wood paddle shaft diameter? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-22-2017   #1
 
plainfield, New Jersey
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 87
wood paddle shaft diameter?

I have started to play around with making whitewater paddles, and made a paddle out of some ash I had lying around. It is awfully pretty, but, it weighs a ton, I am thinking the shaft and the blades are both way too thick. (shaft is 1.5 inches blades taper to 5/16)

If you have a wood paddle, could you measure the shaft diameter for me, and the thickness of the blades?

I cobbled together a new version with a bit more pine and cedar, and the weight seems a bit better... I am thinking for a beefy layup I may do a laminated shaft with ash and cedar, and laminated blades as well. I will say it is really therapeutic to lay a sharp spokeshave into softer woods..

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Old 08-22-2017   #2
 
Duluth, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 182
I'd love to hear more. Been thinking about a wood paddle build for years. My big hangup has been figuring out how to do the scarf joint in the middle.

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Old 08-23-2017   #3
 
plainfield, New Jersey
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 87
I have rafts and duckies, so I started with raft paddles. and then jumped to kayak paddles. I made a scarf joint jig for the table saw, that is a big chunk of plywood with guide bars on the bottom and an angled wedge to get the joint. then I cut a whole ton of dowel stock until it seemed to work.

After all of that effort, I was looking at Jimmy Snyders rivrstyx (I am so not worthy) and realized he is making his zero offset. So, I made one like that, (the ash monster) and paddled it, The zero offset is not too weird to get used to, the big problem is that I have a stupid heavy paddle. I may see if I can belt sand it down..

My current method combines power and hand tools, and I pretty much use what I have got. I have started making blade templates on hardboard that I can trace onto the paddle blank, and then have guidance shape the blade.

I will either use solid wood or a laminated shaft that I cut down on the table saw to 1 3/8 inch square.

I cut all of my blade stock into strips 1 3/8 inch thick and then as thin as 5/16 to as thick as 1 1/2 inches, I then plane them flat, and then cut them into 18 inch long pieces.

Then using all the clamps I have I glue the blade stock to the shaft.

I glue it all flat on my workbench, and just cover the bench in Kraft paper (it sands off nicely) I have used thickened epoxy and also titebond 3, right now, I am liking titebond 3,

After the glue sets I sand it flat, trace the blade shape and then jigsaw it out, I then run a center line, around the whole blade, and then start shaping. My weapon of choice is an angle grinder with a flappy wheel, (40 grit) and a 60 grit belt sander, and then spoke shaves. During the school year I can use my schools band saw, but that has taken more off too fast, and it is really hard to put wood back.

Once the shape is good I do an epoxy coat with RAKA uv stabilized epoxy, and then lay a single sheet of 4 oz fiberglass on each side of the blade. I sand off the excess (wear a mask and safety specs) and then it is 5 coats of spar urethane, and thats it... I can go from a pile of sticks to a paddle in about a week...

I keep either a takedown (aquabound shred or hand paddles) with me just in case I have an oops on the water.

But, I still need to get some measurements, because I do not get how folks are making solid ash paddles...
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Old 08-24-2017   #4
 
Duluth, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 182
Cool! I'm not sure that all his paddles are zero offset. I've used one that definitely wasn't. Don't most of his paddles use a light core like spruce with ash plates on the outside?

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Old 08-24-2017   #5
 
Fernie, BC
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 2
Made myself a wood paddle reciently and am pretty stoked with result. The shaft is 33mm in the centre and 33/28mm at the oval grips. The blades ended up 6mm give or take a hair around the parimeter after the glass went on. I based these dimensions on a friends wood paddle and they seem good, definately not too heavy.
As far as feather goes I've found 0deg less than optimal. I cut this paddle to be 30deg offset but will probably increase that to 35 with my next one. I may be old school though, having used a 45deg offset most of my life on the water.
Making a paddle is a sweet project.
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