Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turning Canoe Paddles into a Double Blade Kayak Paddle

I recently built an all wood boat and have started on my second build which will be a copy of the Brazos Boat Works design of a 3 panel kayak with stripped decks. The whole boat will be made from cedar strips. I did not want to paddle these boats with a plastic kayak paddle and decided to go purchase a laminated wood double kayak paddle. Boy was I in for sticker shock. I had no idea that wood kayak paddles would be so expensive. I came home without a paddle and decided to just use the plastic one I had. I went to Academy several days ago to look for another plastic paddle and while I was browsing the plastic paddles I saw several inexpensive single wood boat paddles. A light bulb went off in my head and I thought why not take a couple of the inexpensive wooden boat paddles and make a double blade kayak paddle. The following pictures will show some of what I did and how it turned out. I am actually quite proud of the results and will be doing some more in the future. Total cost in materials was under $40.00
Wild Ed

Here are the two inexpensive canoe paddles I started with.

Clamped the paddles together cut the handles off and cut the blades to shape on the band saw

Here is what the two paddles looked liked when I unclamped them from cutting and shaping the blades.

Sanded blades, cut scarf joint, glued. fiberglassed the joint and clamped up to dry.

Finished paddle sanded and varnished. The upper blade is darker in the photo because it is wet and the final drying is taking place. I did put a bamboo dowel through the scarf joint and also fiberglassed the joint to make sure it was plenty strong. This was my first time to laminate two paddles into one and I am pleased with the result. I want to see how this length works with my style of boat and a high seat. I may make a shorter one later.

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