Tuesday, November 22, 2016

William Armstrong Inspired Ash Paddle

It's been an enjoyable fall working on some more paddles in the backyard workshop. This next one was carved out of narrow plank of ash. The limitations of the board meant that this design would have a slender 4-1/4" blade. Had a chance to test this one out on the earlier Toronto Islands Daytrip to get a feel for it. The shaft felt a little too bulky so it was worked down a bit more.

Also finally purchased a cabinet scraper to help with the finishing stages. After multiple wettings it was scraped downed and then sanded with 320. Never really liked the open grain feel of ash but with this extra work, it is much smoother.

As for decoration, I felt like doing something simple and once again looked back into history for some inspiration.  A common theme seen in many historic paintings is a red checkered pattern on the paddle blade.

Paddle image from A View near Point Levy opposite Quebec with an Indian Encampment, Taken in 1788 
Thomas Davies (1737 - 1812)

Decorated Paddles from Indian Encampment near Amherstburg, c. 1819-1830
William Bent Berczy
Original Post Link

This paddle pattern is most apparent in multiple artworks by William Armstrong (1822–1914) that have been posted about many times on the site.

Paddle image from The Distribution of the Government Bounty on Great Manitouling Island 1856
William Armstrong

Paddle image from Indians Completing a Portage
William Armstrong
1873 watercolor

Paddle from Hudson's Bay Store, Fort William
William Armstrong
c. 1860-1870

Anyway, I had some left over Regal Red Tremclad rust paint left over from repainting the 14' Chestnut / Peterborough earlier in the summer so thought I would put it to use here. This oil-based waterproof paint doesn't need a topcoat of varnish which works well given that I prefer to oil all my paddles.

My older son was interested in helping so he assisted in laying out some tape. Painting has never been my strong suite or favoured medium and there's no way I could replicate the clean lines otherwise .

As an extra bit of decoration, I also painted part of the elongated grip...

It still needs to be oiled which will turn the plain ash into a much more golden hue but the weather outside has turned.


David said...

Looking great Murat!! I love painted/coloured paddle as you probably know!! I really like using the Lockwood Aniline dye, they are great and you get to see the wood grain pattern though it!!


Murat said...

Thanks David. Your painted paddles are always so vibrant. I'll look into Lockwood dye to maybe give it a try. Appreciate the tip!

David said...

LeeValey sels some of it. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=20082&cat=1,190,42942

They are great!! One tip, raise de grain and then sand a gain before applying the dye!! And to limit the dye to a specific area, I found the best way is to pyrography the perimeter of that area!!

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