Sunday, 21 February 2010

Making Paddles

Time for a pair of single paddles for Swift

The excellent book by Warren and Gidmark provides some good tips and offsets to mark out various designs. I choose the 'Sugar Island' design and glue up blanks in Ash, with some mahogany decorative stripes and protective strip glued accross the end grain.

The blanks are marked out from a centre line, measuring out to each offset dimension and then joining up the points with a clean curve.

The next job was to cut out the profile in plan.

I will revert to imperial measurements as that's what provided in the design book. So the blanks were glued up to an even thickness of 1 1/4" (being the maximum thickness of the stocks). As the paddles will only be 3/8" at most there is plenty of waste. I choose to router the worst of this off before hand planing.

There is still plenty to go at with a smoothing plane, block plane and spokeshave. Once I have my 3/8" thickness (9 mm) in the centre and paddle endges which are shaped down to 3/32" ('say' 2.5mm) I move onto the opposite end and start to shape the grip.

The candle on the bench was left over from a wedding reception and keeps the bottom of the planes moving well over the timber!

Most of the shaping on the stock and grip is completed with a sharp spokesave and the Ash works relatively easily.

The finished grip.

And the finished product! The double paddle made at the same time as Swift last year was varnished, so I will try oiling these ones and see which proves to be the most practical finish.

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