Mountain Buzz banner
201 - 217 of 217 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hey All Contributors. You Guys rock! I've glued up the shafts on my first set, 3/4" CVG doug fir (1x4 trim easiest to get a hold of). So shaft will be made of 3 laminated pieces. Without giving it much thought till now I was going to make the blades parallel to the glue joints, loading perpendicular to leaves of laminate, just like in a glulam beam. I did notice in a few pics early in this thread that glue joint was parallel to load. Opinions one way or another? Or don't overthink it... build... test... repeat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #202 ·
Don’t overthink it

I’ve tried both vertical grain and flat sawn. VG is stiffer, flat sawn is more flexy.

ultimately, stiffness/flex is mostly a factor of diameter and length. I don’t think glue joint location makes a difference, but laminated will generally be stiffer and stronger than solid wood if you have a quality glue joint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
So I'm nearly to the stage where I'm going to add some glass. just a final shaping of transitions and some finish sanding. Wanted to post some things I learned in addition to the immense amount already here. I've shaped a handful of canoe paddle blades before and they were so heavy that they never got used and when getting down to the thicknesses you ideally want for weight reasons every 1/16" matters and that kind of accuracy rules out a freehand approach for me. I also wanted to find a solution that would be within reach for most with rudimentary carpentry tools. This is what I came up with:
  1. Built a strong back out of a sheet of 19/32" ply (T shape in section, next time go for box section to mitigate twist)
  2. Blank created from 3 layers of CVG Douglas Fir 1x4 trim (.75" x 3.5" actual) put a layer of clear packing tape on the strong back to prevent epoxy sticking to your strong back.
  3. Glued additional 1/4" at squaretop section to get to a square 2.5" from the 2.25" of three layer of 3/4" CVG
  4. Machined blank down with a job site table saw
    1. Square top section a little less than 2.5" x 2.5"
    2. Shaft 2"x2"
    3. Blade 2" thick x 3.25" (3.25 to get rid of some of the bow in the original boards)
  5. Glued on some additional pieces to make up full width of the blade. ~7.25"
  6. Machined blade outline with a flush-cut router bit and a pattern made from ply. (I found cutting the majority of the excess off with a circular saw before using router helped a lot)
  7. Now for the crux, shaping the blade.
    1. Build some rails on either side of the blade symetrical to centerline. I angled them slighty, narrow at the blade tip and wide at the blade root.
    2. I built a sled that would receive the circular saw. and also has a 'fence' to prevent over cutting.
    3. Clamp oar to strong back at the root of the blade.
    4. Use a power planer to shape the tip taper (see pic) and take away excess (this helps save machining time and loading your cirular saw in a way it isn't intended ;)
    5. Angle the circular saw to ~ 20 deg so you're using some of the blade tooth cutting edge.
    6. Set Depth and Take small bites.
Wood Drill Tool Flooring Wood stain
Saw Miter saw Abrasive saw Wood Concrete saw
Wood Tree Saw Gas Hardwood
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #206 ·
@BenJam'n I missed your earlier post. Impressive. I like your use of a sled, and it looks like you got your blade tips/edges thin enough that you'll enjoy using your oars!!
2" x 2" is a good dimension in the oarlock, but you'll want to lose some of that weight/stiffness down nearer the blade--go narrower.


Go fer 'it, @Idaho_ski_bum. Hog out the oars and you'll be able to feel if they're too flexible or if you hear strange crackling noises. If so, all is not lost. Wrap the thing with a fiberglass sleeve and you'll add strength/stiffness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I have made a few sets of oars so far from various woods, ash, DG vertical grain, and walnut. I have also worked a lot with different resins and glass, carbon fiber, kevlar and sleeves.

My questions is, I know some you (MT4) use a shaper and a round over bit to get the shaft(loom) into cylinder. How do you go about creating a repeatable taper? Let's say I'm making 9' square tops and I want to taper from 2" to 1.75" or 1.5". I have used a lot of methods to get there but am looking for a more mechanical way to shape and taper the shafts quicker. Methods I have used are spar gauge and hand tools(great but time consuming), cylinder mill(terrible), big lathe(too much wobble at high speed).

