View Full Version : Building canoe paddles
I had posted this in the Bilge, but really it needs to be up here, so this is a re-post of what is below decks.
Okay guys here is something I worked on this weekend. This is part one and as I work some more I will post more. I wanted to put this down here. It could really be up in B&R, but this is an accessory and not an actual boat. And besides we could use it down here.
The Canoe Paddle Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AsA2mXl138)
Just want to add that contray to the angle in the video I'm completly out of the line of fire with the table saw.
02-11-2008, 05:20 PM
Chad, thanks for positing this. You realize of course you are asking for grief by showing us your work bits.
A couple of things I have to say:
Saber saws, planers and table saws all have frequencys that really do damage your hearing. After seeing my hearing (I have to have it tested each year for work) deteriorate significantly due to shoting muzzleloader without hearing protection I am a fanatic about it now. I also find out that I do not get tired as uickly working around power equipment when I use ear plugs.
I had to cringe watching you bend over and reach around to grab and pull strips on the table saw. I know we all have done it, but we also know how dangerous it is. In the position you are inon the video I could easily see a kickback pull your hand into the blade.
Oak and mahogany seem awful heavy for a paddle.
Any progress on the canoe?
02-11-2008, 06:51 PM
Good video Chad,
This does not belong in the "Bilge"
One the canoe I'm waiting for materials to come in. I ended up getting some western red through a company that does our millwork.
I know I'm sitting myself up for critque, but that is okay I'll put it out there and hopefully learn something.
I would like to do some other videos of small projects like this and I will contiue this paddle makeing series as I work on the paddle.
02-12-2008, 08:50 AM
Well, the one thing I've learned is that when you put up material on the Internet for "how to do xxx", you want to have everything correct from the get-go. Otherwise it gets taken out of context, or viewed by people who don't know the issues, and gains an evil life of its own.
So in this instance when you change paddle materials and patterns, you need to say why you are doing it. I find myself wondering why you are building a paddle out of the wrong woods, and why widen it?
If you have good reasons, you should state them. If you don't and are guessing, I'd say that too == but why film and post guesses of this sort?
The "distraction factor" is an issue in many other things. I do historical military reenactment, and a large presentation with 100 costumed people and dead-accurate kit can be ruined by one potato-chip bag, or one pair of sunglasses on a musketeer.... same deal.
Good points and I will address them here and maybe in the next installment.
As far as the different woods involved, I have an opinion that there is not enough wood in a paddle to make that much of a difference in weight. Also I like the contrasting dark and light woods, for it gives a pleaseing appearance. And finally I already have that wood in scrap and need something to do with it.
As far as the width of the blade I found some plans on the internet that used a wider blade and some tricky calulations (all in metric) to determine the length. I like the length of this paddle so I used it as a pattern for the length. But I want a wider blade and the internet plans used an 8" +/- width.
02-12-2008, 09:43 AM
Gee, I didn't know you were double posting this one - I've got to read more carefully.
For most short afternoon trips with a canoe, a slightly heavy paddle isn't a disaster. However, when you realize that on a longer trip or multi-day trip you will take thousands of paddle strokes, the heavier paddle can lead to quite a bit of fatigue. That's where the Oak and Mahogany will take their toll.
That being said, however, you can still build a nice paddle from those materials, it just needs to be a bit thinner than the typical paddle because the materials are both heavier and stronger due to the selection of woods.
I orginally posted this in the Bilge to help lighten the air down there, but than thought it would be better served up here.
I kinda thought along the lines of you about the weight, but wasn't sure. My canoe experiance is really limited.
More on the wider width. I have a problem with using the J stroke and was thinking that maybe the wider paddle might help there.
BTW Just got back from picking up the cedar for my canoe.
02-12-2008, 10:17 AM
The golden rule in paddle building is that
The next one will be perfect
So you build one - and its not perfect - just a little too - long, short, wide, narrow, red - whatever. So you paddle for a bit and then think - "I'm sure if I just...."
My wife looked at a newly finished paddle once and said:
"Oh Look! another by-product of the sawdust and woodshavings industry."
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