Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canoe Pole Project: Part 2

Back in June, I had begun yet another canoe related project, this time trying my hand at making a canoe pole (see Part 1). Rather than just buy a ready made wooden pole (basically a curtain rod from Home Depot), I wanted to try and make my own from a spruce board using an axe and crooked knife. Here are some shots of the process...

"Semi-Old Fashioned" way of making a pole

With some spare time during late August, I finished off the carving with the crooked knife. Of course, the pole isn't perfect like a machined rod, but I'm happy with how it turned out. Following the advice of some online plans, I left the bottom 4 feet in an octagonal shape for looks and rigidity and then did my best to round out and gradually taper the remaining length.

Carving out by the fire pit

While I could've made a hardware store style copper pipe shoe, I ended up "splurging" for a specific accessory (and support the fledging canoe poling shoe industry) by ordering a cast bronze shoe from Bruce Hooke. A beautiful looking tip arrived promptly in the mail.

Bruce's Bronze Poling Shoe; Dimensions on rear

With a basic saw cut and then back cuts with a knife, the tip was worked down to fit to shape. This took some trial and error, but eventually, I got a nice tight fit.

Shaping the tip for the poling shoe

The left-over edges were then worked down to meet the edges of the shoe for a relatively seamless transition. Before mounting the shoe with the included screws, the pole was given thorough soaking in oil which really brought out the grain. Here is the result.

Mounted Brass Shoe

The finished product

There's a bit of warping at the other end of the pole, but there's a chance that I might shorten the length once I get a feel for its use and cut a portion of this upper part off. It seems many folks use a pole around 12 feet or so, but I've read some other sources that mention a length of 10 1/2 feet might suffice depending on technique and water depth. Now I just have to paddle to the nearby shallow creek and give it a try before the end of the paddling season creeps up.


Brian said...

Nice work on the canoe pole the warp looks fine. The rest looks poker straight well made. I hope you get to use it before to long :)Brian(:

BADGER® Paddles said...

That is AWESOME, Murat! You are always a source of inspiration.

Murat said...

Many thanks guys! Fiona...I recently forwarded your email to a young lady seeking out a paddle blank to decorate herself. Didn't have any on hand for her so thought of an unfinished Badger Paddle as a viable option. Hope you can help her out.

Fiona (Badger Paddles) said...

Will be glad to help out! Thanks for thinking of Badger, Murat.

P A D D E L B L O G said...

Hello Murrat, nice job. I know how tricky it can be to make the pole-shoe fit: (by the way: don't shorten the pole, once you get used to poling you will need the whole length. Axel

Anonymous said...

Good Work and a nice blog thanks Have you thought of steam bending the warp out of the pole? I suggest you practice the technique on some spare wood.John

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