Varnishing the paddle

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Adamv
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Location: Owen Sound, ON Canada

Varnishing the paddle

Post by Adamv » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:24 am

Has anyone developed any clever tricks for varnishing an entire paddle at once? I'm hesitant to use Canoecraft's idea of screwing an eye hook in the end and hanging it. But without doing this, I'm not sure how to suspend the paddle so that the whole thing can be coated with varnish at once. The best I've been able to do is do it in halves---by applying varnish in an alternating way to the blade and grip ends, waiting for one end to dry before doing the other. But this doubles the total varnishing time. Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Adam
Who travels not by water knows not the fear of God --- 17th Century Sailor

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Glen Smith
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Location: Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, Canada

Post by Glen Smith » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:25 pm

Here is what I tried once on a pair of paddles. I would probably attempt to find a better way before doing any more paddles though.

I took two small pieces of thin wood (let's say 1/8" X 2" X 6") and drove several finishing nails through pre-drilled holes. I then varnished one face of one entire paddle and laid it wet side down on the nail beds. Then I varnished the top face. When dry, I would lightly hand-sand then apply another coat taking care to place the paddle the other way up so I wouldn't always have the tiny nail marks on the same face.

Turned out ok. Nobody ever noticed any marks left by the nail bed method. I used those paddles a few times then a fellow wanted them to hang on the wall of his living room so I sold them.

I started by saying I would try to find a different method before making any more paddles but I would use this method again before using a screw eye in the handle.

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Adamv
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Post by Adamv » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:43 pm

Thanks Glen,

Funny thing is I've actually just been considering that approach. Then I stumbled upon these painter pyramids at LeeValley and was wondering if they'd work. They wouldn't dig into the wood (I have some VERY soft white cedar in my paddle) like nails or screws, but on the other hand, because they don't come to as sharp a point, they might leave a small spot in the varnish where the top of the pyramid touches the paddle. Maybe there's one way to find out eh? For $6.50 I can't go too far wrong.

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx ... 43390&ap=1

I'll keep you posted as to how well they work.

Cheers,
Adam
Who travels not by water knows not the fear of God --- 17th Century Sailor

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Glen Smith
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Post by Glen Smith » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:48 pm

That looks like the right thing for the job. Please keep me advised.

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pawistik
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Post by pawistik » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:41 pm

I use a method similar to what Glen described for various projects. I have drywall screws screwed through some small scrap pieces of plywood and will use them to prop up whatever I am varnishing.

A better method would be some sort of zero-gravity device - just varnish with the object floating in mid air. No sags either and the dust wouldn't fall onto the workpiece! :thinking

Always thinking,
Bryan

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sluggo
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Location: Vancouver BC

Post by sluggo » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:00 pm

I've finished a couple of paddles but not with varnish. I used a mixture of tung oil, paint thinner and urethane. I coated the paddles then put them down on a bench, sitting on a couple of small pieces of wood to minimize contact. I didn't pay any attention to details on that aspect. After 4 thin coats the paddles are fully covered and there's no way I can tell where the contact points were. I'm not sure if varnish will have the same results but I imagine it would be the same.

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Adamv
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Location: Owen Sound, ON Canada

Post by Adamv » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:25 pm

Painter's Pyramid update:

Lee Valley shipped them very quickly (they arrived in about three days). They did leave small dimples in the soft white cedar. I suppose if I'd made more of an effort to support the paddle in the thin strips of mahogany hardwood they would not have left dimples in the wood. But considering that the strips are only about 1/4" wide, this would have been a bit tricky. Bottom line, I've abandoned using them and have returned to varnishing my paddles in two stages---grip end first and then the blade end.

On another note, I've adopted the method of using a 4" foam roller and tipping off with a foam brush and am very pleased with the result. The only drawback I've found is that the method wastes much more varnish in the roller than would have been wasted in a foam brush alone (which I was using before). The great varnish job is worth it though.

Cheers,
Adam
Who travels not by water knows not the fear of God --- 17th Century Sailor

Oshan OkaPini
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:57 am
Location: Jackson, Mississippi

Hangers

Post by Oshan OkaPini » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:05 pm

The way that I have supported the paddle during varnishing was to drive two small brads a little ways into the outside edges of the paddle handle, directly opposite each other. I then attached wires to the ends of the brads and hung the paddle from an overhead rafter. I could then apply coats to both sides in the same session. Once the paddle was dry, I pulled the brads out with a pair of pliers, cleaned up the area around the hole and put a drop of varnish in each hole. It is very hard to spot where the nails were.

Cheers :eyebrows

Norman in MS
Right now, there is no cure.

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