Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paddles are progressing...

Oh, yeah - and oars, too!  My two oar-makers had cut a tenon on the end of the Western Red Cedar and Spanish Cedar oar blades at our last class.  In addition, they also cut a mating dado into a piece of Walnut for the tip and bonded it on the tenon.  This week they continued to shape the tips and the looms.  They even look like oars now.

The double-bladed paddle that has progressed the furthest is nearly ready to be split to accommodate the stainless-steel ferrule that will turn this into a two-piece paddle.  When you have a paddle that is as long as a kayak paddle, it is truly handy to have a ferrule for transporting it.  The other advantage of the ferrule is that they allow for setting the paddle blades to a left- or right-handed feathering or un-feathered position.  The feathered blade position is nice for paddling into the wind.  People with wrist, elbow or shoulder problems sometimes prefer the blades to be un-feathered  to reduce the stress of twisting required when using feathered blades.

Some of the students are starting to work on fine details - like grip shaping.  The Microplane shaping tool has been a very handy item for this shaping.  It cuts the wood and leaves a very nice surface - unlike a rasp which tears the wood fibers.  It even does a great job on end-grain.

There's still some work going on that requires making lots of shavings...

Some of the more ambitious design work is continuing and should be ready soon!

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