I am considering a shaper or a custom router setup with a big shaper motor but would like your thoughts before I throw down the coin.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated! A few pics of some oars I made.
Wood Architecture Flooring Floor Wood stain
Table Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor
Wood Hardwood Natural material Wood stain Flooring
Window Building Wood Interior design Fixture
Vertebrate Natural material Sports equipment Window Wood
Brown Wood Floor Flooring Plank

Musical instrument Wood Tire Flooring Floor
Wood Rectangle Flooring Wood stain Tints and shades
Wood Flooring Rectangle Floor Table
Wood Output device Audio equipment Sound box Electronic instrument
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #208 ·
Those are fantastic, @RGSeam
Got the roundover bit idea from @CB Rob on here.
To get a tapered cylinder/oval: taper the shaft before rounding.


Cool to see this thread bumped again with some other handmade oars. Coincidentally was just working on my own oars last night. The last 3 sets of customer oars were better balanced than my own...so I took another healthy whack at the blades. Moved the center point 4" up the shaft....based on last round (see below), that should be another 10oz or so removed. I just went to town with 80-grit paper on a 7" grinder and created a big cloud of dust.

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

Coved the blades. After: 7lbs, 11oz.

This moved the balance point 4" up the shaft.
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.

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 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.
Balance point of those 9.5" oars is now 64" from the blade tip. I need to weigh them again.
Also narrowed the blades again. 6.25" at the tip, 5.5" at the shoulder.
Tips were 1/2"+ thick, now 1/4".
Edges were 5/16"+ thick, now -1/4".
Blade neck was a full 1 7/8" round. Now a sweet oval...about 1 5/8" in the strong direction and 1 1/2" in the unloaded (parallel to the blade) dimension.

Outdoor bench Wood Street furniture Outdoor furniture Natural material


Wood Natural material Outdoor furniture Hardwood Table


Dory oars (turquoise stripe) also went on a diet and lost similar weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
@MT4Runner I appreciate the kind words...as you know its a ton work.
"Got the roundover bit idea from @CB Rob on here.
To get a tapered cylinder/oval: taper the shaft before rounding."

So taper the shaft to 4 sides first? (wow I can't believe I didn't think of that!?!) Do you like to do that on the table saw or by hand?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #210 · (Edited)
Yep!!

I've built 34 oars so far. First 6 were hand tools. I use hand tools less and less and less.
Mostly table saw, bandsaw, power drum sander, 7" grinder, 4.5" angle grinder with a 60gr flap wheel, ROS.
You can mess stuff up a LOT faster with power tools, but you can also shape and get done quicker, too.

I do use a jack plane and block plane occasionally if I have a high spot I need to level out...easier to creep up to a line with hand tools than power tools.


Have you read Culler's book and/or Steever's?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #211 ·
Tip: I also like to do my own oar modifications/maintenance in the fall.
Let's face it, the oars should be used enough in the summer season that you don't have time to take them out of service for 2+ weeks.
Winter is too cold for epoxy and varnish.
And spring is cool/damp which isn't great for curing. If I get oars all varnished in the fall, they're nice and hard for spring boating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Yep!!

I've built 34 oars so far. First 6 were hand tools. I use hand tools less and less and less.
Mostly table saw, bandsaw, power drum sander, 7" grinder, 4.5" angle grinder with a 60gr flap wheel, ROS.
You can mess stuff up a LOT faster with power tools, but you can also shape and get done quicker, too.

I do use a jack plane and block plane occasionally if I have a high spot I need to level out...easier to creep up to a line with hand tools than power tools.


Have you read Culler's book and/or Steever's?
That's great, thanks for the info. I will have to get those two books. Great for winter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
@MT4Runner I had the blades all glassed up before I saw your subsequent post so I just left them for later mods... but yeah the blades could still go on a diet for weight and flex like you said. When I revarnish I'll shave some material off the blade spine and some of the lower shaft. I added a couple of layers of glass cloth on the blades because I abuse stuff, especially river gear. I ended up using Epifanes Clear Varnish as I come from the yacht building industry and it gets a good review. At first I was really worried that is was going to be too soft but it hardened up nicely over a few weeks. I think next time I would use a two part polyurethane varnish if I wanted to put them in service right away double the price but hardens in days not weeks. Here's a pic from their maiden voyage yesterday. 20 miles down the lower Clackamas.

