Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fixing an old failure - scarfing a grip onto a sassafras northwoods - Part 3

Here's the end story with the scarfed sassafras paddle. The previous post on this paddle  mentioned that the blade had weathered after being exposed untreated for years in the backyard garden. One side had turned into to a light brown colour while the more exposed face oxidized into a greyish black patina. 

Different sides of the weathered blade

After carving down the shoulder and throat and shaving off the weathered top layer, the now golden hue of the sassafras came out with no signs of wear. Between the blade weathering, the darkened sassafras and the light creamy new sassafras grip, the paddle now had 3 distinct colour tones. Briefly considered scraping off the oxidized layer and staining the light wood to match the rest of the paddle, but some online feedback suggested to leave it alone. The old wood and new wood obviously contrast but it'll be a reminder of how this paddle pretty much came back from the grave. 

However, for practical purposes I decided to add a leather wrap around the shaft using 1/2" wide, 60 inch long saddle string leather collecting dust in the leather supply box.
1/2" x 60"  Saddle String

I've already described my method of attachment in this previous post  from 2009 so didn't take any new photos of the process. Many of the links in the post from back then are no longer active but my photos and description is the same. Trim  roughly 4" from the ends to a point, tack on the bottom, soak the leather in warm water and then stretch tightly around the shaft. Using a clamp to hold the bulk of the wrapping, the final bit is stretched out and the final tack is secured. After drying, the leather shrinks an securely grips the shaft. It is then waterproofed using Sno-Seal applied with a heat gut and brush. So far this method hasn't failed me but it does rely on the waterproofing treatment to prevent the the leather from soaking through and likely getting loose again. So once a season, I apply more Sno-Seal to the other wrapped paddles and they are good to go.

Closeup of wrap. Pins not visible but are on the other side...


So here it is...a resurrected paddle. It'll have to wait a few more weeks until it gets dipped in the water.

Paddle Complete




3 comments:

David said...

Great addition Murat the paddle look awesome!!

Murat said...

Thanks David! Planning on using it soon!

Unknown said...

Awesome job!

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