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 Post subject: Aleutian Paddle Plans?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:35 pm 
Anybody know of a good, online resource for plans to make/build/carve an Aleutian style paddle?



 Post subject: qajaq usa
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:21 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1246
Location: Anchorage Alaska

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 Post subject: Ordered
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:45 pm 
Last week I ordered a 2" by 6" by about 8' western red cedar board and should have it in about another week and a half. Cost: $11.00. One of my ancient kinsmen will allow me to use his workshop and give me tips on use of tools, cutting out the blank, and so forth. Did the extended arm and finger curl thing and measured about 84" or 214 cm. The comfortable grip between the thumb web and forefinger suggests I need a blade about 4" wide. I'm not sure this'll be a good paddle for the RZ, but may be serviceable with the E68. It'll be fun to try, anyway.


 Post subject: Mockery of Plans
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:13 pm 
An aged relative and I have made a mockery of some downloaded GP plans. I'm going to complete the project because it'll be interesting to see how it turns out, and it'll be the first thing I've really tried to make out of wood since that bird-house I built in seventh grade shop class. I'm guessing the blades, when finished, will be too thin to withstand the stress of paddling, and will break. We'll see.

Last edited by Christov_Tenn on Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:20 pm 
The last issue of Kayaking magazine has such plans, too.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:46 am 
Saturday completed the planing and sanding for this paddle. I'll try it out next week, and then see about applying some kind of epoxy to the tips and appropriate other finish.

Loom's too long - about 20 - 21", blades aren't equally long, they're about 4" at their widest (which I can comfortably grip), they are not identically symmetrical, and the whole thing's about 80 1/2" long or about 203 cm. I'd hoped to make something about (edit, actually 214cm) 223 cm long, but measured the board wrong or got happy with the jigsaw...

Anyway, I'll see how it works. ... .sized.jpg


Last edited by Christov_Tenn on Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Laughing Loon Plans
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:48 am 
Laughing Loon has plans that appear to include a relatively short-looking Aleut paddle. Dunno whether I'm up for the complexity of laminating, but maybe it can be cut/carved without lamination?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:56 am 
I think it looks pretty functional. I'm still working on mine - just started, actually. I'm making the loom as thick as I can grip because I'm wary of breakage. I may take that thickness as far down into the shafts as possible. I haven't been able to find a store that sells a drawknife, yet, so I've been hampered somewhat.

Interesting that the plans I have showed cutting the blank with a distinct half-inch inward "cut" separating the loom from the blades, while yours is a smooth transition. I like the style of yours a lot better.

Did you use an orbital sander or a belt sander? I have an orbital but might get a belt.

As for laminating, my instructions suggest simply oiling it with tung oil. That way it's easier to get any dings out of it. I don't really care about the dings - they'll give it character - but I like the idea of keeping the wood as natural as possible.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:18 pm 
To get it cut out to the shape marked on the plank, used a handheld jigsaw. It was difficult managing the curves around the paddle ends, as the plank was around 2" thick, probably a little less. Broke a couple of saw blades. Didn't manage paddle ends perfectly, which contributed to their asymmetrical shapes.

In terms of the shoulders between blades and loom, I had some issues with the draw knife and figuring out where in blazes the grain was going. Also, a big knot or burl right at one shoulder. To make a long story short, I really hacked the shoulders and then just decided to try to make the best of it and complete the project.

I was unable to firmly clamp the paddle blank to anything at home to make effective use of the planer or the draw knife. I did have some success using the draw knife to round the loom, but again, had trouble figuring out which way the grain went. It seemed to change, or I'm three-dimensionally challenged in remembering what end and which way I'm working. Actually, that's probably what happened. I should've marked the blade faces one through four, and drawn arrows around the blank to remind me which way the grain went. Any vestiges of my markings would've looked muy authentico and spooky-spiritual arcane :lol:

Anyway, I returned to the workshop of my aged and venerable kinsman to complete the project, and there used electric handheld planer and beltsander to good effect. Also, to smooth-round the loom, used vertical stationary beltsander. To complete one of the paddle blade tips, used stationary horizontal table-mounted beltsander. Used an orbital sander for some end of the job smoothing. Awesome tools.

