Sunday, February 26, 2006

I saved the stick of cedar I ruined making my first paddle. The grain orientation was all wrong but I just loved the color of this piece so I decided to use it to make my first storm paddle. With the help of the power planer, I made this paddle in aprox. 2 hours. I am looking forward to some constructive critisism of theses paddles by someone who really knows them. I would like someone who has used greenland paddles for years to hold mine and tell me how I can make them even better.

This has been a fun winter educating myself about greenland style boats and paddles. So, the next step, build a skin on frame. I have decided to do the Cunningham style, only because I liked the book and feel pretty confident I can do it. I had a great conversation with Tom Gotchy, a man working part time assisting George Dyson, about fabrics for these boats. George has sold thousands and thousands of feet of nylon and poly for skin on frame boats. THANK YOU TOM FOR ALL THE GREAT ADVICE. George is a historian and has moved on to other adventures but I hear he still likes to talk paddling! If you are building a skin on frame and need skinning material, here is the address:

Dyson, Baidarka & Company
435 West Holly St., Bellingham WA 98225
telephone: 360-734-9226 — fax: 360-671-9736

When is spring going to get here?!?!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I made my first Greenland style paddle! It was not anywhere near as hard as I thought it would be. I got the confidence to do it after watching a free on-line video by Matt Johnson. I also got some helpful hints from Dave Braun from QajaqUSA.

My advice is to get a 3" block plane. I used that a lot. In fact, that tiny tool was so easy to control I used it for most of the planing. I would also recommend borrowing a power planer. I borrowed one and it cut hours off the initial planing. And finally, get good wood. "Good" for me was completely vertical grain at the ends of the board. I did botch a first attempt at my paddle because I basically went to Lowes and grabbed the first cedar 2x4 I saw. Whoops. The second one I picked was near perfect.

Make one of these yourself. The more we make, the better we get. I am buying a power planer today. I also bought a Japanese handsaw. That helped with some of the cutting. Any questions, feel free to email me.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I just tested this new hoist to get my third kayak above my garage door (that is not my canoe in the pic). This thing is great! It has a brake so you can stop half way up or down. There is no fear of dropping any of your boats. Even if you have a finished ceiling it works! I found one from a company that just deals in industrial equiptment so the price was the best I've seen. $44

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