Glue SS ferrules to wood paddle

I want a two-piece greenland paddle. I never considered buying it, since I enjoy woodwork. But I couldn’t figure out how to make the paddle as two halves with any assurance that the halfs would line up when put together. It is a little bit complicated since the only ferrules I could find where 1.25 inch diameter and round, so they didn’t match the target size or oval shape of the loom on the paddle I wanted to build.

Ultimately, I decided to carve the paddle first, then retrofit a loom. As the paddle approached finished shape, I marked the loom and cut out a 1.25" plastic, semi-circular template. I attempted to then sureform, rasp, and sand a nine-inch, round, 1.25" center section of loom, using the template to guide my sawdust removal. Today was time to see how well I had done. I cut a three inch section of the central loom, producing the two pieces paddle I wanted, and then fine tuned the ends of the loom to make the ferrule fit.

I sure wish I had just bought a paddle.

But I think this paddle is going to work. I fitted the ferrules and pieced together the paddle. There’s play in the fitting that I think will disappear once the ferrules are glued, and now comes my question. To keep the paddle lined up, I am going to have to do this glueing with the paddle assembled, set the paddle down, line it up, and then leave it to cure. I am planning to use epoxy for glue. I don’t think I am going to be able to prevent the epoxy from running and getting all over the inside of the ferrules, and I am afraid my two piece paddle will end up glued together, which defeats the purpose!

If I use something like vasoline or WD40 to treat the parts of the ferrules to which I don’t want the glue to stick, will that prevent epoxy from cementing together the ferrule joint?

Anybody have any other ideas for keeping the paddle aligned during glueing of the ferrules?


retrofitting ferrule to wood shaft
Hi Chip,

Don’t know about Vaseline working on removable part of ferrule to prevent epoxy lock up-should work but I’ve never tried it. If stainless was glued tight by accident, you could always free it with heat. Dip ferrule in ice water as soon as freed to reduce chance of damaging the glue up bond. With stainless there is always the possibility of a “do over” with heat if things don’t work out right.

I’ve added ferrules to wood shaft “euro” blades four times. I went slow on carving the shaft and kept the fit tight so they would stay in alignment during glue up. After checking that the blades were in the same plane, I carefully marked them, coated both the inside of the ferrule where it touches the wood and the wood and slid them on. Then cleaned up the excess epoxy squeeze out. The halves were stood open end up so gravity kept epoxy out of functional inside of ferrule. I taped the wood/ferrule junction on the blade end of the ferrules so epoxy did not run out there and starve the joint. Used black plastic electrician tape. Be sure to also seal the end grain inside the ferrule. On my first paddle conversion I didn’t seal the end grain inside the ferrule. Water migrated through the shaft and by swelling split a two part fiberglass blade on the far end of the paddle. Repaired it with epoxy and then sealed inside ferrule with about 1/16" epoxy. Its been fine for the last ten years.

While this next suggestion probably insults the intelligence of an experienced paddler like you, its better to be reminded before than told after the fact. Line up the blades to be neutral in the middle hole if the ferrule has three holes like the Sawyer does. Remove the button and spring.

I used Sawyer stainless ferrules on three solid shaft to two part conversions. They are strong but heavy and somewhat loose fitting. With the last two piece I made the goal was to make it very light as a birthday gift to induce my wife into paddling more. Constructed with mostly red cedar, having a hardwood spline down the center and cherry inserts on tips it came out light as planned. To avoid adding the weight of the Sawyer stainless, I used a carbon ferrule I bought on sale and had squirreled away. Paddle turned out great but my wife still paddles infrequently so it didn’t accomplish my goal.

I recommend carbon ferrule over stainless ferrule for lighter weight and tighter fit if you can deal with the 2-3 times greater cost. CLC sells carbon ferrules as do a few other places. Search the internet for best price if interested.

I used System Three T-88 as I had it on hand and its a little thicker so squeeze out is slower/less. Any epoxy should work.

Bring it to Raystown, I’d like to see how it cane out. I’ll try to remember to bring the paddle (spoon blades) with the carbon ferrule to show you.


I’ve had some success using eopxy to glue plastic and metal. I usually rough up the metal with very course sandpaper and then use epoxy to glue it.

I’ve made two greenland paddles with carbon ferrules. I covered the ferrule in masking tape to keep it clean. Then fit each half on and drew little lines on the ferrule and the wood that could be matched up when glueing the pieces together. The carbon is expensive but looks great. I think CLC also sells fiberglass ferrules for only a little more than the stainless steel.

CF Ferrules on a Greenland?
My two piece pole has a CF ferrule, and I think they are much nicer than the SS. Lighter and the fit is tighter. I understand how Dave could use them in his wife’s euro blade (sad story, but you tried, Dave). But the Carbon Fiber ferrule, from CLC, is longer than the loom in my GL paddle. How’d you handle the transition from loom to blade on that?

loom length vs. ferrule length on GP
Hi Chip,

My guess you are going to make your first shoulderless GP.


Carnuba wax (Simoniz) is used to prevent epoxy from sticking to molds.

Welders align round pieces for welding by clamping them in the vee of an angle iron. Should work on a paddle shaft.

Questions and confusion
I am easily befuddled.

How long are the CF ferrules?

Would a shouldered design make more sense with a long ferrule? And would the loss of the classic GP loom shape be too much to pay for the TAP convenience?

ANd lastly, if epoxy “does not stick well to SS” (as was claimed) how does one glue a SS ferrule to a wood loom?


stainless steel ferrules

– Last Updated: Jul-08-08 4:25 PM EST –


Don't think I can help your state of befuddlement. I find myself visiting there more frequently as the years pass.

Concerning stainless ferrules there are three factors I used.
- a careful, tight fit
-epoxy- precoating the wood first
-a screw through the pre drilled screw hole in each half

As a result of one or more of the factors above, all three stainless ferrules I've installed have held up fine (5-15 years duration). I've also made/restored three paddles with brass ferrules using the same three factors. Brass looks best but is heavy.


What wood did you use…
…in the loom? If it’s cedar, the paddle probably won’t last long, as the hard material in the ferrule will compress the soft cedar and ultimately separate from it. If you’re going to put a ferrule in a GP, the loom needs to be made of hardwood, or at least reinforced with it.

ss ferrules, when assembled, are 6"

cf ferrules, assembled, are 14"

My loom is ash, and I ran the a .75" ash board the length of the paddle. I transitioned the blades and shoulders to cedar. It’s gonna be a heavy paddle.

I note the CLC sells “longbow” GL paddle, and it has the cf ferrule. It is made from ash. Weight not listed. looking at the picture, it appears to have no shoulders, yet it says the shaft is elliptical. I confirmed with CLC that the ferrule is the same, 14". round, CF ferrule. Interesting. I might have to go look at one.

I’m going to use the epoxy to glue the ferrule. If it breaks loose, I’ll retrofit with a screw. But there won’t be a lot of stress on these ferrules. I think the epoxy will hold, but time will tell. First, I have to do it.

The suggestion to use clamps and angle iron to align the half paddles for gluing would work on a traditionally and uniformly shafted paddle, but given the shape of the GL paddle, it’s not going to help. I will use the half-at-a-time, gravity method suggested above.



Sounds like
there is actually room for a CF ferrule to fit. I believe my Mitchell has either a 20 or 22" loom and “soft” shoulders. Considering where I hold the paddle - thumbs against teh shoulders - tehre should be room to contour the loom for grip feel.

I saw that ash GP too. Bet it is hefty.