DIY square top oars - Page 10 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-01-2018   #91
 
Monument, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Wow! What color is the kevlar on the blades--orange...or red?

It will really compliment wood elsewhere on the oars. Those are beautiful. The more I look at them, the more I like them. I really, really like the twill on the blades. It doesn't look too "techy".
Thanks MT4Runner!! I really like how it turned out too. My only regret was the wood thickness before the twill was applied.

It is orange. Color in the photo is bad.


Your blades are looking great too!! Keep up the good work!!

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Old 10-05-2018   #92
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Update on the remodels:

Decided to put my 9.5' oars on a diet.
Before: 8 lbs, 5oz.

Ran them through the cove sled on the table saw and coved them just like the new oars.
After: 7lbs, 11oz.

8# 5oz - 7# 11oz = 10 oz
9'-6" oars = 114"
32" above the lock, 82" below the lock.

82" x 10oz = 820 oz-lb
(820 oz-lb) / 32 in = 25.6oz

Taking 10oz off the blades is roughly the equivalent of adding 25oz of counterweight. I'll take it!



This moved the balance point 4" up the shaft. I will also re-weigh and re-balance after I glue the last two staves on the square top.
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Old 10-07-2018   #93
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Update on the remodels:
Can't wait to see the finished product. I have a pair of oars that are strong candidates for this remodel.
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Old 10-19-2018   #94
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Got everything shaped. Really excited.


Did the math. Scalloping the blades removed about a pound from each oar. Took the edges down from about 5/8" thick to closer to 5/16" thick.



The wood square tops (fir and cherry) added about a pound to each oar.

Remember that losing a pound from the blade is roughly the equivalent of adding two pounds of counterbalance to the handle....so the scalloping + squaretops was generally the equivalent of adding a 3lb counterbalance to each oar...yet they will still float! I'm really excited to try them next spring.

9.5' oars started about 8.3# each (which surprised me...they felt even heavier...but were only blade-heavy), up to about 9.3# with the square tops and back down to about 7.7# final with the scallops. These have the biggest perceived difference in swing weight. Balance point went from 49" from the blade tip (very blade heavy) to 60" from the blade tip. Center point of a 114" oar is 57".

Old 10' oars were about 8.5# each, up to 9.3# with the squaretops and back down to 8.6# with the blades coved. Center point moved from 56" from the blade tip to 66" from the blade tip. These didn't have as much weight savings with the cove--as I had already thinned them quite a bit back in June when I first refinished them. Who in their right mind would refinish oars twice in one year?!?!



(New 10' oars are balanced at 63" from the blade tip...need to weigh them).


Old blades also got a mild profile reshape. The 9.5' oars used to be a full 7" from shoulder to tip. They're now a bit under 6.25" at the shoulder and still 7" at the tip. The 10' oars were 6.5" all the way and are now a bit under 6" at the shoulder and still 6.5" at the tip. I think it's a bit more aesthetically pleasing and they look a lot more like Pete Culler oars.





All oars got the glass/epoxy wrap to go under the rope wraps and hopefully avoid grain crushing from the oarlocks:



All the kids lined up:



With epoxy flowcoat:



Varnishing this weekend and then rope wrap time. I'm going to reinstall the old ropes on the old oars...the rope is still in decent condition and I like the "river-worn patina".

New oars will either get natural white nylon wraps or I may stain them a cherry/burgundy color to compliment the wood color.
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Old 10-29-2018   #95
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Flow-coated, cured for 4-5 days (use a small electric heater under a tarp to raise the local temps...epoxy cures harder at higher temps). Washed with hot water, dish soap, and Simple Green to remove any traces of blush. Amine blush turns into sticky goo if you add varnish, but comes off easily with soap. Go figure.



And sanded. Time for varnish.
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Old 11-02-2018   #96
 
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Time for varnish.

There are some sags and drips. I'll put on 3 heavy brush coats and let it harden, then give it a good sanding and final coat will be sprayed.


