I'm happy to report that things are moving along well on my kayak paddle. Not fast, but moving nonetheless.
I want to share a huge learning (sorry for the corporate speak) I had while working on this project. After trying to clamp down a round shaft to a flat surface for the 8 or 9th (hundred!) time, I pulled up trusty old Google and looked for something I recall seeing some time in the past. Let me tell you, if you are going to build a paddle (even just one) it will be worth your while to build a schnitzelbank. That's right, I said it. A schnitzelbank
. Or a shaving horse, if you want to use the easy term. After doing some internet research, I kluged together a design of my own and built it in one afternoon with 4 2x4s and one dowel. All said, cost was under $15, but it is a priceless work platform for what I'm doing. It's far from perfect; leans a little, slightly wobbly, could undergo some major improvements, but it's getting the job done. There are some really complicated designs on the internet.
I stapled the rags on today. One of the designs I saw online had leather. As I'm getting closer to the final thickness on one of the paddles, I've noticed the pine is marring the shaft somewhat from the pressure I put on it. Hopefully, the rags will take off those harsh edges. That's my Crazy Creek chair I'm using as a seat. I was too eager to start using the thing to build a deck/seat to sit on. :roll:
And here's the results of my work so far. I'm pretty happy with it so far.
Shaft on the right, just a hair over 1.25" diameter. Shaft on left, just a hair under 1.50". Spokeshave and 80 grit sandpaper down to just under 1.30". Then I hit it with 150 grit, then 220.
Kayak Jack - you'll be happy to know I've left the shaft oblong roughly where my hand placement will be. You can somewhat see the bulge in the lower shaft. On the top, you can see my "no spokeshave zone" marked on the shaft.
And finally, where the paddle face meets the shaft. I'm leaving that for last. I want to get the second paddle trimmed/shaped down so that I can tackle them both at the same time.