I want to make a two piece Greenland paddle for travel. I have made several one piece paddles and think I can make a nice two piece. Does anyone have a good source for ferrules? The ones I have found on-line seem rather pricey. Is a carbon fiber ferrule worth the extra money over fiberglass? I am also wondering if anyone has a really good simple DIY solution?
Mistakes to not repeat
I have just given up on the project you are contemplating. I gave up as in I finished it. Would have kept carving on it, but I concluded that no matter what I did it was just going to be too heavy (3+ lbs.). So my unfinished paddle got varnished, and I will try it out soon and see how bad a 3 and a half pound paddle feels.
The weight comes from the stainless steel ferrule and the wood.
I didn’t use the CF ferrule because it is 14" long, vs 9" (I think) for the SS. A 14" ferrule doesn’t leave much room to transition from the ferrule to a more traditional and appropriate size loom shape at the shoulders of the blade. The CF is lots lighter, and the ferrules are much tighter than the SS ferrule. I’m thinking about modifying the paddle to use the CF ferrule, but I don’t have much enthusiasm for the task. But I highly discourage use of a steel ferrule.
Knowledgeable paddlers opined that cedar is too soft to attach a ferrule. That is, the cedar, wood fibers at the joint with the ferrule would deform and the joint would fail. So, I laid up a blank with a 3/4" ash board in the center. Over the loom portion, I glued 3/8" strips of ash. Over the blade portion, except for the ash board running the length of the paddle, glued on cedar pieces. Damn ash is heavy. The cedar on the blades is a nice touch, but it’s all ash in the thickest part of the paddle.
If I was to try this again, I think I’d start with cedar and add some strips of the lightest hardwood I can find (some research needed here) only in the area right under the joint of ferrule and loom.
Don’t know about the FG ferrules–didn’t know that was a choice. But between stainless and CF, I’d go with the FG.
I get my ferrules at Chesapeake Light Craft.
An aside: after varnishing, I see many spots on the paddle where I should take off more material. But, at this point, I want to try it out. Then I’ll decide if it is worth continuing shaping work on it.
Good luck, and I’ll look forward to progress reports.
p.s., if you glue up a blank from multiple pieces, make sure the grain aligns or it will be a biscuit to plane. Another lessons learned.
Carbon is working
I’ve made two such paddles - therein lies a tale. Both were made with the same carbon ferrule from CLC.
The first paddle was made for a friend - he bought the ferrule and asked me to make the paddle, insisting on a paddle as light as his Superior carbon GP. I finally found a very light piece of WRC and made it, coming out at 25.5 oz. Told the friend that it might not hold up to rolling - he rolled and broke it.
He then gave me the broken paddle (with ferrule) in lieu of paying me anything for the paddle making (I look at it as a learning process). I was able to salvage the ferrule, cleaning out the old wood and epoxy pretty well. I took a paddle I’d carved from stronger WRC and made it into a two-piece. It’s been working well, and is convenient to travel with. I roll with it, but I don’t wail on it - instead using a one piece when I want to really play upside down. Just chicken, I guess. Dubside seems to do fine with two-piece paddles.
I found another source for ferrules.
I have not ordered one yet, but was thinking about it.
Carbon fiber ferrule
What do you consider an easy DIY route?
How much money would you expect to save with a fiberglass ferrule?
Why not just go with the carbon fiber ferrule? They are light and strong.
When I added a ferrule to my GP I complicated it a bit by adding outer layers of cherry to sandwich the western red cedar - I had heard a few more experienced GP users state that cedar is a bit too soft/weak and could loosen up at the connection to the ferrule. I had needed to add a bit of wood to the loom anyways to make a smooth transition from my 1 and 1/8 inch loom to the 1 and 1/4 inch ferrule (I resurrected a previously broken GP - broken in the middle of the loom when abused - with a 1 and 1/8 inch thick loom). Did I go overboard? I don’t know. I am very happy with it and I haven’t had any problems with it.
Your mileage may vary, but it certainly is doable.