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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
Very professional looking! They look a lot like Smokers.
Nicely-wrapped. I'm digging the Carhartt canvas micarta tips. They match my canvas micarta oar stoppers!

side view so we can see the edge?
 

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Very professional looking! They look a lot like Smokers.
Nicely-wrapped. I'm digging the Carhartt canvas micarta tips. They match my canvas micarta oar stoppers!

side view so we can see the edge?
Thanks much! Yeah I figure the carhartt should be nice and durable.

The blades are 3/4” thick below the shoulder and 1/2 at the tip. You can see the one on the right is a bit thinner at the shoulder... accidentally got carried away shaping, but I’m overall happy with how they turned out. I got to compare them to my buddy’s new smoker WW blades and was initially bummed out- those things are STOUT. But, just like you said, these are plenty strong in the right dimension.
59597
 

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Well it’s been a bit. I took the oars out for two laps on the Wenatchee earlier this summer, and they felt great. Problem was the finish was still a little soft, and I also put a temporary wrap on them for that trip. They performed wonderfully, but the finish obviously got beat up, and that running crack I thought I had addressed cane back to bite me... even though I couldn’t see it, the weak part continued through the blade and resulted in a longitudinal crack halfway up the blade. (Nothing to do with the thin blades, which I am SO happy with... nice and light swing weight, thanks MT4Runner!)

So! I stripped the wraps, sanded the finish off, glassed the blades, and reinforced the tips with canvas from an old pair of carhartt shop pants. I refinished with Epifanes varnish. I also sanded the handles down to the wood, and refinished them with TruOil (Gun stock finish... total dream to work with)

Here they are, fully wrapped and finished. Some blotchiness from not being thorough enough at removing the original finish coat, but oh well. They’re ready for the Rogue in October! View attachment 59470 View attachment 59470 View attachment 59471 View attachment 59472 View attachment 59473
Awesome. What's over the canvas on the tips?
 

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Discussion Starter · #164 ·
I got to compare them to my buddy’s new smoker WW blades and was initially bummed out- those things are STOUT. But, just like you said, these are plenty strong in the right dimension.
Swing those Smokers all day, and while they're burly, I think you'll appreciate lightweight more.

My FAVORITE oars are my oldest, not my prettiest, and also the ones with the lightest blades.

I understand that Smokers used to be lighter weight, but then had too many people abusing and breaking them, so they got burly and blade-heavy. Also heard anecdotally that OARS dory guides requested the old pattern be available custom for folks who liked it better.
 

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Hey y’all. I’m working through building my first set of oars and I just rounded out the shafts at 1 7/8” tapering to 1 3/4”. I don’t want to go smaller because of my design for a coupling for interchangeable blades, and they currently have just slightly less flex than my Sawyer polecats which I’m ok with. My question is; is it standard practice to add glass cloth to the whole shaft? I don’t want to make them stiffer, but if cloth is advised for strength, I don’t want to skip that.
 

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Hey y’all. I’m working through building my first set of oars and I just rounded out the shafts at 1 7/8” tapering to 1 3/4”. I don’t want to go smaller because of my design for a coupling for interchangeable blades, and they currently have just slightly less flex than my Sawyer polecats which I’m ok with. My question is; is it standard practice to add glass cloth to the whole shaft? I don’t want to make them stiffer, but if cloth is advised for strength, I don’t want to skip that.
Hey Matt,

The only reason I glassed the oars was because one of them had an inherent running crack for 2/3 its length that I didn't find until shaping. If the grain had been clean, I'd have left them unglassed. That being said, they're wonderfully responsive with plenty of whip. For the epoxy on the wraps, I bought two-part general purpose epoxy from Ace. It comes in a black tube, and its working state is a thick peanut-butter consistency.

I'm curious to see your interchangeable blade system. How are you planning to make it work?
 

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Thanks y’all.

I have ordered the Sawyer oar extenders to fit on the end. It will slide onto the end (epoxied on of course) so that my blades can be swapped and changed. I’ll take the female part out that it comes with so that it’s just a tube which will slide over the end of my oar blank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #172 ·
The only reason I glassed the oars was because one of them had an inherent running crack for 2/3 its length that I didn't find until shaping. If the grain had been clean, I'd have left them unglassed. That being said, they're wonderfully responsive with plenty of whip. For the epoxy on the wraps, I bought two-part general purpose epoxy from Ace. It comes in a black tube, and its working state is a thick peanut-butter consistency.
It's CRAZY how much flex a crack will allow. You absolutely need to seal it or wrap it. I've had some stress cracks in most of the old growth clear doug fir I've found lately and have had to fill them with unthickened epoxy.

And a good idea to keep water out, too.
 

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I have a very small crack in one of the oars that will be under the coupling. I plan to fill it with epoxy, give it one wrap with 2 oz cloth, and epoxy on the coupling.

Other than that, my other wood working projects have taught me the importance of sealing the ends while working. This fir, even if kiln dried, will change after its cut. The wood will change most near the fresh cut end, so sealing it (I seal the ends with 2 heavy coats of tite bond III) will prevent the checking and cracks from forming at the end while you work on your peice before it gets epoxy
 

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Well, I may have trashed my second oar. The first one came out great with 2” tapered down to 1 3/4”. But, this second one has me cursing. I already trashed one trying to cheat and take the corners off with the table saw. Now this one (second attempt on the second oar), I got uneven shavings and didn’t spot check along the way. The circle on the end of the oar tells me I’m on, but the oar is about 1 5/8” for most of the shaft.
In your experiences, should I abandon ship and try again? Or should I continue, make the other one the same, and give it some fiberglass and maybe a carbon x wrap? Is this going to be strong enough? It’s good clear fir laminated with opposing grain. This is getting expensive! Sheesh.
 

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Experience carries a high price, but at the end of the day, the journey is totally worth it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #180 ·
Similar happened when I was building my original oars. They're under 1 3/4" for most of their length.

They're still my favorites. I don't know how I haven't yet broken them, but still I've been reluctant to take any others down that small.

No, don't abandon ship. Try them, you just might like them.
But do build another spare.
 
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