Water Boat Sky Watercraft Sports equipment


Yes...That's glitter on the square top :D, I let the kids throw some extra fine in the varnish. Whatever it takes to get them excited about the river. Added benefit is that it forms a great not too aggressive texture on the handle for grip.

Thanks again to all contributors, especially MT4Runner, for facilitating a successful first set.... not going to be the last!(y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #214 ·
I put my own on a diet…only took me 3 and 10 years respectively. So it’s also my own hindsight speaking. :)

glass is GREAT for protecting tips. Added some on my original oars 18 years ago..added some every 4-5 years when refinishing but they got to be 5/8” thick and all got carved off and replaced in the remodel
Wood Outdoor furniture Natural material Table Hardwood

Wood Road surface Composite material Gas Metal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #215 ·
Those look great, @BenJam'n. It's interesting once you use them that weight (lighter) and flex (more) are more desired than you'd realize when you're handling them in the workshop. "Geez" those don't seem beefy enough...and then you row and want less swing weight and realize that the only thing you'll bang your blades on are the tips on rocks...everything else is incidental and most of the blade can be much thinner--it only sees water pressure.

I use alkyd hardener with regular varathane spar varnish from the box store. I really like catalyzed products for better hardness/durability...you can see why I commented to do finishing in the fall so they're hard for spring use. :)

got closeups of your oars/glitter?
And pics of what you do in your day job? Boat and yacht building intrigues the heck out of me.

@MT4Runner I had the blades all glassed up before I saw your subsequent post so I just left them for later mods... but yeah the blades could still go on a diet for weight and flex like you said. When I revarnish I'll shave some material off the blade spine and some of the lower shaft. I added a couple of layers of glass cloth on the blades because I abuse stuff, especially river gear. I ended up using Epifanes Clear Varnish as I come from the yacht building industry and it gets a good review. At first I was really worried that is was going to be too soft but it hardened up nicely over a few weeks. I think next time I would use a two part polyurethane varnish if I wanted to put them in service right away double the price but hardens in days not weeks. Here's a pic from their maiden voyage yesterday. 20 miles down the lower Clackamas.

View attachment 71448

Yes...That's glitter on the square top :D, I let the kids throw some extra fine in the varnish. Whatever it takes to get them excited about the river. Added benefit is that it forms a great not too aggressive texture on the handle for grip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
@MT4Runner, I'll get some more pics when I have them out again.

Before moving to Portland a couple years back. I lived in South Africa for ~12 yrs, took the move there as an opportunity to build boats which always called me... still does to be honest. Ended up building high-performance cruising/racing catamarans in advanced composites for about 5 years ... then I got to sail and race on the last one I built! 66' Gunboat 'Phaedo'. Unforgettable experience! Here's a video of one of my favorite races. After that race I spent the next 8 years running the manufacturing of a startup building advanced composite components for some pretty high-end yachts. Again another great gig! I got to experiment with 3D modeling, using our CNC machine, infusion, autoclave, etc. I really just love building stuff... 3D modeling software, a CNC machine & composites really open up the possibilities. Hit me up if you have any composite queries, always keen to talk shop.

I've also built a cedar strip canoe, some hollow wood surfboards and ski's. My next project is going to be rowing/sailing dory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,037 Posts
Discussion Starter · #217 ·
Oh my gosh, what a gorgeous yacht. That's a LOT of sail. She's gorgeous heeled over..I'll bet she's going faster than she looks especially when you realize she's 66' long.

My brother worked for Jason Cajune @ MT Boatbuilders and then traveled to NZ on a work visa building boats. I sorta wish I'd done that...guess that's a dream for another lifetime.

buddy of mine wants to build a rowing/sailing dory but thinks he won't need a daggerboard or leeboard. Pretty sure he will!!

Thanks, would love to talk composites some time.
 
201 - 217 of 217 Posts
Top