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

  1. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Check with Raka down in FLorida.

    If they don't send me a message.

  2. OP

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I just ordered some 2.5 from here:

    Also, I jsut found this site online:

    However, I've never done this before, so I'm not sure I'm ordering the right stuff. It hasn't come in yet, so I guess I'll find out shortly.

    Dan--I have a couple of questions about shaping the faces. First, when you say "shaping" do you mean that you leave a slightly convex shape to the blade? And this reduces flutter? And if you are doing a straight shaft, would you shape both faces?

    I want to be clear, because in the previous posts, it seemed like some of the things you were saying would argue for a flat face, but then others suggested that a shaped face was the way to go.

    Thanks for this very useful bit of info...We don't get a lot of paddle makers where I'm from (in fact, I think I might be it), so these kind of tips are priceless to me.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    glass cloth

    Raka has 2oz.:
    and an assortment of other weights as well, from 0.75 to 20oz. See the catalog, page 3.

    Any reason you need to use their resin & hardener, rather than West System, MAS, etc?

  4. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle


    Yes, shaped both faces convex, like a straight shaft paddle. The wider the blade the wider the shaping needs to be carried.

    I've been getting mine from Noah's in Toronto. I can get the url latter if needed. It should be pretty obvious.

    You need to use Raka epoxy on Raka fiberglass so that they can sell more epoxy. All the major brands work well.
  5. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist


    I had a sneaking suspicion like that about the resin/cloth combination... maybe I'm getting skeptical...;)
    Wasn't hard to find...:) and they carry lots of plans for cedar strippers...
  6. OP

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks, Douglas!
  7. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    :)) Yup.

    "You need to use Raka epoxy on Raka fiberglass so that they can sell more epoxy. All the major brands work well"

    Actually, you do need to get the correct glass though, but it's not the fiber type or weave, but the coating that is sprayed on. A number of different coatings are applied to woven cloths to help/assure/make possible a good adhesion of the resin to the fibers. Nowdays most small builders use epoxy resin and that is what is/seems most common, and I think most cloth suppliers sell cloths with a coating for epoxy, BUT be sure to ask. Larger suppliers sell cloth with several different coatings and if you buy from them be sure they know what resin you plan to use.

    As for resin, for most cloth and especially light weight cloth with 2 oz, I prefer System Three Clear Coat, as it's the lowest viscosity resin I've found.

    But, in general, my resin requirements are: NO BLUSH, low viscosity, reasonable mix ratio (2-1 or there abouts, I don't like ratios like 5:1 for example) and predictable working characteristics. A number of resins meet these requirements, including: System Three Clear Coat, MAS, Raka, US Composites and probably more.

  8. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    You're right Dan, I guess that I just assumed that all that was a given.

    Given that the 'glass is coated for epoxy and not polyester.
    Given that the resin is low enough viscosity to properly wet out the glass.
    Given that you know how to deal with amine blush issues, or choose resins that don't have this issue.

    Then the major brands should preform equally well. ie. if you're all set up with System 3, and you buy 'glass from RAKA, then the System 3 resin will work with the 'glass and you don't NEED to buy RAKA resin.
  9. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Another one done

    Well, almost done. Another 4 or 5 coats of varnish & it'll hit the water... see attached.

    Attached Files:

  10. OP

    Prairiepaddler Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Very nice!
  11. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Paddle edging...

    Didn't realize this thread was this old...

    I finally got around to the finishing stages of another paddle, and decided to try the nylon line for edge protection. Straight pinning it to the wood worked okay for the cedar parts, but the walnut was a bit... challenging, shall I say? I didn't bother trying on the maple outer edges.

    So I tried packing tape! See attached.

    Attached Files:

  12. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Paul, I cold have told you about using packing tape! It my universal problem clamping device, especially with anything to do with epoxy. Makes a great, cheap, one off, mould release agent, too.
  13. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    packing tape

    Just gotta remember to fold one end of each piece back against itself before sticking it down -- makes it easier to remove! Now I have a nasty scratch to sand out. Will try wetting it, see if that raises it enough. Dang. :(
  14. John B in ID

    John B in ID Canoeist and Dreamer

    It looks like you are going to have a very well protected and beautiful paddle. I usually only use about 8" or 9" of nylon cord on my paddle tip. The outside edges of my paddles seem to get along with just an epoxy coat and the edge of the fiberglass. I'll have to remember the packing tape trick. I think you will be happy with the result.
  15. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist


    I made the string longer, not knowing the paddling habits of my cousin, who gets this paddle, very well.

    I'm thinking (DANGER!) about putting some epoxy directly onto the line, hoping it'll soak through the thing, displacing the air inside it, & hopefully avoiding the air bubble issue when the glass cloth goes on. Probably put some pigment in the epoxy, so it doesn't look like string on the end of a paddle. Or I could use sawdust (I have some very fine walnut dust from the RO sander). But then either pigment or sawdust would thicken the epoxy some, reducing its ability to penetrate the string. So maybe put on a penetrating coat of epoxy, and follow up with colored coats? Does this sound reasonable? Or is it irrelevant?

    Should have done that first...
  16. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle


    You,ll have no problem soaking the cord with epoxy first. Lay it out on some plastic, so some panel covered with packing tape. Soak the cord in epoxy, even squeezing out the air. Colour can be a nice addition, any of what you've mentioned will work fine. Powdered pigments work, or liguid resin pigments are even better. Next time hold the cord with packing tape all the way round and without any spaces. Don't be afraid to pull the tape tight. Maybe practice on scrap first to get your technique just right. You don't need much to dust or pigment to add colour, you'll hardely notice any loss of viscosity. If you have trouble getting it to soak in well, apply heat with a heat gun, or hair dryer (but not your wife's GOOD one!). Be gentle, a little heat works wonders, too much and you make the resin off gass something wicked. A little heat and the resin flows like water.

    Personally, I don't like using cord like this, even though I can't argue with its effectiveness.
  17. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    string theory

    Some good ideas there, Doug. No spaces between strips of tape would give much better results -- there's just enough ripple from no compression in the spaces that I notice it. I might just cut this one off, and try again... not...

  18. hammy

    hammy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hello Douglas: I just joined this forum and I am finding it very informative. I recently started making paddles. Straight and bent shaft. I am looking for a source for some tools to hold the paddle by it's shaft while I work on it. Some that I have seen in pictures of other workshops look like they are mounted on a bench and some have their own stand and they clamp around the shaft of the paddle. Thanks, Hammy
  19. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle


    I leave the shaft rounding over until last, that way I can hold it in a vise. I tried using a kind of shaving/carving horse but its wrecked havoc on my back.

    I also use a pair of sawhorses that I lay the paddle on while sanding. The horses are tall enough that I can work on them without bending over.

    Good luck with your paddle making
  20. hammy

    hammy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Douglas: Thanks for your reply and your well wishes for my success. Much appreciated. Hammy

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