Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cherry Edged Beothuk - Part 1

Another paddle design that intrigued me was that of the Beothuk paddle descibed by Adney. The tragedy of the Beothuk extermination in Canada means that nearly all reliable info on this tribe has been lost to history, but Graham Warren has a nice plan of a surmised paddle with a "bobble" style grip in his first book that I blogged about earlier.

Given the graceful sloping design of the blade and its similarity to the 17th Century replica paddle I'd been working on, I thought I could steam laminate some cherry edging on this one as well. This paddle is cut from Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) and following my steaming procedure from before, a cherry strip was heated and clamped around the edge of the paddle blade. I took these shots while working the garage up the cottage.

Steaming the cherry; Clamping to the blade

Unfortunately, this time around, once I removed the screw clamps, the cherry split under the pressure at the tight turn at the tip and the foaming Polyurethane glue sprayed everywhere creating quite a nasty mess. The bulk of the cherry edging is fixed quite well however, so to salvage this paddle, I resketched the tip a few inches higher and will have to settle for a shorter blade length and an incomplete edging effect.

Split Edging; Redrawn blade

Rather than re-sawing this out by hand, I've decided to wait on this and bring it back to the city for a visit to The Carpenter's Square where it'll be reshaped with their bandsaw. We'll see if this major mistake can be corrected or if the paddle will need to be cut up and made into something else.

Update: Part 2 posted HERE

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