Wildwood Paddles

    Here is what Dan is talking about...
     

    Attached Files:

  18. OP
    OP
    Prairiepaddler

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Those are beautiful. Thanks for the pics. I tried to find some on the web but struck out. I did run across a strange thread, though, about some trouble people were having with getting their orders filled.:confused:

    I'm feeling pretty inspired now, between these photos and the ones Douglas provided...
     
  19. Ric Altfather

    Ric Altfather WCHA #4035

    When I bought mine, Peter was a Quetico Ranger and only built them in the winter, hence not a very long production time. I'm not sure if that is true today. Take a look at the Piragis website, they seem to have a direct link to Peter and some paddles.

    Ric
     
  20. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    paddles...

    I'm curious as to how you make an epoxy edging for a paddle? I've built several paddles, and laminated them with fiberglass, but haven't come up with a way to make that epoxy edge, for shallow/rocky waterways. Any help would be appreciated!
     

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