Woodfire burning in the converted 50 gallon drum stove/heater while snow fell outside Saturday. Even if the paddle turns out to be kindling or wall decor useless, it was worth the effort, and it was good to spend time with an old man to try to learn some of what he knows, although this guy's been making things out of wood since he was a kid.

I bought some Tung Oil, if that's how it's spelled, yesterday, but I want to try the paddle out before finishing it or applying decorative, protective epoxy to the tips. They're calling for winds of 25 mph next weekend, so it may not be the best time to try out a new paddle, then again, it may be an excellent time to try out the sticklike device, but I'll have that Aquabound secured for backup. On the other hand, I'm honestly hoping it won't be that windy.

What I meant by laminating was like butcher-block lamination, then carving the paddle like the one shown in the LaughingLoon link above. I've emailed the LL guy to see if that paddle can be made without lamination.

You could probably order a drawknife from a specialty woodworking supplier online. The one I used is unreal sharp.

P.S. Edited to add this link to a video of a guy in a baidarka really applying a Greenland style paddle to some moving water - C.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:58 am 
I broke a few jigsaw blades as well. I also destroyed one piece of wood because the blade flexed/bent and I was actually cutting farther inward than I wanted (but couldn't see it from the top), making the loom too thin. I'm going to see if I can salvage that piece for the storm paddle.

I don't have a vice or stable place to clamp it, either, but I DO have a pair of Stanley sawhorses, one of which has slots to hold a two-by-four on either axis, and that seems to be working well enough. I'm trying to convince my wife to let me build a full-size work bench - one long enough for the entire boat (i.e. entire length of the garage on one side) but that would involve making her park her car in the driveway, so the idea may not fly :roll: .

Thanks for the link. I actually cross that bridge over Deception Pass once a month for my Navy Reserve duty and it is truly an awesome channel of water down there. I've seen a couple people go through it, but no one with that much skill. Interestingly enough, the website listed at the end of the video - shaman kayaks - sells hand-made skin-on-frame baidarkas and both Greenland and Aleutian paddles, including a discussion of the history and differences between the two.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:14 pm 
Didn't check the link, but will probably do so now. (edit: meant the link to the kayak maker's website. But, I think, that's the site from which I originally got to the video...But I hadn't seen the FAQ pages. C.) Soon, I expect you will be posting your own video demonstrating similar Greenland paddling skills :)

You should just build a dedicated boatshop - Ron's Boat Works. That way your wife can continue parking in the garage. It's a win-win solution. Saw horses didn't work for me, I kept knocking them over, or the paddle plus clamp kept coming off. But I have no finesse in these matters and need to be grateful I didn't injure myself with edged tools.

I'm thinking about trying to make a single-bladed paddle to use as a back up or to use in places with a lot of overhaning branches or narrow channels. Dunno. These wood planks are pretty cheap.

Hey, post some pictures when you get done.


 Post subject: It Worked
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:00 pm 
Ron wrote:
I think it looks pretty functional.
I finally got to try the paddle, and it worked really well considering it's shorter than the standard GP for my reach. About 14 miles with winds today that got up to 20+ mph, not steady, but some strong gusts and generally pretty windy.

My elbows were pain-free while paddling, but my shoulders felt, and still feel, sore. Possilby due to my inexpert technique, some flaw I built into the paddle, or the fact that I've slacked on strength training and am somewhat out of shape.

The GP compares favorably to any of the European style paddles I've used in getting the boat up to speed, whatever that is because I've no way to measure it, but it felt easily as fast as I've managed with other paddles. Best thing about it is that it cost $10.00 plus the price of jigsaw blades. The other great thing about it is the amazement I felt that something I made, and made wrong, works.


 Post subject: Laughing Loon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:47 am 
I bought a custon Aleutian paddle recently from Laughing Loon in Maine. Very nice guy is Rob. The paddle is beautiful and he sent a copy of his plans along with it. Talk with him about getting a paddle. His work is great. Laughing Loon has a website.

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