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Thread: fixing a split oar

  1. #1
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    Question fixing a split oar

    I want to recondition some old solid wood oars. There are some splits in the. Blades and a slight one in the shaft. This will be spare oars and it is not for competition. How do I fix them. , what glue or epoxie should I use, what is the best finish when done. I don't like. Varnish because of maintenance. Any other suggestions? I was considering cetol.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Don't know where in the world you are, but any decent-quality epoxy should fix the cracks. You'll want to clean out the glue line as best as possible, as the old glue can cause problems when re-gluing. Either pull the split pieces fully apart, or clean out what you can with a knife blade or thin sandpaper.

    Don't know what to recommend as an alternative to varnish, as it should be fine for spare oars. You could coat the entire oar with thinned epoxy, but it still needs varnish over that to protect the epoxy from UV.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    I've taken small peices of my oars off by accident and simply epoxied them back on. That was 4 years ago, no troubles so far. I do row with two sets of oars just in case. I moved from varnishing my oars to painting them with a good quality marine paint. I used white so they would no heat up. Again no troubles so far.
    Yachting, the only sport where you get to be a mechanic, electrician, plumber and carpenter

  4. #4
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    I am in connecticut. The oar is solid so no glue to pull out. How do I close the gap after applying epoxie. I heard of winding with twine.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    I used clamps, I suspect you will need to use clamps as well. winding is theoretically possible but it is likely that you will squeeze the glue into the twine and end up with a mess. If it is a long split then place a couple of peices of wood on either side of the oar and use at least to clamps to tighten them up. Basically you are making a sandwich with the oar in the center and two pieces of sacrificial wood as the bread.
    Yachting, the only sport where you get to be a mechanic, electrician, plumber and carpenter

  6. #6
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Or wrap it w/ waxed paper or saran wrap before the twine.
    Epoxy doesn't like tight clamping in any case.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    I edge drill my blades at the tip or where needed, ( bit tricky that ) and tap in a bronze rod. 1/8 or 3/16 usually. Source of rod is TIG rod from welding supply. I epoxy the split but in those cases where the wood is trying to move a mechanical fastening is a great help.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Are they splitting from damage or from drying out?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonr575 View Post
    I want to recondition some old solid wood oars. There are some splits in the. Blades and a slight one in the shaft. This will be spare oars and it is not for competition. How do I fix them. , what glue or epoxie should I use, what is the best finish when done. I don't like. Varnish because of maintenance. Any other suggestions? I was considering cetol.
    If you are not a fan of varnish, Cetol will work well and will out last varnish.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Damage is from drying out. I was considering cetol, less maintenance.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    After repair I was going to sand the whole oar and refinish so messy glue or twine is not so much of an issue. There is one fairly large gap. If I can't close it with twine what is the best thing to do. For ex. There is going to be a gap no matter what. What do I fill it with? Epoxie?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Since you don't tell us where the gap is, or how wide, we'll have to continue guessing. Mix some of the sawdust in with the epoxy - this is called 'thickened epoxy'. You can also buy commercial thickeners like cabosil, but it isn't worth it for just one oar.

    Keep an eye on it as it cures, as the epoxy will tend to drip out of the split until it firms up -- this is temperature bases so the warmer the better. I used heavily thickened epoxy to coat the bottom edge of the blades on my spruce oars, and it holds up well to abrasion from sand and gravel.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Epoxy has the ability to fill gaps if you thicken it with wood flour or West Systems 403 fibers.
    Mix up some straight epoxy, paint it on the bare wood, add some thickener to what's left so that it will hold in the split. If you hink the repair needs some reinforcement get some 4" fiberglass tape fold it in half and epoxy it over the end of the blade.
    Last edited by Cuyahoga Chuck; 12-14-2010 at 03:56 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    I just referbed 2 sets the first 7'ashe old with small shafts dammaged blade tips. I mixed linseed oil and terpintine 1/2 and 1/2 and kept painting it on till it would not take any more , the cracks closed a lot. before that I epoxied the tips with silica and trued up after the oil treatment 4 coats of good oil spar varnish except the handles. the older oars were built to last and not to abuse. the other pair 5' I believe for a dingie oiled and varnished the other two oars 18' 18 1/2 are hanging in another shed , oak I believe longest oars I've ever seen even for sweeps, heavy heavy.
    Chiefypoo

  15. #15
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    sand the whole oar and refinish so messy glue or twine is not so much of an issue.
    I dont have the experience that the other forumites have with repairing oars...but I can say that sanding cured epoxy is indeed an issue. Do a neat glue-up and save yourself some grief.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: fixing a split oar

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ray View Post
    I edge drill my blades at the tip or where needed, ( bit tricky that ) and tap in a bronze rod. 1/8 or 3/16 usually. Source of rod is TIG rod from welding supply. I epoxy the split but in those cases where the wood is trying to move a mechanical fastening is a great help.
    Agreed, I also do the same but with a threaded rod. Drill a undersize hole and screw the rod side to side, and cut.
    Oars and paddle always open up at the blade after some heavy use or too long storage. This way you assure that the blade stay together.

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