Remove epoxy to change an handle

-- Last Updated: Aug-24-08 8:04 PM EST --


I bought an used paddle and I would like to shorten it a bit. It's a carbon shaft paddle with a wooden T handle. Do you have any trick to remove and clean the epoxy (and the wood) inside the shaft? There's approximately 6 inches of well glued epoxy.



Epoxy softens when heated.
Hopefully you will get a more definative answer. I think getting the handle off will be relatively easy. Getting the epoxy off I’m not sure about.

Remove epoxy to change an handle
Thanks for your reply.

And that’s not going to harm the carbon shaft?


Several people here have shortened
their Zaveral’s and used heat to remove the handle with no damage.Use a hair dryer or heat gun but wait until one of them defines gentle for you.

Paddle Handle
Cut off the handle close to the shaft. You now have two choices.


You can drill or grind out the portion of the shaft which remains within the handle. or


You can make a plug out of hardwood or aluminum tubing that will fit inside the remaining portion of the shaft within the handle and extend outward from it an inch or so to slide inside the now cut to length shaft.

In either case, use epoxy to put everything back together.

If you decide to go with option #1 which I highly recommend, you can get a small drum sanding attachment for a Dremel or similar rotary tool. This will grind out the old shaft material with relative ease. If you overgrind slightly, it’s no big deal, just use some thickened epoxy to fil the gap when you reassemble.

A word of caution. Use a good dust mask when grinding the carbon shaft. That dust will be irritating at the least and possibly much worse.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom Paddles and Cedar Strip Canoes

Paddle handle
Thanks Mornstein,

That’s what I was thinking about, I’ll go for that (solution 1)!

How I do it with a ZRE
Cut off the handle leaving at least an inch or preferable at the length you want the shaft.

Put the handle in a vice with some padding on the jaws(so you wont mark the handle).

Use a rasp or course file and file through just one side of the outside of the remaining section of shaft.

Be careful not to file into your wood.

Once you are through the shaft in one place, hopefully the remainder will peel right off like it does with the carbon fibre handle.

If it doesn’t you’ll have to use the rasp all the way around to get it down to the wood.

Then sand it it with some fine sand paper, but try to keep it fitting snug into the tube, and re-epoxy it.

I have never heard of using heat on epoxy and would be leery of doing it for fear of hurting the shaft or handle.



Let us know what you did and

– Last Updated: Aug-25-08 8:52 AM EST –

how it worked.Try the heat on the piece left on the handle. I don't see how you can hurt the handle unless you burn it.

Both ways should be …

– Last Updated: Aug-25-08 5:48 PM EST –

......... very effective and effecient for an extremely precision job . Either the core dowel (as much insertion as possible into each end) , or the removing of the remaining shaft inside the wooden T grip .

Using the core dowel method , it may be difficult to find a suitable correct fit . of course you can make an exact size dowel with a lathe , but then you may not have access to one , but a local wood shop is capable . This is the easiest in terms of rejoinig , but adds some weight also .

I personally would ,(as others have said) , cut the paddle shaft very close to the bottom of the T grip , but only if i wanted to shorten paddle say 3" or more . If only 1" or 2" , then probably best to use a proper fitting core dowel so you can insert as much length as possible into each hollow shaft end . (I would say 3" in each end minimum = 6" core dowel) ... Also there is no reason why you cannot bore a 1/2" or so out of the center out of the core dowel to reduce weight ..

"DO NOT" cut shaft to finish length yet !!!

Purchase a "Forstner bit" just a wee bit smaller in dia. than the shaft . Bore out the epoxied carbon shaft from the T grip with the forstner bit , slowly and carefully . Once the forstner bit enters the wood bore of the T grip , the sides of the forstner will aid you in boring straight and true . Wood dust showing up while boring the T grip , is telling you to make slight angle adjustment , so as to not bore the wood but the carbon only .

When the boring job is done , then measure into the T grip how much the shaft will go into it when re-joined , and "DON'T FORGET" to add that much to the over all length you chose to make the newly sized paddle length .. You may end up not cutting the shaft again , because for every inch put back into the T grip , the paddle will be shortened by that much .. and again I would say 3" min. ..

You may also use a combination of both methods , having the core dowel and the shaft going into the T grip for added strength (the new carbon shaft seam is in the T grip x amount of inches) ..

Paddle handle
I finally got all the wood out of the shaft. I simply drill most of a wood and get rid of the rest by using a small wood chissel. It took me about 2 hours and everything was off. I finally used a file to prepare the shaft for the new handle.

Thanks for your help.

Sorry for the previous reply …

– Last Updated: Aug-25-08 11:47 PM EST –

........ I think I misunderstood the shaft to T grip connection on your paddle ....

It appears to me now your T grip fit inside the shaft , my mistake ..

I would have used a Forsnter bit to bore the inside of the shaft out . A few minutes and it would have been cleaned out smooth . Sorry

ed: if you don't know what a forstner bit is , you should try one , extremely precision and capable of minutely slow boring ..

My fault…
I realize I’ve never said it was a dragonboat paddle.

Na , it wasn’t your fault …

– Last Updated: Aug-26-08 3:17 PM EST –

....... I had read your post and the others before my intial response , and somehow fixed a picture in my mind of the carbon shaft going into the T grip , instead of the T grip going into the shaft , so I posted accordingly .. I do pay attention and think about what I post , but somehow got mixed up .

Oh well , bummer , laughs on me . sorry about anyones wasted time reading my intial response ..

Check Zav’s site, and they explain how to use a heat gun to revmove a handle epoxied to a carbon shaft. I tried this with a hair dryer and it did not get hot enough.

One caveat - this is for a carbon shaft epoxied to a carbon handle. Not sure if it will work with the wood handle.