I love the figuring on some of these pieces..on my oldest oars.
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Old 01-23-2019   #97
 
Redding, California
Join Date: Jul 2017
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MT4Runner and stetz...awesome work. I too have have been working on some oars in my off season, so I thought I'd chime in with some notes and pics from my project.

I found some really nice CVG doug fir boards, so I started by laminating those into beams with Titebond III. I started with 3X3 boards because I was going to use a buddy's giant lathe, but he didn't end up getting it, so I opted for hand tools. I used a hand plane, spoke shave and draw knife to take the beams from 4 sides to 8 sides (except I left the blade section at 4 sides. Then I removed material below the counterbalance (an "oct-top" rather than a square top) to make a progressive tapered shaft. I used chisels, a draw knife and spoke shave to carve the handles. Here are pics of all that....

https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e...n/IMG_3196.jpg

Some compass work for placing the lines down the shaft to go from 4 sides to 8 sides:

https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e...n/IMG_3196.jpg

https://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e...n/IMG_3214.jpg
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Old 01-23-2019   #98
 
Redding, California
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If you’re wondering how I rounded and tapered the shaft section below the counterbalance and blade, I started by going from 4 sides to 8 sides, then 8 sides to 16 sides, then I took off the edges to get 32 sides, then I did the rest by eye/sanding. To get the taper, I roughly used this method: . Basically, the diameter of the resulting shaft will roughly correspond to the wide of the square beam you use to scribe the lines. So you just make a mark for the lines on the fat end of the shaft based on the desired diameter and make a mark on the bottom end of the shaft based on the desired diameter, and use a straightedge (i.e., straight board with a good edge to draw a line connecting them. Then you just plane off the corners to the line on all four sides. To go from 8 sides to 16 with a taper, you can make a spar gauge, which will follow the taper you created at the previous step. Here’s a how to: You can also just do it by eye, which is basically what I did because my spar gauge made shitty lines. If you make a spar gauge, use a pencil (not at nail) to scribe the lines down the shaft. Here’s a shot of the oars once that step was finished.



To make the blades, I laminated a strip of cherry (for aesthetics and because I had it) on each side of the dough fir beam, and then I laminated a few pieces of ash outside of that for impact resistance. All blades pieces were ¾” by 1/5” laminated in the center of a 2.5” x 2.5” beam, so I used a drawknife and plane to remove the excess beam and get it flat. Then I traced my blade shape and cut it out with a jig saw (this was my only power tool use except for a palm sander at the end). Here’s some shots of that process:






After that I used a hand plane and spoke shave to shape and thickness the blade. I think I probably left them too thick in the middle there’s a fairly burly rib running down the center that tapers to the blade edges in sort of a convex shape. I probably could have lost some more wood/weight, but I decided to build my first set Skookum as frig, consider them beaters, and see how they hold up. I am currently in the process of fiberglass/epoxy reinforcing the blades, and spar varnishing the shafts. I’ll eventually spar varnish the blades as well. I’ll add rope wrap and grips at the end. Turns out, I’m better at working with wood than with fiberglass and epoxy. That said, I think they’ll be fine once I do the finishing work. Here’s some more recent shots:









Hopefully I’ll have these girls on the water in a couple weeks. My plan is to test them for a while, then build a super duper nice set based on how these work out. I’ll post more pics when they’re done.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #99
 
Monument, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Dragking
How did your oars turn out? Have they seen the water?

And an update on mine. I finally made it to the river with my new oars and the blades are TOO heavy. I love the orange fiberglass and they are bomber...but I'm going to take them back to the shop and plane off a huge amount of material on the blades to make them lighter.

I'll post some more pics and info in an attempt to keep the thread useful.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #100
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Not sure how I missed Dragking's excellent post. Thank you!!


I haven't used mine yet, nor the old ones since the "remodel", but will here in a couple weeks.

Yeah, stelz, light blades make an enormous difference in swing weight.
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