Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

paddle repair

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by mmmalmberg, May 27, 2020.

  1. mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yes I read all the existing threads I could find:)

    I have three paddles inherited with my canoe that are pretty well hammered. One looks like it was used only for pushing off rocks, the tip is chewed up to the point you can't see where it originally ended. Another has the end wrapped in sheetmetal and a split that runs up the length of the blade. The third I think has elements of both.

    I'm not concerned about handling the splits. My question is primarily about the severely chewed up one. I'm sure most or many would put their energy elsewhere but I will probably repair it. I'm thinking of something like a wide scarf joint to create a new tip or maybe a double scarf like a birdsmouth. Has anyone (silly question, of course they have) done a full tip replacement like this? Any thoughts appreciated. I'll post pics sometime if I remember... Thanks!

    Funny out of three paddles no two of them match. That alone makes me consider finding one that matches one of the three so I'd at least having a matching pair. One appears to be oak, the other two spruce I think but one of those is twice as stout as the other. FWIW.
     
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    For the one with the chewed up tip... Might want to consider a new tip, made from epoxy and sanding dust (clean out your sander's dust bag to get this). See Doug Ingram's post in this thread:
    https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/new-to-forum.1908/page-2
    He made a "mold" around the paddle tips to contain the epoxy mixture, and describes the process in his post. It's quite a nice process, actually, and the end result is sturdy. It's maybe not as traditional as a piece of steel, copper, or whatever nailed onto the tip of your paddle, but it looks a lot nicer.
     
    Rob Stevens and mmmalmberg like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I will check but I imagine there's as much as an inch of the original tip missing. Perhaps it's less, will be in the shop tomorrow and take some photos. Thanks:)
     
  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Some paddles are worth preserving and some are simply not worth the effort. You need to know which of these you are dealing with. For general purpose doodling around I like the older Old Town cedar paddles. They tend to get buggered up on the ends. If the paddle is nice and original, I'll clean it up and I will use it carefully (no shoving on rocks)...but if it is chipped or heavily worn away and if it's one I plan to use I'll just cut the end of the blade to a good reusable area and re-shape it.
    For all around tripping I tend to use Branches paddles. They are well made, affordable and made to be used hard.
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Here's my paddles:)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The one in the middle is much more stout than the other two but feels about the same weight as the smaller knawed up one. The long one is heavy. It's like 70" and the other two are around 60". Don't remember exactly but ballpark.
     
    samb likes this.
  7. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    The one with the chunk out of the tip may be, as MGC says, simply not worth the effort. It may actually be pretty close to original length... aside from the missing piece, the tip doesn't look too terribly hammered -- it's fairly even along the edge. If it has sentimental value, it would look good hanging by the fireplace.

    For the other two, I'd take the metal edging off, strip the paint off the tips, and then re-assess. All those tacks that held the metal to the wood create places for water to get into the wood, past the paint. You may have rot going on, that you can't see, yet.

    My $0.02.
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks, yeah I think the middle paddle is definitely salvageable but you're right you never know what's under something like that. I'd like to fix it up without the metal edge and maybe find another like it for a pair. How long should a paddle be? I know a man's legs should be long enough to reach the ground but what about a man's paddle?
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The traditional standards are from the ground to the bottom of your nose or chin. However, this makes a lot of assumptions about your arm length, seat height, paddling style, and other various factors. I usually kneel and prefer paddles slightly shorter than this standard. You are likely to form your own opinion after you have paddled for a while. Good luck,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    OK Thanks Benson!
     
  11. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Benson's answer, as always, is spot on. All those variables explain why some of us have more paddles than canoes...
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The ground down paddle measures 59 1/2", so I'm imagining there's a half inch missing off the curve of the tip. The middle paddle has a split that I'll figure out, will save paddle repair for once I'm waiting for canvas filler to dry. But I like the middle one (60"), it's lightweight despite the diameter of the shaft. Can anyone identify what it might be? The wood appears red but I've not sanded into it to see the real color.
     
  13. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I wonder if maybe somebody has trimmed the paddle that 1/2", while trying to fix it up, some time in the past. The edge looks too good to have been simply pounded into rocks...

    The color on the 2nd one could be stain, or patina, so it's hard to say from the pictures. You may not want to sand it too much, and ruin the patina...

    And just a note on the paint, if there's any chance it may have lead in it, you don't want to sand it -- use a stripper to remove it.
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  14. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Here’s what I do with paddles like these...
    Remove the metal and fill the nail holes with epoxy mixed with sanding dust.
    The splits that are narrow, I blow out with compressed air, epoxy with a syringe,and clamp.
    The larger split, I’d cut a sliver to fit, insert it into the split, epoxy and clamp.
    I would sand or grind a nice round end on it, thin the tip and edge if necessary, and re finish it with paint or varnish. The little that you lose won’t affect it much. You coul even leave the area with the chunk missing. It’s part of the legacy of the paddle.
    I have stripped and repainted, and stripped and revarnished. Both work, but stripping should be done, as your last coat of paint is only as good as your first coat. I would epoxy first, then strip. That way there is no stripper in the splits.
     
    mmmalmberg, MGC and pklonowski like this.

Share This Page