new greenland laminate paddle

For those who have been following my journey into paddle making from absolutely no background thanks for following. As thanks to all those who have offered words of advice,both on the forum and through email.It has been a great help.

I have just completed my new walnut and spruce paddle.Check her out!

Next is a canoe paddle or maybe a laminate paddle if someone who uses greenland paddles actually wants one made.

I hate to say it, but…

– Last Updated: Dec-10-09 7:00 AM EST –

...those glue joints are not likely to hold. With polyurethane glue, you need very tight joints and very tight clamping. It's not a "gap filling" glue and if the glue foams in the joint, it loses most of its strength (foam on the outside of the joint is typical). I like using poly' glue on boats and paddles, but you have to keep these two things in mind when working with it.

Everything Bryan just said is exactly correct. Clamps are pretty inexpensive though so it is not a major expense to get enough to keep you building. I’ve got about 30 now but I started out with around 8 for paddle making. Now I can just glue up a few at a time when I’m busy filling orders and such :wink:

Cheers…Joe O’

roger that
I ended up going out and buying 4 metal 600lb force clamps yesterday. And the whole issue basically boils down to inexperience/ in a rush.

However I have learned enough from this project that I feel really confident on being now able to build one much quicker,with a good end product.

If you want to minimize weight, the hardwood edges have to be kept very small. Doesn’t take much hardwood to make a paddle uncomfortably heavy.

Bill H.

And it takes very little…
…to make it more durable. I put 1/4" oak edges on one of my paddles after I beat it up paddling in ice. The difference in weight was negligible, but the increase in durability was huge! I used that paddle for several more seasons and the edges still look more or less like new.

hardwood edges
Friend of mine last year (he’s a professional woodworker) added 1/2" basically triangles of white ash to the edges of his paddle and 2" wide ash tips too. Wasn’t happy at all with the increase in weight. Was a beautiful job and the paddle is really pretty, but just too darned heavy.

Bill H.

Sweet twig!
Better than the BB GP I sold last year.

He simply added too much hardwood

– Last Updated: Dec-13-09 5:42 PM EST –

The tips are definitely going to be heavy and will feel even more so since their position affects the paddle's "swing weight" considerably. You don't need 1/2" of hardwood on the edges, 1/4" is enough. When I added the edges to my paddle, the increase in weight was less than 1 ounce. I used 1/4" square stock 18" long on each blade, which was plenty long enough to cover the highest wear areas. After shaping it to match the contours of the blade, there was probably only ~2/3 of the edge material left, perhaps less.

for the tip guys. I think that will cut down on a huge amount of weight.However I keep seeing these beautiful crafted paddles with multiple wood colouring.Are you guys using different light softwood’s? If so what types make a “bold” colour change and keep weight low?

Next one I try may be spruce and walnut again.As I have it kicking around…and well its happy Moneymas time again.

However any direction on lamination wood types you guys use would be great.

I may pick Western red cedar and do a ash …next time I am allowed to go to the mill

However once I get a few down good with this simple lamination I wouldnt mind moving into multiple lamination as I have seen on other sites.

Thanks for the encouragement CD1…no where to go but get better from here.

For a light paddle with contrast…

– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 7:19 AM EST –

...use western red cedar and pine (or the spruce you already have). Use thin (1/4") strips of walnut on the edges if you like. If you keep the amount of spruce to a reasonable minimum, it should produce a paddle in the 32 ounce range or less.

Remember, "form follows function". A pretty paddle is worthless if you can't/won't use it, so your number one priority should be making usable paddles. Once you master that, you can concentrate more on aesthetics.

keeping weight low
in addition wood choice, shaping will make a big difference on weight.

It’s hard to eyeball how thick and wide some of your paddle dimensions are, so providing more details might help some of the resident GP experts give you shaping advice that will reduce weight. If you’re not getting tips tapered down to 3/8" or thereabouts, and sides also shaped down to a fine edge, then those might be easy areas to reduce a lot of the weight out where it really counts.

Have you taken some of your paddles out for a spin to see what you like about them, and what you’d like to change for the next iteration? Go for it, and it’ll help you improve your paddles with each attempt.

roger that
The only paddle I wouldnt use is the walnut paddle as it was waaaayyy too heavy.

Thanks for the suggestion nate, next one I make up I’ll post some dimensions with pic’s.Maybe as you said I might be allowing certain parts to be too thick.