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Bamboo paddle shaft?

john the pom

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2007
345
1
Queensland
Thoughts turned to building me a paddle. My plastic/aluminium (yes that's how it's really spelled :p ) looks too 'bought'. My thoughts are generally dangerous if allowed to come to fruition unchecked. Anyone had any thoughts/misgivings about using bamboo as a shaft. Seems to me it's light strong and can be generally found in the right proportions.
P.s. Almost forgot to add its cheap too, which kinda fits comfortably with me.
 

a Bald Cypress

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2007
577
0
78
Northwest Louisiana
B

Don't take my word for it, since I am rarely correct on anything I say. [just ask my wife].

But, I would think that a bamboo shaft of the normal 1-1/1/4 " would be a bit bendy for a paddle. To get the shaft solid enough for a paddle you would have to go to a size that would be uncomfortable to use.
 

bearridge

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
3,092
4
way down yonder
Friend john,

Dont worry. If it iz too "bendy" ya kin use it ta whup the snot outta Tibet monks.....if ya'll got any downunder? The Communists seem ta like whuppin' a monk with a cane.....but they dont like ya ta call 'em Communists no more.....Wal Mart dont like nobody callin 'em what they are.

regards
bearridge

I hate political correctness because it's founded on the idea that by means of language you can escape truth -- that if you simply give a different name to something you've somehow changed it. It is a very childlike idea. P. J. O'Rourke
 

hairymick

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
2,107
2
Queensland, Australia
G'day John, :shock: :shock:

Bloody good idea mate. :D Why didn't I think of that? been agonising for months over what to use for a shaft. :oops:

I think a lot would have to do with the cultivar you use. Robin and I are bamboo mad and have a bunch of different species all over the yard.

I think. that if you can get it, a culm from black bamboo or even oldhamii would do nicely. Very strong structural stuff. You will need to sand the nodes off, and hold it straight while it dries out.

Will cut some (while Miss robin is away) :D in the next couple of days and dry it and put it through some tests.

I think it would work fine. :D
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,976
168
84
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
My 2 cents is, try to stay with a smaller diameter that feels comfortable in your relaxed hands. Also, SAND IT SMOOTH. Otherwise you will have many blisters and sore spots from rubbing knobs, grooves, & outer surface irregularities that you don't notice until you're 5 miles down the coast.

As an experiment, you can cut slots into the ends of a pole, slide in 1/8" plywood blades, glue them, and cut and whittle until the size and shape feel about right. Oughta be able to run through a few prototypes that way without getting too deep into the beer budget?
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,645
2
on the bank of Trinity Bay
Take a hint from the fly rod makers. Strip them down and make little minature boards out of the bamboo, then epoxy em up like ya want. Could even make the blades out of it. While your at it make a couple of kids a bow out of what you don't use.
Bob
 

dawallace45

Well-Known Member
Strip them down and make little miniature boards out of the bamboo, then epoxy em up like ya want
The easier way would be to buy some vertical bamboo flooring and cut and laminate to size , the stuff can be expensive depending on where you get it but it's good stuff , I want to get some to make into laminations for bow making , the flooring suppliers around here tend to think it worth it's weight in gold and charge accordingly

David
 

john the pom

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2007
345
1
Queensland
Wow! was expecting someone to say "Don't do it" but seem to have established a epic saga. Mick the reason you didn't think of it is probly 'cos yer not a cheapskate like what I am 8)
I know it can be bent (probly a steam or time/pressure thing) 'cos of the furniture useage. In some of my build pics there's an old lounge suite in the wilderness that is my garage, with some really tight bends in... OH and hula hoops :) Thought about the flex and agree with Mick that there will be some right and some very wrong types or species. If ya could get almost the right one and then glass it, cos I reckon epoxy on its own would fall off with too much flexing over time... Then again would it need either at that price?
Hey Wannabe, was just pondering the other day my first fishing outfit was a split cane rod that would be worth a fortune IF I'd a looked after and kept it. They were common when I was a kid and beautiful to fish with and look at, but then I was a kid and what did I know. Some idiot invented fibreglass fishing rods and naturally I had to get one.
 

