Thursday, May 13, 2010
Well tonight I was able to get to the finishing of my paddle I started a few weeks back. I love using the spoke shave that you see here, Neil taught me how to use it properly. I marked the blade last week and got to shave it to dimensions. Took it home and tonight instead of being on the water with the guys I too advantage of the sun and went to work on the deck. I set up my Black and Decker work bench and started the finishing trim work and then started sanding.
My homemade paddle I can honestly say is not totally symmetrical as I was just using my eye and sense of touch, getting that "organic feel" that Chuck Holst spoke about in his directions. I was looking forward to that part of the construction as I got to influence more and more the final shape by sanding and a few more spoke shaves. The paddle when it was done and my tips "rasped" and sanded, man oh man, did it feel good. My paddle started out a bit warped and it took me a while to get the markings down to try and get some of it out. In the end I was very pleased. For my first one I'd give me a 6 out of ten because I can see lots of things I would do differently next time. First and for most I would make the strips extend from blade to blade, not just glue a bunch at the blades and a few at the loom. See previous posts. I think this would help with two things: the warp, if the Wood is a bit wet at the beginning the solid strips going the length of the paddle for a laminate construction, I think might help with that somewhat (better to start with very dry wood, Dah!)secondly that type of laminating would also allow you to cut out the shoulders of the paddle better which I found because of the awkwardness of the blade laminations, was unable to get the perfect shape during the cut. Now that was just probably me. Just my observations!
She is a beaut. To me.
All I have left to do is to bring out the grain with a wet down. Chuck suggests showering with it if you are not near a lake. So tomorrow morning I have my first shower with a paddle. I know I'm leaving myself open here but this is a time of "firsts".lol I also went and bought some ebony stain that I intend to apply lightly with intermittent fine grain sanding, 220 grit sandpaper and then after a few stains to taste I will apply Tung Oil that I also purchased this evening. I am hoping that the ebony stain will add a nice match to the chocolate brown partridge pattern of the Wenge Wood tips of the Congo, hoping not to mask too much of the grain from the cedar and spruce laminate strips. Voila! The final product in a few days. OOPs! THe pictures are in reverse order. The picture in the header is of the sky the last evening I was at Neil's shaping and planing the paddle. What a beautiful view he has in Flatrock and like he says, "I love to watch the changing moods of the ocean". He can do that very well by day and by evening he can watch the changing moods of the sky. Thanks Neil that whole experience was good for the soul!