local (Vancouver BC) sources for a good piece of 2x4 cedar

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by tiagosantos, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. fishboat

    fishboat Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Re: local (Vancouver BC) sources for a good piece of 2x4 ced

    John's dowel technique (glue tips first, then drill & insert dowels with glue..at least two) would work well too. A simple, un-reinforced, butt joint (you'd either be gluing end grain to end grain or end grain to side grain) will fail, regardless of the glue you use. Side grain to side grain..would be fine (this is a laminate), but you won't have that option.

    The mortise cut I made with the table saw requires a very stable & smooth-running setup(waxed table top & fence), concentration when your cutting..and a tall ceiling as the paddle goes vertical about 7 feet on top of the table that's 37" high. I had some pucker-response when making the cuts (4 cuts, 2 paddles), but in practice runs (blade under table) the setup was rock-stable. The cuts were almost a non-event. With a poor setup..not good..you could end up wearing the paddle, or worse, in a blink of an eye. If I were to make paddles often, I'd work out a better path to the mortise.

    As for woods..oak, hard maple, about any tropical wood, yellow cedar, black locust, ash should be fine. You won't be storing the paddle in water & it'll have finish on it. Red oak is terrible in a wet environment while white oak is a prized material that was used to build the tall-ships of days gone by. I used osage-orange as it's brick-hard and has forever exterior durability...and it's purdy. Woodworkers have been known to buy 50 year old used fence posts made from osage..the wood never rots. On the down side..it's a bear to work, but it's worth it.

    Last thought (yah..right..I like wood..), make sure you drill dead center if you use dowels as the final thickness of the paddle tips will be on the shy side of 3/8th" thick. A practice run or two on scrap wood is time well spent.

    edit: I checked my files..one more thought. This is a personal-preference thing..The loom can have a 2 dimensional axis..a rounded-corner rectangle rather than a rounded-corner square. The long dimension allows the user to have the right paddle-water orientation without having to look at the paddle. For my paddle I used 1.25 x 1.5 inches. My GF's (5'8" tall) paddle had a loom 1.125 x 1.5. You mentioned Ana is small. You may want to size the loom smaller than 1.125 x 1.5. Have her touch her index finger tip to her thumb-tip and measure the oval that results..that's your dimension estimate. If you're not sure..use some scrap to mock up some test looms for her to grab. If the loom isn't sized right, she may not enjoy using it...size matters :) Also..unfinished wood is easier on the hands...and easier to work if later adjustments are needed. Some say if the loom is varnished it can lead to blisters. I left mine raw wood..see the pics up above. And don't forget the loom length..note how much shorter my GF's loom is in the pic above. This is a function of shoulder-width. I wear a 46 jacket..broad shoulders..mine is a fair bit longer. You want your pinky fingers riding on the rise wear the paddle face starts..again, proper holding without looking at things.

    :) I bet you thought the greenland was just a thinned down 2x4..it is..sort of...there's a lot going on here. Fun project.
     
  2. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    Burnaby BC
    Re: local (Vancouver BC) sources for a good piece of 2x4 ced

    Oh I never underestimate just how complicated my projects end up being.. It hardly ever is just as easy as it sounds ;) I am using the Chuck Holst PDF and got all the dimensions lined up from his guidelines. We cut the board based on that, but then realized that the guidelines are based on an average person and someone much shorter doesn't necessarily need a paddle THAT much shorter - as a lot of the "missing" height is on the legs, which don't matter in a kayak (well.. for paddle length, I mean). So the new oak bits add about 2" on either side, making the total paddle length about 79". The loom is 14" - tiny, but seems accurate to the guidelines and again how tiny she is. There is some discretion as to where her hands should end up so it could just as easily have been 15", but I figured we can easily make the loom bigger later if needed. The blade width is a hair under 3". Most people tend to make their paddles a bit wider, it seems, but Holst says most traditional paddles were 3" at most and a lot were thinner. So we went with 2-7/8". The loom will indeed be an oval, we made it about 1" by 1.5" in the plans. When roughing it out, I left a bit more wood in there so we have a bit of room to play when carving. It's probably at about 1.125" by 1.5" as it sits (rough cut on the bandsaw and straightened out with the block plane).

    It was my first time using a plane of any kind. I probably should have gone for a bigger plane as I have the surform and the spoke shave for the actual carving part, but when I was shopping around, a block plane seemed like a better idea. Hmm.. I'm starting to get the hang of it and at the same time realizing how poorly made my cheap plane is. Adjusting the blade is finicky and then the locking mechanism throws it out of alignment and keeps backing off in use. What a pain! But when it does work well, it's very satisfying to see the long thin strips of cedar peel off.

    I cut the mortises last night and they turned out pretty well. Had to rotate the mill slightly (which involved taking some weight off it with the engine hoist..) as the paddle stuck out too far and was hitting the gas pipe to the furnace argh. Took some creativity to clamp the pieces to the milling table but once they were clamped down, it cut like butter, of course. One advantage to this was once the paddle was lined up square with the spindle, I could take a light skim cut with an end mill to make sure the ends were perfectly square, then swap to the slitting saw and cut the mortises to the right depth and width in a couple of passes. Completely overkill, as I'm sure the greenland folks were making paddles with 800lbs worth of CNC equipment, but hey..

    Still have to cut the two "inserts" but that shouldn't be too much of a hassle. If it gets too annoying with a handsaw and the belt sander, I'll machine them too hehe. Should have the tips glued up tonight so we can start shaping later this week :D

    EDIT: did some more reading and I guess most planes start out being terrible and they all need to be tuned even when new. Seems bizarre, but hey.. Watched a couple videos and it's clear my little block plane is concave as I had to stick the blade out way too far for it to grab on anything. Which then of course makes it get stuck trying to cut huge chunks on any rough high spots. And with this I believe I've now had to learn more about woodworking than I ever intended, damn it!
     
  3. fishboat

    fishboat Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Re: local (Vancouver BC) sources for a good piece of 2x4 ced

    ..800 pounds of CNC equipment..love the sound of that! :) Sounds like you've got things nailed. If you're not careful you'll be looking at pieces of wood in a whole new way.."..I could use that to make...!"

    "Plane-craft" is an art in itself. Vintage ones, while highly collectible & great users, can need a fair amount of tuning. Once they're in prime shape, they are a pleasure to use. Of course there are pricier models that are much closer to nirvana right out of the box(a little tool porn).

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