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I have a set of Cataract oars that are a foot too long, Is it easier to remove the handle and cut, or should I cut the blade end and redrill the hole with a drillpress and holesaw? I think this would be easiest since I wouldn't have to move my sleeves.
I was thinking of using a chop saw with a fine blade, will the carbon fiber in the shaft be a problem?
 

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I have a set of Cataract oars that are a foot too long, Is it easier to remove the handle and cut, or should I cut the blade end and redrill the hole with a drillpress and holesaw? I think this would be easiest since I wouldn't have to move my sleeves.

I was thinking of using a chop saw with a fine blade, will the carbon fiber in the shaft be a problem?
Just cut the blade end with a hacksaw, and redrill the hole. (They cut really easy).

Jack
 

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I bought a 10' breakdown oar for my spare and needed 6" cut off to match the other two oars. You will have a very difficult time getting the blade hole lined up in the correct spot. FYI - If you cut off the blade end you will need to replace the foam plug in the bottom of the oar (see 'Water in Cataract Oar' post in Gear Talk)

Advanced Composite's suggestion was to cut off the handle and replace it with a new one using slow cure epoxy (24hrs +). I bought a new handle through DRE and they were kind enough to cut the oar off square using their chop saw. Three cuts should not mess up a fine tooth carbide tip.

I know this means more $$ spent on the boat but now would be a great time to upgrade to counter balanced handles. As far as not moving the sleeves, I think you will have to in order to keep things in the 1/3 - 2/3 dimension.
 

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Cut the handle

Cut the handle end with a chop saw while wearing eye protection. Then take an angle grinder and make a cut along the axis of the glass that is left on the handle. You can then use a screw driver to pry the glass off the handle. Always measure twice and cut once. Happy boating
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions, I ended up cutting the blade end with a hacksaw and redrilling the hole with a 3/4" holesaw. The hole lined up perfectly and I didn't have to deal with the foam plug, It was more than 1/2 way up.
 

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We need to shorten some 10' oars, and wanted to see if anyone had updated stories or recommemdations. TIA

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I drilled a new whole for the blade button then cut the oar to length. Easy peasy.
 

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I drilled a new whole for the blade button then cut the oar to length. Easy peasy.
Damn, good idea! Any tips for getting it perfectly centered and keeping it from spinning? Did you hold the oar with a clamp, or was it easy enough to just freehold? I am relatively skilled with tools and stuff, but am no carpenter.

Any special blade for cutting the glass with a chopsaw?
 

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Did I really write "whole"? Anyway, it has been a while since the last time I shortened an oar. I don't have large drill bits so I used either a spade bit or hole saw, probably a hole saw. You should drill a pilot hole before you cut the larger hole for the button. I would practice a couple of times on the portion of the oar that you are going to cut off. I don't think it really matters if the new hole is a bit off center from perfect. Just use a chop saw to cut it to the right length to fit the blade shaft. I've used my chop saw with a crappy framing blade to cut many oar shafts. It wouldn't hurt to use a finish blade with lots of carbide teeth if you are concerned about cutting the shaft. Again you can cut the shaft in increments to practice before making the final cut.
 

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cutting oars

I have noticed that you can get a bit of blade movement, not much, but a bit, if the hole isn't clean. I would try to access a drill press and clap it first for best results. If memory serves, the center of the hole to the cut off is just shy of 6", something between 5 and 15 and a full 6. I know because I was careless with the measurement and assumed it was 6". My blades wouldn't quite fit. So measure carefully. I like the idea of taking thin slices off the end until it fits but make sure your blade and saw will do that cleanly before committing to that method. It's pretty easy, overall.
 

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Excellent tips, thanks guys! I know a couple of people with presses. I might do a practice hole or two and if those don't work well, I think I will hit drill press friends up.



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If you need to do it quick and no love on a drill press, you can get a chunk of 2 x4, and cut a hole the diameter of the shaft in it, and then drill down through the 2 x4 using it as a guide block to keep the drill bit from jumping around. (so the guide block will be slid up to the location of the new hole. Once the hole is started (maybe use a 3/8 inch bit) you can use a step bit to mill it to exact diameter. I can draw it up if it does not make sense. It has worked brilliantly for drilling holes in long aluminum tube.
 

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We will all be rowing skinnier rivers, but if you are worried about 6" here or there then develop some technique.
Had a boat that was a 15' and cut it down to 14' with a chop saw. Twice. Was still too short.
Get a life, deal, and go! Or is nothing wild anymore?.
 

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If you need to do it quick and no love on a drill press, you can get a chunk of 2 x4, and cut a hole the diameter of the shaft in it, and then drill down through the 2 x4 using it as a guide block to keep the drill bit from jumping around. (so the guide block will be slid up to the location of the new hole. Once the hole is started (maybe use a 3/8 inch bit) you can use a step bit to mill it to exact diameter. I can draw it up if it does not make sense. It has worked brilliantly for drilling holes in long aluminum tube.
FTW!!! That is super double brilliant!

I'm pretty psyched, I have been wanting to shorten these by 2" for years! It will really make it easier for my wimpy girl arms to row these big burly rivers. ;)
 

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FTW!!! That is super double brilliant!

I'm pretty psyched, I have been wanting to shorten these by 2" for years! It will really make it easier for my wimpy girl arms to row these big burly rivers. ;)
Only thing I can add is that wrapping the cut area in tape prior to cutting helps reduce splintering, especially if using a coarser blade. I like electrical tape because I can pull it tight. Then sand a slight chamfer inside and out of the oar end and the new button hole - that'll help keep future splinters down and facilitate alignment.


oh yeah and thunderfoot - it's always a good idea to tough it out rather than take the time to make it right! Keep telling yourself that and you'll go far.
 

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We will all be rowing skinnier rivers, but if you are worried about 6" here or there then develop some technique.
Had a boat that was a 15' and cut it down to 14' with a chop saw. Twice. Was still too short.
Get a life, deal, and go! Or is nothing wild anymore?.
I hear ya thunderfoot. Nothing makes my head explode like someone stressing over a couple inches of oar length. Or how many different dutch ovens one needs. Or will the river be 1.5 feet of 2.o feet? That's want the buzz is, a whole lot of people way over thinking their 4 to 5 trips a year. They work way too much for way too little river time. dont cha know??

Hell, these days I don't even have time to 303 my boat. Its out back with sand/mud from last week and I'm hoping to be on tomorrow. Sponge fish are hammer the hook. So, yes there is still wild out there!
 

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I have a set of Cataract oars that are a foot too long, Is it easier to remove the handle and cut, or should I cut the blade end?
You want to downsize. Why not ask if someone here wants up upsize. Maybe you can make a mutually beneficial trade and save yourself the whole project? I actually know someone who has nine-footers with Carlisle one-foot extensions, who might trade for tens.
 

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I'm guessing that he's already done the deed... it's been almost 9 years. But good suggestion... look for a trade, maybe lhowe can look around for someone... she's the one that resurrected the thread.
 
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