cutting down a cataract shaft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-24-2012   #1
 
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portland, Oregon
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cutting down a cataract shaft

I recently had to cut down a 10' cataract shaft down to 9'. I've documented how easy it was to do by taking pics and descriptions. It took about 10 minutes. Much simpler to do on a cataract shaft than it is to do on a carlisle because the carlisle has an inner sleeve that makes it such that you have to turn down the handles to make them fit back into the shaft.

1) measure 30 times. cut once. I made a mark at 6'2" because the original shaft was 7'2". You want to cut on the handle side because its almost impossible to get the hole diameter and placement on the shaft size. I used a 60 tooth carbide blade it did a nice job but created a lot of dust.

2) I did a quick test cut on the discard handle side to make sure the carbide blade didn't do anything gnarly to the shaft. I was prepared to use a diamond blade from my tilesaw if necessary. fortunately the carbide blade worked fine. Once completing this rough cut, the handle came off and the rest of the blade could be clamped decently for a very clean precise cut.

3) setup for the precise cut.

4) measurement inside the handle from the end of the cut to the counterbalance shaft. I will use this measurement to cut more of the shaft off down to near where the handle/counterbalance goes.

5) cross-section after this cut through the epoxy. You can see the steel slug from the counterbalance in the center of the handle side.

6) using the scrap piece, I set the blade depth such that it would just barely cut through the shaft and not into the handle.

7) I then made a bunch of drop cuts into the material to cut through the fiberglass down to the shaft.

I used a chisel to complete the cut and to "peel back" the fiberglass shaft.

9) you can see I was a bit too aggressive with my cut but this will not affect the integrity of the handle and this will get filled in with epoxy when reassembled on the end of the shaft.

10) yeah!! nice fit. Just needs epoxy!!
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Old 08-24-2012   #2
 
San Juan Islands, Washington
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I cut the blade end and cut a new hole, It was much faster.
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Old 08-24-2012   #3
 
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portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrefried
I cut the blade end and cut a new hole, It was much faster.
Yeah, true --- but if you are off on your hole (diam, location) you can muck up the shaft pretty bad. The method i documented is the one suggested/recommended by cataract.

Also there is a plug in the bottom that briefly seals the shaft this needs to be moved/relocated. Not sure if its affixed or just pressed in
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Old 08-24-2012   #4
 
Walterville, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
You want to cut on the handle side because its almost impossible to get the hole diameter and placement on the shaft size. I used a 60 tooth carbide blade it did a nice job but created a lot of dust.
I cut down a Sawyer composite oar. Like you I used a 60 tooth carbide blade. But I cut off the blade end instead of the handle. I cut the shaft about a 1/4" long then drilled a pilot hole. I don't remember if I used a hole saw or a spade bit to cut the finished hole to fit the button on the blade. I then used the saw to shave a little bit at a time off the shaft until it was the right length to fit the blade.
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Old 08-24-2012   #5
 
Golden, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrefried View Post
I cut the blade end and cut a new hole, It was much faster.
since 'tard mentioned carlisle's briefly, fyi to anyone reading the thread....don't ever cut the blade end for shortening a carlisle shaft. the walls are thinner at the blade, thicker for the rest of the oar. the blade will never fit and you've destroyed your oar.
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Old 08-25-2012   #6
 
Idaho, Wyoming
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Originally Posted by tomrefried View Post
I cut the blade end and cut a new hole, It was much faster.

Me too. It was easy and actually came out truer and tighter than the factory hole, but as a note- you cannot remove exactly 6 inches, due to the distance from the factory hole to the shaft end. Your oar will have to be at least 6.5" shorter than it was if you cut it from the blade end.

If you cut from the blade end, you have a 6.5" piece of shaft to practice the hole cut on.

Another note, I needed a set of max 7.5' oars for a small boat and I already owned this 10 year old pair of 8' Cataracts. Cataract does not stock oars less than 8' or it may have made more sense to have bought new oar shafts. It doesn't feel so risky cutting a 10 year old pair of oars.
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Old 08-25-2012   #7
 
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portland, Oregon
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This is the third cataract oar i've cut down and very minimal risk

I also cut down a pair of carlisles for a friend. The handles had to be turned down due to the inner sleeve. As someone mentioned, if the blade end would have been cut down we would be talking serious waste of an oar

This makes me wonder why are there cheap import boats but not cheap import oars? Anyone here willing to trust their boat to a pair of cheap chinese oars?
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Old 08-25-2012   #8
 
Rainy Northwest, Washington
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Cutting down cataract shaft

You can cut out many of the steps by just buying new handles.
Andy Bax sells them (or at least they did when I cut my shafts down.) Just cut the shaft with a miter saw. Rough up the inside where the new handle will get glued, rough up the surface of the "plug" portion of the handle and epoxy it in. That's how I cut down mine.
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Old 08-25-2012   #9
 
Rainy Northwest, Washington
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Cataract handles

NRS also sells the handles. Way easier that trying to get the pushbutton hole perfect.
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Old 08-25-2012   #10
 
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This is a C/B shaft. counterbalanced handles prob arent cheap. The salvage of the original handle added five minutes -- less time than it would take to order from Nrs and less stuff for the landfill
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