Cutting down carlisle oars - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-15-2010   #1
 
Billings, Montana
Paddling Since: 1965
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Cutting down carlisle oars

I have a set of 10' carlisle oars that I would like to take 6" off. I understand that they have an inner aluminum sleeve, but not sure where it starts and ends do to the cork plug. I have the tools to cut and drill the 3/4" hole in the blade end, but not sure if the sleeve will interfere with the blade. The handle end looks like a pain unless someone has a slick idea for removing and solidly reinserting it. Anybody done this? Thanks

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Old 07-15-2010   #2
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cut the handles. i did my girlfriends years ago and they are still perfect. if you are only taking 6" the inner tube wont cause you any problems.

i cut the 6". then i cut off the plastic and split the aluminum lenthwise, being careful not to cut into the handle. the handle then will pop out of the piece. from the factory they are just crimped in, but i gorilla glued hers back in. i used cataract handles as well because i think they have a better grip. down river has them if you are looking. i also threaded a piece of capped gas pipe in the handles and filled them with sand before re install. it gives a little counter balance but no so much that it sinks like a brick or takes out your passenger in a mishap. if you cut the blade end you have to be pretty anal about drilling the hole. the tiniest bit to long and you'll have to oblong the hole or cut the oar. to short and the blade will stick out of the shaft a little. also if you blow it on the hole you are screwed. if you do drill, put something in the shaft to keep it from crushing so that your blade goes back in.
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Old 07-15-2010   #3
 
Billings, Montana
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zbaird, thanks for the info. Beautifully easy! Did you use a dremel abrasive wheel to split the aluminum? I think it is only about .080 so it should work. Is there a cork plug on the handle end that needs to be shoved farther or does the handle act as the cork? Thanks again, I new I could count on someone, I was over thinking the process.
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Old 07-15-2010   #4
 
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McCall, Idaho
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i have cut a couple 8' carlisles down to 7', but those are different than yours as the 8' have no double wall section in the shaft. i also cut an older 10' down to 8' that i currently use as a spare on my small raft. based on reading other posts on the buzz, it works best to cut the handle end and that is what i did.

i don't think i hit the double wall portion of the shaft cutting 2' off of my 10' original, but even if i did the below process worked fine. here are the steps of what i did:
1. i cut the handle end off using a hack saw. i did this b/c using a pipe cutter would not work due to the plastic sleeve. once i made the cut, i just filed the burred edge smooth on both the plastic and the aluminum. you could put the shaft in a miter box to get the cut as square as possible, but i just did mine on the garage work bench and got the cuts square enough.
2. after cutting the handle end, the handle is still imbedded in the aluminum shaft you just cut off. i used a dremel cutting disc to split open the aluminum tube and get the handle out.
3. next i used a grinder bit that i put in my power drill to grind some of the plastic off the insert end of the handle that goes into the oar shaft. i found the bit i used in the garage of my rental house, it was cone shaped made of hardened steel and i think intended for use on wood as a grinding bit. i think i have seen them at HD and Lowes too. it ground through the rubber real easy, so i just ground down the diameter of the handle insert a little until it would start into the newly cut end of the oar shaft. don't grind off too much - do a little at a time and then check it against the oar shaft.
4. the next step was probably a little barbaric. i left the diameter of the plastic handle insert slightly larger than the inside diameter of the oar shaft. i got the handle started into the shaft, and then took the shaft and pounded it vertically onto the floor of my garage to drive the handle into the shaft. this put a few dings in the pounded end of the handle, but you could also drive in the handle with a hammer and 2x4 to minimize damage to the handle. i did not use any glue or adhesive, just the compressive force of the plastic handle inserted into the aluminum shaft of the oar. i suppose you could add some glue or epoxy in this, but the ones i did this way have not come loose after 2 seasons of use.

that was it for me. there were some other buzz posts about cutting oars down, and garnering info from there is how i came up with this process. i found a chunk of cork in the 10' i cut down, but it seemed rather small and useless (certainly would not float the oar IMO) so i did not re-insert it into the shortened shaft. later.
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Old 07-15-2010   #5
 
Billings, Montana
Paddling Since: 1965
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I believe the cork is there as stopper only to keep the water from filling the shaft. I found out that mine was too loose and eventually, after 100yds floating down the river, sank. Thanks all for your input
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Old 07-15-2010   #6
 
Idaho, Wyoming
Join Date: Nov 2009
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cutting oars

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishknot View Post
I have a set of 10' carlisle oars that I would like to take 6" off. I understand that they have an inner aluminum sleeve, but not sure where it starts and ends do to the cork plug. I have the tools to cut and drill the 3/4" hole in the blade end, but not sure if the sleeve will interfere with the blade. The handle end looks like a pain unless someone has a slick idea for removing and solidly reinserting it. Anybody done this? Thanks
i have done the opposite as everyone else and cut the blade end. drilling the hole was no problem using a drill press, a couple of clamps and a new speed bore bit (with the little screw tip on the end to start the hole).

notes:
you can't cut 6" off a shaft because the existing button hole is centered at 6". you have to remove almost 6.5 " to clear the exsisting hole. this doesn't really matter if your cutting a pair but if you trying to match a 9.5' to a 9' oar, it is going to be 1/2" shorter unless you don't mind having half of the existing hole at the connection between your shaft and blade.

use the 6.5"' section that you remove to do a few practice holes for accuracy. if you have problems with this then call a friend with more tools.

measure carefully for your hole and start by using a small punch to start the bit through the plastic and into the aluminum. aluminum cuts really easily and can be cut, drilled and routed as easily as wood but- always use sharp blades and bits and wear eye protction!
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