Monday, 5 September 2011

Ottertail- Ash

Five soon to be blanks
So after a bit of a struggle trying to find the place I bought my first blank. I decided that it would better to just learn how to make the blank.

I ended up buying this book :

 Once you have a design all you need is a nice piece of wood, a pencil, a straight edge and something to cut it with.

I ended up buying a cheaper band saw from Canadian Tire and it didn't make it through the first cut of Ash. When I took it back the would not refund my money and did not have anything in stock to switch it with. After a lot of complaining they refunded my money. Home Depot has a much better return policy so I got a band saw there, and I haven't had an issue yet .
Ash Blank

I would however would have bought a bigger used saw, rather then a small new one.

I found a nice place called Exotic woods in Burlington (lots of looking) that sells tons of different types of woods, finishing products and an extremely knowledgeable staff.

I picked up a walnut piece, two ash pieces and two poplar pieces. Place is a bit of a drive so I got a few different types. 

After planing the blade, shaping the shaft (kept it a bit more square for a different feel and I love it) and shaped the grip and then it was onto the finish and art.

Note the dark handle before sanding
After seeing the Badger Water Colour finishes,  I decided no art and to try a new blue finish. The only problem was that I wanted to see the wood grain. My goal was to have a light blue paddle with darker blue wood grain.

The product I found said it would do that but I did not use pre-stain so it didn't work.  So instead I sanded the whole paddle down and tried to keep the wood grain blue. It was a longer process but it looks awesome.

I finished it off with a few coats of Polyurethane. I tried it out this spring and again I wish I had have taken more off the blade. I still may do that but I have too many paddles on the go at this moment.

Blade close up

Finished paddle, it looks black but its actually a nice Blue

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