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Bob Babcock Inspired Stand Up Surf Paddle #2: Paddle blades and shaft material

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Blog entry by Scott Grier posted 01-16-2008 06:53 AM 2232 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Bending Fixture / Jig Part 2 of Bob Babcock Inspired Stand Up Surf Paddle series no next part

Well, my first blog ever is up, so let’s keep the ball rolling. Let’s talk about materials. I definetely want to use koa for the blades, so I went to the Martin & MacArthur furniture shop and bought a triangle shaped piece about 2 1/4” thick 18” on one side and 7” across the base. I cut that into the two bookmatched pieces for the blades. I was really careful when using the tablesaw and bandsaw, then finished them off on a drum sander. They came out pretty nice and will look great when finished. On the right side of the picture are two smaller pieces of Koa I plan to use for some type of “T” handle.

Bookmatched koa blade blanks

In this shot you can see the jig, blade blanks, and the template for the blades.

Jig, paddle blades & template

For the shaft I will be using three strips of Ash, and two strips of Basswood. A lot of Outrigger canoe paddlers like Basswood, but in a paddle 78-80” long, I am concerned about durability. When I get it down to the final shape, we see just how much extra weight I gained, and how strong it will be. Heck, baseball bats are made of Ash, so I know it should be bomb proof!

Strips ready for gluing

Finally, here is my shaft strip pencil monster. I stickered the strips for 5 days before glue up, and ran out of scrap. I did what every man in crisis would do, I stole all the pencils I could find in the house and stacked away!

Shaft strips / pencil monster

Next up…the clamp monster!!

-- "A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for" ~ Unknown



10 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14384 posts in 2717 days


#1 posted 01-16-2008 11:24 AM

Thanks Bob – this is interesting stuff – keep it coming.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View Mario's profile

Mario

902 posts in 2702 days


#2 posted 01-16-2008 05:04 PM

Thanks for the update keep going.

-- Hope Never fails

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2811 days


#3 posted 01-16-2008 05:34 PM

excellent… keep it coming

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2737 days


#4 posted 01-17-2008 02:48 PM

Ooh…I’m jealous of the Koa….I think I’ll bring some back with me. Is your blade going to have that edge at the top. I’ve been blending the blade right into the shaft. Otherwise you’ll have a point to ding your rails.

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Other side, I added two layers of 3M mastic to protect the rails.
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-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Scott Grier's profile

Scott Grier

13 posts in 2463 days


#5 posted 01-17-2008 06:15 PM

Bob,
No I don’t plan on leaving the edge, I will center the flat side of the template on the shaft, and based on how everything looks, mark the template for trimmming. I still want to experiment with blade length from 16” to 19” for different conditions. The blade (curve section, not the handle looking end) is just right for a 16” balde, and the total length is 19”. I put a few marks on the paddle at 17 and 18” for new endpoints for different curve lengths. I could do this freehand every time, but I plan to make a new template for each length to keep the oops factor out of the equation.

Let me take a visit to one of my sources, I should be able to get some koa pieces for handles and enough for a set of blades for so cheap I won’t even post it! I’ll try for a large piece about 2×5x20 so you could resaw it. I’m getting some wood for a shoji project next week, I let you know what I find.

-- "A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for" ~ Unknown

View Scott Grier's profile

Scott Grier

13 posts in 2463 days


#6 posted 01-17-2008 06:20 PM

I AM A TOTAL LOSER… I didn’t say how great your paddle are! I loved the first two you made, and the artwork was top notch too. The next group you made had some really great lines in them. I really like the blades and curves, they look very natural. Amazing work, I can’t wait to see them.
Scott

-- "A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for" ~ Unknown

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2737 days


#7 posted 01-18-2008 03:28 AM

Don’t be silly. I find it hard to feel like you haven’t complemented me on my paddles when I’m commenting on the Bob Babcock Inspired Paddle Blog….:). I’m humbled.

Wow…the Koa sounds great. That would be cool.

The latest one I think will define how I’ll make most of the rest. It’s tough finding the optimal mix of strength and weight but I think I’m closing in. The rest will be variations based on who I’m making it for and what its purpose is. If you haven’t already cut your wood make sure you pay attention to the grain. I have the grain running parallel to the stroke and the laminations perpindicular. I will still experiment with blade shapes and sizes but I think the shafts are good.

I’m convinced a quiver of at least 2 paddles is necessary. For long downwinders/cruising you want a lighter longer paddle to allow a more upright stance and lots of strokes. In surf a slightly shorter one that can take a beating, provides some counterbalance and moves water (bigger blade).

I’m puting together a charity event this summer. A paddle across cape Cod Bay (20 miles). I plan to make a specialty paddle. Very slender shaft, thin blade, for optimal weight and lots of flex. Thats going to be a lot of paddle strokes for this old man.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Scott Grier's profile

Scott Grier

13 posts in 2463 days


#8 posted 01-18-2008 06:59 AM

I agree on the quiver of paddles, but I might include a smaller blade or exaggerated teardrop for a true surf paddle. I sometimes “stall out when trying to go hard with my C4 paddle.

I will definitely look for some koa and I might be able to get some mango wood, very cool stuff, although I’m not sure about it’s strength…

It seems like our constuctions is pretty similar, I researched a canoe paddle book for some pointers , but it really didn’t show much in the area of bent shaft paddles.

Hmmm, a charity you say… I would be willing to make a paddle for that too, just let me know. I might have some pieces of walnut that would work for a paddle!

-- "A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for" ~ Unknown

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2737 days


#9 posted 01-19-2008 11:56 PM

Hi Scott,

I snapped my paddle today. As a result I’m not sure the Titebond is the way to go. I think I’ll be sticking with epoxy from now on. Hope you haven’t glued up already.

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I think the culprit may be the titebond III. At the center of the crack it looks like it split at the lamination.
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It was at the thinnest point on the shaft (1” dia) between my hands
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Have you been on standupzone.com? Great forum with lot’s of good info.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Scott Grier's profile

Scott Grier

13 posts in 2463 days


#10 posted 01-23-2008 07:24 AM

Thanks for the heads up, but I have already glued up with TiteBond III. I got ahead of myself, and glue up three total shafts. On the first one, the part below the bend spread out, (too much pressure) and made it unusable for a stand up paddle. I am thinking about cutting the bend off and making a wall decoration paddle. I had the strips cut and decided to go ahead and glue up two more shafts. They came out just the way I wanted, so I’ll clean up the glue, add the blades and the grip pieces.

I plan on making the shafts an egg shape for as much of the shaft as humanly possible, so hopefully that will add some strength. I hope these will last with the glue, but I will use epoxy in the future for assembly. If the break, at least I am learning how to do it better. I still haven’t decided on how to attach the blades, maybe dowels, or a spline or even a series of biscuits.

So, I have to ask how did you break your paddle, were you out paddling in Cape Cod Bay (maniac!), or were you helping the Pats beat down the Chargers?

Yeah, standupzone is good, and so is standuppaddlesurf.net…there is an article called: C4 Guys Stand Up Paddle Surfing Big West Side…Makaha here on Oahu..it’s pretty insane.

-- "A ship is safe in a harbor, but that is not what ships are for" ~ Unknown

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