Greenland paddle shaft repair

Uli

Paddler
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Comox Valley
I have a new Greenland paddle that was carved out of driftwood. Unfortunately it came with flaws, such as a crack pre dating its constructing. Today during paddling I could hear it crack and I can see it separating when I flex it.

Any advice on repair? Would a penetrating glue be enough or do I need to cut out the crack and insert fresh wood?

I prefer a repair to a replacement as this paddle only weighs 630 grams, identical paddles from the same woodworker were around 810g
 

Attachments

SZihn

Paddler
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
197
Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
For that kind of crack and in that location I would not trust a glue joint by itself. Such a crack is best broken or cut and then you should drill an dowel it back with a high grade reinforced epoxy.


If it were mine I'd use stainless steel tubing as the dowel pin. Marine-Tex or Brownells Acra-Glass gel are good for the repairs. If you drill a 9/16" hole and trap a 1/2" pin in the epoxy any sigh miss alignment will not hurt a thing, because the pin is unrestricted and can find it's own center and the epoxy is far stronger then the surrounding wood.Over fill with epoxy to get full support and file and sand off the excess after it's cured. The repair may still be visible but so is the crack now.
 

drahcir

Paddler
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
652
Location
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
As an especially unhandy person, this is a reasonably ignorant suggestion. Maybe cut through the paddle at that location and find a suitable ferrule to create a two piece paddle. Is that viable anyone?
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,338
Location
Victoria, BC
I agree with @SZihn - a dowel insert is needed for this repair. The 'tricky' part (for me) would be to get the paddle to break in half without a lot of splinters, so I'd probably use a combination of the existing crack line and a thin saw cut to get the paddle into two parts. If you don't have woodworking/boatbuilding epoxy (WEST,SystemThree) on hand, one of the JB Weld epoxy products would work, though the glue line may be more visible. If you don't want to do the repair yourself, Gabriela @red kite at Wavedancer is local to you.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,481
I would do all repairs in-line with the grain:
Perpendicular dowelling of any kind - especially also perpendicular [which is likely]
to either blade face will reduce wood/ferrule tensile strength right where it is needed most.

I'd sculpt out any region that is perpendicular to the blade [ the first part of the crack] and replace with a scarf type insert [slopes smaller than 1:8] that is epoxied in place. Presumably the inner part of that crack is close or smaller than that 1:8 slope and gluing will be adequate there.
In order to place the glue in this region, I'd have everything ready with the outer pc removed, gently flex the ferrule with placing the inner glue [preferably with smallest needled syringe] and subsequently placing the outer scarfed pc.

The most important fibers of the paddle are the outer ones, so anything one can do to reinforce or make those good is a helpful tech.

As far as a ferrule on a greenland . . . I've got one [ferruled greenland] and it just seems a most clunky way of dealing with a paddle that requires a smooth shaft for much of it's benefit. In retrospect, I'd do anything to keep the orginal simple shape.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,338
Location
Victoria, BC
I would do all repairs in-line with the grain:
Perpendicular dowelling of any kind - especially also perpendicular [which is likely]
to either blade face will reduce wood/ferrule tensile strength right where it is needed most.
???? I don't think there was any suggestion of this? I think the idea was to snap the paddle in half- drill into the end grain, and epoxy in a longitudinal dowel.
Since the crack appears to be in the loom, that's usually not a very high-stress area, is it? And the compressive strength of the wood would be maintained (increased, really) with an epoxy repair.

But there are lots of ways to do repairs like this. E.g. Use a drum or belt sander to scoop a curved recess in opposite sides of the loom. Epoxy in multiple layers of thinner sawn veneers. Restore shape. Repeat for the other two faces. Result is a nice 'pool cue handle' looking repair.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,481
You might/probably are right, but as an inserted dowel would have to have an unfortunately smaller diameter that the original loom it's material characteristics would have to be much better than the original loom [to approach original strength] so that's why I didn't think that was the original plan with a quick read. Hopefully I did a 'cya' with the grain in-line comment.

Tensile strength is the issue , and I would think that a greenland loom is quite a stressed paddle region as one moves the grip all over the place.

A scooping out repair exceeding 1:8 with an epoxied linearly grained piece or pieces makes the most sense to me.
 

Uli

Paddler
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Comox Valley
This particular paddle didn't have a defined loom and the crack is right where a hand goes. Snappinh the paddle is the last thing I'd want to do
 

nootka

Paddler
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
1,727
Location
Campbell River
I believe Uli is not an excessive roller (yet) so probably does not shift hand position much. Is paddle cedar or other softwood? In which case wouldn't a hardwood dowel of 3/4" or 1" packed in epoxy, combined with a fiberglass/epoxy sheath on the outside give a strong enough repair?
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,481
Mainly linear exterior glassing would be fine - as tensile material is placed right on the outer surface where it performs the best for strength.
As I'm not the best wdworker, I'd have trouble keeping everything aligned with breaking the paddle apart and aligning a dowel perfectly in each side - whereas the partial scooping [and additional glassing if desired] keeps the original alignment during the whole repair for an easy process achieving a fine result.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,338
Location
Victoria, BC
I'd have trouble keeping everything aligned with breaking the paddle apart and aligning a dowel perfectly in each side - whereas the partial scooping [and additional glassing if desired] keeps the original alignment during the whole repair for an easy process achieving a fine result.
That's a good argument for repairing 'from the outside', I agree 100%.
 
Top