Glassing a paddle shaft?

I’ve carveda GFP out of WRC and the stuff is almost as soft as balsa. It is really light, so I’m glassing the blades. Any tips on glassing the loom? When I have tried to glass a tight radius in the past, the cloth wants to pull free of the epoxy.

Call me if you want String …
If you want to use some heavier stuff to turn that radius, coat the wood w/ epoxy and let it ‘kick in’ a bit, then push the glass into/onto it … It’ll hold but don’t saturate just yet … wait a tiny bit longer and then proceed to wet out glass.

Using balsa is cool !

If you can locate
some unidirectional fabric, you’ll find that it drapes around the shaft easily. Outside of making the shaft more impact resistant, the primary area in which you want to strengthen the shaft is longitudinally, the same direction the fibers will be running.

An alternative is to use plain weave cloth cut on a bias. It too will conform to the curve of the shaft more easily than if cut conventionally. Finally, use either 2 oz or 4 oz cloth rather than the more common 6 oz. If necessary, wrap two layers.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom paddles and cedar strip canoes

Marc, ?
What all type of stripers do you make? All I saw on you web site was a little free style boat with your

daughter in it. (Cute kid! thank heaven she doesn’t

have your hair…)

Thanks Pat and Marc. I can
cut the cloth on the bias;my seamstress wife can show me what that means.The loom may not need it, but I have made it small for some small female hands so some re-inforcement will make me feel better.I have worked with WRC before but never found it this soft.

consider leaving loom raw
Hard to beat texture of the raw cedar in your hands, particularly when wet. Just got that velvet feel. Glass is going to be hard and slick, even if you don’t fill the weave.

Unless you’ve cut your loom particularly small, I really doubt it’s strength and durability will ever be an issue. Try the paddle out with the loom left raw a few times before making a decision.


I’m planning on leaving the normal
grip area unglassed.

What’s the point of glassing the loom?
If you are leaving the grip unglassed, why glass the loom? Seems to me you are just adding weight and making work for yourself. If you want to finish it, oil the loom. If you believe the product literature, repeated applications of oil like Watco hardens the surface.

I’ve been using a cedar GP for four years. It’s suffered a few splinters on the blade edges, but that part is thin and vulnerable and is also the part that you hit things with if you are hitting anything while paddling. The loom is fine, and I don’t believe in babying my paddling gear. However, you will probably use your GP more than I use mine, since I am a schitzo paddler and spend at least half boating time polling or single-blading in canoes.

Good luck with your glassing.


How about using glass or carbon tape?
you could wind it around the shaft…

The loom is the most stressed part
of the paddle, correct? at least that is where Sea-tec broke brazilbrazil’s GP on a roll.I’m concerned the shaft will break because this woods is so light and soft.

With this paddle
Don’t go surfing, don’t do the rolls that seriously stress the paddle, and carry a spare–no need to glass. I have an 87" 2 7/8" skinny loom, very thin blades, very light WRC GP that I carved myself that I sometimes use on our flatwater group paddles. It’s great for what it does well.

On both paddles I have made, and on
paddles glassed or covered with Dynel at the “factory,” I have had hand/skin cracking problems when wear got down through the surface layer of varnish and epoxy, and into the fibers. This has been more of a problem on canoe paddles, where banging against the gunwales or the deck has accelerated wear. I have not had problems with my one glass-shaft kayak paddle.

The message is, if you cover a paddle shaft with glass or a Dynel sleeve, expect to have to recover worn areas with epoxy or varnish to avoid hand problems.

The nice thing about strippers
is that you don’t have to limit yourself to boats that you have forms or molds for. I can build any boat for which the customer supplies legitimate plans.

I won’t plagiarize someone elses boat, but there are numerous plans in the public domaine or from which one can build by paying modest royalties.

I do have designs of my own for a small day tripping tandem (that can also be paddled tantem FS)a solo tripper, several solo freestyle boats as well as solo touring boats. I can modify any of my own designs as necessary.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom paddles and cedar strip canoes


Most good FS hulls are also good touring hulls. That is after all the genesis of FS.