Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Paddle Project - Step 4

This is the part where you are supposed to mark off all the shaping lines on the paddle face, used as a guide for when you are shaping the final form of the paddle.  I found I messed up so bad on measuring during the first part of the build, trying to get these measurements equal on all four sides was just not going to happen,  for me I just marked the center line and then shaped by using my eyes to try and get as close as possible to what it should be.  I started with the paddle blades and used a finishing plane (small plane used with fingers) as this seemed to do the best for shaving and carving the paddle.  Measurements are included before and hopefully you will have better luck than I did on the first go around, again, for me, this was more an exercise to learn for the next one. 

I didn't worry about rounding off corners or anything, just wanted to form the basic paddle shape,  I recommend taking lots of time and doing lots of checks to make sure everything is even and proportional on both sides of the paddle on both ends as well.  The more time you take the better it will be when you finish. This is where knots in the wood really became a pain, the less knots the better and make sure you plane/carve with the grain, not against it.

Once you get the hang of it, it actually goes quite smoothly, definitely the fun part of the project so far.  Now how the hell do you round square wood?  This was the part I was worried about, never having done it before I just wasn't sure,  actually ended up pretty easy to do.   Just think of the shape you are carving and take little bits off at a time, for instance on the edge of the paddle, I shaved off the corner on both sides and then progressively worked inwards, after a number of passes it starts to round off,  harder to describe than to do.  End result is nicely rounded paddle blades,  same concept for the handle (just larger dimensions) 

And that's it,  a fully formed Greenland kayak paddle,  just needs finishing touches,  Here are pictures of the paddle after final shaping,  you will notice (maybe) that one side of the handle is slightly larger in diameter than the other side, damn knots, just didn't feel like trying to shave through the knot so left as is,  this was a test project after all.

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