Sunday, January 6, 2008

Shaping the Blade (Part 1)

Now the grunt work begins. Using a simple block plane, begin shaving down the blank to the outer lines that you marked in the previous step. Depending on the sharpness of the plane's blade and the hardness of the wood, this can easily be done in an hour of steady work by hand.

The fully dressed paddle blank

Beginning the planning of the blade edges

One side fully shaved to the outer lines...the remaining wood to the shaded blade edge is shaped with more control with a spokeshave.

Some Tips:

1. Begin by shaving the edges on a 45 degree angle to bevel the edge and allow the plane to grip the wood.

2. Then gradually move towards the centre of the blade taking off more shavings with long strokes over the surface of the board to ensure that it is evenly shaped with a cambered surface (i.e. edges slightly thinner than centre)

3. Depending on the grain orientation, sometimes the plane direction may need to be reversed, especially near the shaft of the paddle

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