Sunday, 4 September 2011

First Paddle

Basswood blank
As mentioned before i picked up a basswood paddle blank from the adventure show in Toronto. Here's a picture on the right.

If your looking for  a guide on how to make a paddle i would suggest buying one of these two books:


Octagon shaft before rounding
Both great books with lots of paddle designs for balnks. Try Marat's blog, no need to type it out again.

I was lucky enough to have a brother who was a carpenter so he had some tool lying around that he didn't mind me using. I only ended up having to buy an extra  clamp, a spokeshave, rasp, polyurethane satin finish and a bit of sand paper.

Tool in my arsenal at the time were:
  • Hand plane
  • Block plane
  • Two speed clamps 
  • Spokeshave
  • Various types of sand paper
  • Football Grip 
  • Course rasp 
I wish i had have bought a combo waterstone from Lee Valley like i did recently, rather then assume everything was sharp.  If your going to try making a paddle, the first skill you should learn is how to properly sharpen and care for your tools . It will make the whole experience more enjoyable.

I used the spokeshave to create an octagon for the shaft, I used a rasp to shape the grip into what i call the football grip and the plane to shape the blade down.

Its important to know the density and strength of the wood so, you can understand how thin you can make it. I kept  it a bit thick  due to it being basswood .

Blade thickness. Wish i had made it thinner
This  website will give you a good idea of what wood to look for:

Other good websites out there but i like this one.

Now to creating the art and the finish, since seeing a moose in the wild i have always had a respect and love for them. So i thought what better then moose track across the paddle. came up with the idea when playing with a crayon on a Jack Asstores on their table.

Many people use wood burning kits but because i do not have one, I used a bit of paint and then finished the paddle off with  some polyurethane satin finish. Be sure to use pre stain its worth the extra 5 bucks to have a nice finish.

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