Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Laminated Paddle Blanks

After my last paddle blank making frenzy back in April, I ended up with a load of offcuts and scraps clogging the locker room floor. Since I started getting the stock dressed 4 sides at Century Mill, nearly all these pieces had one side jointed and squared up and could therefore be re-used to make laminated paddles.

I spent an hour or so sorting through most of my inventory and came up with some nice combinations of mixed woods to experient with some more paddle designs. These were layed out on the balcony and dry clamped to get a rough look. In each case, I checked the orientation of the grain by running the block plane lightly over the wood and then marking the preferred shaving direction on the strips. This way when they are glued up, I won't be fighting alternate grain patterns and tearing out the wood.

Marking grain orientation; Poplar & Birch combo; Poplar, Cherry & Birch combo

After laying them out and dry clamping, I could begin to see appropriate paddle shapes coming out. In most cases of course, the scraps of wood were of different lengths so they would need to be cut to size. But, these smaller cutoffs were saved and used as grip material adding to the consistency of the overall look.

There are only 4 blanks pictured in the pic below, but I managed to salvage enough scraps to make 6 laminated paddles in total. The blade designs I've selected include a Western Cree, HBC voyageur, King Island Inuit, Short Maliseet and variations of the classic Ottertail blade. These will be cut to appropriate shape next time I visit The Carpenter's Square and will be posted on separately.

Some of the dry-clamped paddle combos

It'll probably be another week or so before I can glue up each of these.

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