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  • Alick Burt

A White Water Paddle Commission

Recently I was asked to make a paddle

This was to be made to dimensions that are similar to my clients original which he had for many years but which he had just broken and was now shattered totally beyond repair.

We discussed the sizes when we met to go paddling on Ullswater over what was a fabulous weekend as you can see from this picture.

The paddle was to be 52”long with a shaft that is barely oval in section.The blade was to be the white water type short, wide and rectangular and with minimal rounding to the corners.

I began by glueing up laminates for the blank.

Once the glue is set I cut out the profile shape and the edges are smoothed to the line. Then centrelines are marked around the edge and along the shaft to be used as a guide for further shaping.

Eventually you reach a point where the shaft has to be made octagonal in order to allow the shaping of the blade around the throat to be completed.

The grip also has to be shaped. White water paddles often have T grips like this one.

Once the grip is shaped the blade is sanded and then the shaft can be finally shaved down from octagonal to its final oval section.

After a final all over sanding with a finer grit paper the whole is given a coat of oil and hung to soak for a while before the excess is wiped off.

On a good day with no interruptions I can complete a paddle in a day aside from further oiling which continues over the next few days to build it up slowly.Why not contact me and commission one of your own!



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