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Router jig for paddle-making

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by pklonowski, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. OP

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Yes, it's one of life's unending compromises. As much as I enjoy the hand tools, the aches & pains are demanding more automation.

    But a CNC Duplicting mill? No, that takes ALL the fun out of it...
  2. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Paul, after the first 500 paddles, a wee bit of the excitement wears off. You also have your goal more clearly established in your mind and you are able to work at getting good results faster.

    Also, that paddle that gets made in an hour doesn't have any laminations or tip protection, and is finished only to the point where its ready for varnish. Just for reference, my Classic and Northwoods series paddles take about 5-6 hours, including varnish, laminations, and epoxy/fiberglass inset tip.

    Keep at it! BTW, a good jigsaw will substitute for a bandsaw and the electric plane for the jointer. Nothing will substitute for the grinder!, and a good RO sander is a must. That's it, that's all you need.
  3. OP

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I use either the jig saw or the scroll saw for cutting the rough shapes, but neither will cut the hollows out of the grips, or the slabs off the blades.

    The hollows on the grips get drawn in, then I crosscut to the line in 3-4 places with a dovetail saw (can't remember how long since I cut actual dovetails), and then chisel them out to rough shape. Some additional shaping with the microplanes, and then the RO gets plugged in. That all works well enough. It's the blade faces that tear me up.

    This discussion has put a lot of options on the table; what a great set of minds! I'm thinking the power plane sounds easier on the aches than the microplane drum, and takes up little space. Unless I can find access to a large bandsaw on an occasional basis, that's probably the way to go. Oh, and the Milwaukee Woodworking Show is next weekend -- discounts on all the toys. Darnitall, anyway...

    Many thanks, once again!
  4. OP

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Router jig

    Okay, the power plane wins out. Last night, I went from rough-cut ash plank to the blade being ready for final sanding in no time flat (didn't clock it). It did leave a pile of shavings on the floor... but that's what the dust collector's for. The band saw would be better for that aspect, for sure.

    Not sure how well the power plane will work on the figured woods that I usually use for blades, but we'll get there before too long. The grinder can fix a lot of tear-outs.

    On to the shaft & grip...

    MANY THANKS, once again, for all the great ideas. :)
  5. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    Good for you, Paul. Now get a lot of practice in with that plane, and be careful when you put it down, some don't have blade guards.

    Do buy a grinder, and practice with it! My favourite so far (I've worn out three and I'm on #4) is the 4.5" Makita with the paddle switch. Don't buy a grinder that does not use this kind of switch. If you ever drop it the tool automatically turns off. Check the barrel size so that you can grab it one handed. Lightweight is important, too.

    Use a resin disc backing pad and use 5" discs. Don't use anything smaller or larger, they are too hard to control properly for paddle carving. They can be used, but 5" discs are ideal. Just use 24 grit and 100 grit, then go to sanding.
  6. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    thanks doug

    good advice. I have two butternut paddle blanks that I set aside.

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