1st paddle

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1st paddle

Post by willo » Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:47 am

Getting tired waiting for things to warm up enough to finnish my latest canoe so I made a paddle. It was a lot of fun , will do that again for sure. I used a paddle that my father got when he bought his canoe over 50 years ago as a pattern . I had a 2x6 of clear basswood so it was easy to carve. Well back to waiting for the weather.Some day I will get my kids to show me how to post pic's.

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Post by pawistik » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:07 pm

Hi willo,
How did it compare for weight? Basswood should be nice & light, though some extra thickness was probably needed for strength (compared to ash etc). I have a basswood plank here that may someday become a paddle.

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Post by Rick » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:01 am

I haven't tried basswood for a paddle, although I did use a very light plank of western red cedar. After carving, it seemed so fragile, that I knew I had to encase it all in fiberglass to be able to use it properly.

Whiskyjack paddles use fiberglass sheathing to create light and durable cedar paddles, claiming a weight of only 20 ounces, or 567 grams. My 63-inch ottertail weighed in at about 700 grams, but Whiskyjack makes wide-bladed paddles only, and the long, narrow blade of an ottertail probably accounts for some of the added weight.


Wiithout fiberglass sheathing, lightweight paddles will need to have a thicker blade, and this makes slicing and carving through the water on control strokes less efficient. I've built thin versions of thicker-bladed paddles and the thinner bladed one does have better "feel".

PS... fiberglassing a thin, light blade has to be done on both sides at once, otherwise the expanding epoxy will warp the blade if done on one side only. Probably more than you wanted to know, but the quest for the perfect paddle continues.


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Post by Patricks Dad » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:24 am

FYI, the Whisky Bender paddle is 15 oz... Very light and looks awesome. I've been thinking of trying to build something similar some day.
Randy Pfeifer
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Post by willo » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:37 pm

I am away this weekend at my oldest sons hockey tournament. Just realized that no one is in the room and the laptop is not beiing used. The basswood made a heavier paddle than the original which is spruce. I think it could be lighter if i thin it down more in the center I am already at 1/8 " at the edge. Fiber glass might be a good idea on a future project , thanks for the tip.

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