Help! Shortening Wing Paddle

After researching some, it seemed easy enough to chop off a few cm from the shaft of my Epic wing paddle.

The lever lock is glued to the shaft and I wanted to remove it before cutting the shaft. Having read stories of paddle blades etc. separating from shafts while in use, I expected a flimsy connection that would fall apart when heated. Not so. I could not remove the lock from the shaft. I heated-up the shaft and lock with a heat gun, but could not separate the shaft from the lock…

So, I decided to cut the shaft with the lock still attached to it with the idea that once off the shaft I can scrape off the shaft material from the inside of the lock and reattach the lock back to the shortened shaft. I only cut about 1.5cm of shaft beyond where the lock ends. Now, back to the heat gun and this time I was able to soften things enough to remove the shaft material from the lock.

However, the plastic lock (made from very tough plastic) is about 1mm wider in diameter than the shaft. To fit snugly to the shaft, there is some sort of hard rubber material that looks a lot like an inner tube from a car or bike. That rubber fits b/w the shaft and the plastic on the lock.

That rubber got destroyed in the process as it would not separate from the shaft or the plastic in one piece. I heated to a point where the carbon shaft softened but the junction with the lock would not give - so my only choice seemed to just take off the shaft fragments out of the inside of the lock cylinder piece by piece along with the rubber that still stuck to it.

So, if you have done that kind of job, what did you done to fit the lock back on the shaft? Also, what adhesive did you use to reattach?

Did you do something to make the new junction more stable due to the oval profile of the shaft going towards the blade? After cutting, I noticed that the round section of the shaft (near the original junction) is actually pretty short and from there it becomes oval faster than I thought it would (would not have cut if I had noticed that before). There is some play when the two pieces of the paddle are inserted into each other. There was a bit less play before cutting, since I had to cut off about 3cm of the round section…


What type of plastic?
Do you have any idea what plastic the locking ferrule is made of? Not all epoxies and adhesives adhere well to some plastics, especially polyeolfins.

WEST G-flex epoxy can be purchased in fairly small quantities and has been especially formulated by WEST to bond to tough to adhere to plastics. I would probably use that to rebond the ferrule and fill the gap left by the missing rubber piece. You will have to make sure that the ferrule is centered on the paddle shaft, though.

I could use G-Flex, I guess
I have no idea what plastic it it made off. I guess, black -:wink:

Were you trying to preserve some on
top end range ? Otherwise, you should have shortend a little more and done the work off the ferule side …

I guess you figured out this is now a minor ‘mess’ you have made of your paddle.

The lock is only there to hold feather and to keep the paddle from coming apart with ferule taking most of the load inside shaft in use … If the deep end of the ferule moves inside shaft now ( due to oval ), the locker is now probably gonna be loaded due to the slop in ferule to shaft interface … This is assuming there was little to none before from Epic.

Make sure you get the locker on square.

Harder to do with larger gap …

So now gotta use somethng to fill gap A N D keep the thing square.

If I were you I would call Epic and ask for another locker.

If I was myself I would use epoxy with some higher density filler and super wipe out the excess resin that will squeeze inside the shaft, then use a spare ferule or the other half of the paddle to make sure that locker stays square as possible as epoxy hardens.

3M5200 is great for bonding parts that have a little movement as long as shear is ‘contained’ such as inside the ferule btw.

Trim the feathers instead !


Other Side

– Last Updated: Feb-08-12 5:54 PM EST –

I guess removing the ferule insert and then chopping off from that side, then re-glue the insert would have been better. This way I would not have to deal with the plastic lock removal, plus I would have been left with the full length of round shaft for the insert to go into on the lock end. Could have tried that first, I suppose, but did not think of it as I did not expect the oval to start that close to the center of the shaft...

Would the insert have come off though??? I doubt it, if it was as well glued as the lock was. So, I think I did the only thing I could have done anyway, short of swapping the paddle for a shorter one. If I have problems with it, I'll have to buy half a paddle from Epic, I guess ...