Ozark

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2007
627
0
Ozark Mo.
Ain't it so John my first was just a cane pole no reel just line tied to the end. Biggest fish ever caught were on that piece of cane.
Paul
 

john the pom

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2007
345
1
Queensland
Coupla thoughts ocurred to me. Dw said"The easier way would be to buy some vertical bamboo flooring" Vertical flooring :shock: ? Does that go with horizontal walling? Sorry Dw :D
Second thought and less silly one. If ya cut a slot in the bamboo and insert blade into slot then I'd think you would destroy the structural integrity of the bamboo. You could beef it up, but weight would become an issue. I reckon it depends on being a cylindrical shape for 99% of its strength. Bamboo splits longitudinally very easily. At the beginning of the slot would be very weak, and also the area that would bear the greatest stress/strain. So, would think a ferrule arrangement built onto the blade and the clean cut end of bamboo inserted into that. Still believe that would need to be reinforced for an inch or three back from the end. Even the "ferrule" on the blade could be made from a larger diameter bamboo. Just very well reinforced with probly lotsa woodflour and mebbe glass as well...hmm am thinking it might be wise to keep the finished, or even unfinished article well away from pandas though.
Paul, them was the days hey :)
Only Mick would have a grove of paddle shafts growing in his garden :D
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,976
168
84
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Saw a grove, insert a "blade" of thin plywood, wrap the joint with stout twine, insert a small nail or two, glue the hell out of it.

RE: days of yore - "Right now are the good old days." Think about it - in 10-15 years you'll be looking back at today thinking, "God - wasn't it great then!" Well, enjoy it now.
 

hairymick

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2005
2,107
2
Queensland, Australia
:p :p

G'day John,

Yeah mate, we are growing bamboo here, mainly for shade but there are other benifiets.

1. an abundance of mulch for the fruit trees.

2, Lots of lovely timber for those "artistic moments. :p



Second thought and less silly one. If ya cut a slot in the bamboo and insert blade into slot then I'd think you would destroy the structural integrity of the bamboo.
If you cut the blade shaft with a saw and remove enough timber for the blade to fit, the shave at the junction could easily be re-inforced by binding and then saturating the binding with epoxy.



Only Mick would have a grove of paddle shafts growing in his garden
Not necessarily mate :D There is lots of it growing round here and even a dedicated bamboo nursery nearby (where we get out cultivars)

When we bought this place about 8 years ago, there was a mango tree down the back and that was about the only plant in the place. Both Robin and I are keen gardeners and the place looks a little like a jungle now. :oops: We planted lots of palm trees and other trees for shade and a bunch of citrus and exotic fruit trees as well. Nothing has grown as well as the bamboo - or provided us with as much pleasure.

Here are a few of our bamboos and what I think of them :D

They were all about this size when we started planting them about 5 years ago. :D



We are still planting them :oops:

Bambusa oldhamii

This is one of the giant bamboos. Long straight culms that are heavy walled, very strong and small nodes. Very good structural timber. :D





A link :D

http://www.bambooweb.info/ShowPictures. ... ton=Search

Here is what we call a Budas Belly bamboo, purely ornamental but very good shade.



Bar Code bamboo, light weight, very strong but crooked culms with big nodes





Unknown species, We got it in a "lucky dip" section where they had lost the id tags and sell cheap. Nice looking timber in this one.



Another lucky dip one.



Timor Black Bamboo. I think this one will make the best paddle shaft. Strong, light, straight and with small nodes :D



 

dangermouse01

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2006
312
1
Palm Bay, FL (East coast)
There are some places around here where the bamboo grows along some of the rivers, love the sound it makes when the wind blows and clanks the stalks together.

Wish I had some of that giant bamboo.
I have heard that stuff grows like weeds and what started out as a small clump so takes over your whole back yard.

DM
mike