11 June 2010

SHOP: joiner for a timber paddle

It's been more than a year since I have happily transitioned from Euro paddles to traditional paddles and I have not looked back.
One advantage that my former paddles have over my sticks is the ability to split the paddle in half to be able to store it on the deck of the kayak.
While some split GPs are available locally reports say that they aren't all that strong.
So, I have decided to make my own split traditional paddle.
I wanted a simple joiner that would require minimal fuss and no need to source special parts overseas.
I decided on a simple stainless steel bolt and (long) nut system.
While very primitive compared to some other offerings it is dead simple to install.
The loom of a traditional paddle is not round like in a Euro one but oval or tear shaped.
I measured the half way point of my Vanstix and cut it carefully in half.
Then I reduced the diameter of the loom in two progressive steps
I needed to reinforce the ends of the split paddle or any inserted fitting would compromise the strength of the loom.
Two staggered layers of carbon sleeve were epoxied onto the recessed loom.
The second sock layer protruded beyond the recess and later was sanded down.
Once the resin cured I cut the carbon sleeve flush.
I then removed 1 cm of the timber at the end of the cut loom leaving just the thin carbon sleeve.
An oversized tapered hole was drilled into the centre of the cut loom, deep enough to accommodate the long sleeve/nut.
I filled the hole with a mix of thick epoxy glue (microfibre filler) tinted black.
I threaded the sleeve/nut onto a long bolt and sunk it into the hole making sure that the resin would fully encase the stainless steel hardware.
The temporary bolt was greased up so it would not stick to the epoxy mix and be removable.
excess epoxy mix to be sanded back once cured
I positioned the paddle horizontally clamping it to a work bench.
I supported the bolt with a spacer to make sure it would be positioned parallel to the loom.
Once cured I removed the bolt and sanded the end surface smooth and square to the loom.
I repeated the same procedure on the other half this time inserting the cut-down stainless steel bolt.
bolt end squared to be glued into epoxy mix
I filled the second half with epoxy mix and joined the two halves to create a uniform joined surface.
I waxed up the first half of the paddle to prevent it from gluing together to the second half.
excess epoxy mix spilling as the two halves are brought together
After the resin cured the paddle was separated and a very thin plastic spacer inserted as mating spacer to create a very positive joiner when the paddle is assembled.
This paddle joiner worked out great.
I am now working on a different style split that requires a lathe to fabricate the carbon joiner pieces.

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