I do need to center the wider lock on the shaft. I just remembered that I can wrap a layer or two of carbon sleeve on the shaft, saturated with epoxy. That will increase the thickness and strenghten the joint too Plus it would not look too bad. I got some and it is 0.5mm thick so it should work perfectly...

Reinforce With Kevlar String At Joints
Unravel some string from extra Kevlar cloth you might have stashed and neatly wrap around the joints with epoxy. This should finish your job.

Shortening wing paddle
As mentioned earlier , I would contact Epic or Greg Barton first for advice

I shortened several Epic Euro paddles including a one piece paddle using threaded ferrules I bought from Epic

Some of them came out great but one did not

Insert would have came off.
… And youd be done.

started at the wrong ends
Hi, Over here The European distributor advises Sikaflex to attached the lengthlock. Shortening an Epic paddle is best to detach the blades and attach them again.

That seems would have been best
Now that I look at it carefully - the oval appears constant near the blades, so shortening on that side would have no effect…

Duh! I’m getting old…

Yes, Insert did come off EASY

– Last Updated: Feb-09-12 5:08 PM EST –

For the heck of it, I heated the insert side and within seconds the black adhesive started to melt - I took the insert out without a hitch. And ... immediately re-inserted it to the other half of the paddle, where it now seems to have glued itself in place.

Again, if I had to do that from scratch, I would have tried to shorten from the blade ends on both sides instead of one side in the middle. All that would be moot if the shaft was round - can chop-off any way you like. But on the Epics it isn't...

Now, I have the insert glued to the short side of the paddle, so that connection is set and will likely be stronger than just relying on the lock... Now, still got to install the lock on the other half and I'll be done... Might still reinforce with a little carbon/kevlar sleeving the shortened end, since it is a bit weakened probably... I sure hope the 3cm shortening was worth it -;(

I rest my case : 0

– Last Updated: Feb-09-12 11:14 PM EST –

Make sure you don't take too much off shaft ID digging out the stuff left over from ferule side.

Update - Done
A quick update - the repair is finally done and had a chance to test it for a quick paddle outing. Worked well and the paddle feels solid enough. Will see how it holds-up.

I used an aluminum insert that I had lying around that happenned to be the same size as the carbon insert on the paddle. That held the lock aligned while I filled the gap b/w the lock and the outside of the shaft with Fast Cure (24 hours) 3M 5200 marine adhesive. I used a thinned bamboo stick to push the glue all the way down into the gap. I had roughened-up the surface of the shaft and lock with sand paper to ensure better bond. Because the lock where it mates with the shaft may have a small gap (in the middle of the lock, where the split part begins), I wrapped several rubber bands to make sure the glue does not leak out. I also used masking tape on the shaft and the insert as much as possible as that 3M stuff really sticks and leaves white stains easy that are hard to clean.

The 3M stays somewhat soft after cure, which I’m of two minds about. On one hand it is good to have some flex so not to create a stress point. On the other, too much flex is not good either. Seems to work well enough though and the grip of this thing is tenacious so it won’t come apart for sure.

One thing I noticed is that the 3M expanded as it cured, so now I have a 1mm round ridge around the shaft at the lock, instead of the smooth flat surface I made when the glue was still pliable. I decided against cutting that off to avoid damaging the paddle shaft in the process - the shaft is very thin and even a small cut into the fabric will weaken it.

Had a little bit of a struggle to remove the aluminum insert after cure, because a small amount of glue had leaked (a drop or so). I’m glad I did not use the real half of the paddle for the alignment as it would have been even more difficult to separate. With a knife I was able to losen the bond at the small spill, then finally managed to twist the insert out with the help of a screwdriver through a hole drilled through it as a lever. Once I got it out I was amazed at how little spilled glue had created such a trouble so I’m comfortable that the rest will stay put :wink: