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Single Paddle ?

Discussion in 'Making your Own paddles' started by beekeeper, May 24, 2013.

  1. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    The edge of the rounded tip paddles I have built look like this:
    [​IMG]

    Should they have a "sharper" edge? Like the top paddle appears to be. Kind of a knife edge?
    [​IMG]

    Any advantages or disadvantages? Which way looks the best? :roll: I know the second one looks better than mine, but I'm asking about shape, form, and function.

    Any thoughts on grip size and shape?


    beekeeper
     
  2. jdupre'

    jdupre' Well-Known Member

    The sharper all edges are, the less resistance they have entering the water. Probably good for .000127 mph increase in speed. You'll get to your paddling destination 8 feet in front of your fellow paddlers. :roll: :lol:

    When I used a single paddle, I made the edges just as thin as I dared to still maintain durability. I noticed it cut down on the turbulence when the paddle entered the water. Better to strike a balance between thinness and thick enough to stand up to all the other stuff a paddle is asked to do.

    Joey
     
  3. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    With work you could get a thinner edge and more durability. If you cut a narrow kerf along that end edge, then used thickened epoxy to build up along that edge, rooting it into the saw cut, then filed the set up epoxy to a thinness that suits you, it would be both thinner and stronger. But, only if you think it is worth that effort.
     
  4. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    Handmade solid wood paddle, or store bought glued together strips?

    My paddles are balanced more to the "other stuff" because that is their primary function for me. I thin them to about the same thickness as store bought ones. I was mainly wondering about the rounded end. I guess I will have to make one with a "thinned" tip and see how it works.

    Jack
    I'm trying to stay on my "epoxy diet". The soild wood and thicker edges along the tip are much stronger than the lamanated strips used in bought paddles. It does work well as a scarfice for the wood and looks good as an accent, but he epoxy would be out of place for a traditional solid paddle. I should say the paddles I have built have solid wood blades. The shafts have strip laminated to the face for add thickness, because I didn't have thick enough stock. The shafts are not round. They are oval or elliptical for a better grip and added strength.

    beekeeper


    beekeeper
     
  5. jdupre'

    jdupre' Well-Known Member

    Handmade solid cypress, Bee.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've used a single paddle for about a dozen strokes since going to the double paddle. 'Bout 6 too many. Double paddle is just too easy and efficient.
     
  6. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Grampa JD, sorry, didn't mean to trump right into traditional territory. Maybe, just drill a few, small holes (0.020" in) into the end, and soak it in a bit of epoxy? That would,t show under paint, would add toughness, and could thus be a bit thinner.

    I'm with Joey on 2bl vs single paddles. Double paddles are long enough to prop up rain flys; single paddles are about long enough to haul pizza out of the oven. :|
     
  7. tx river rat

    tx river rat Well-Known Member

    x2 on the doubles.
    Ron
     
  8. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    I'm with you guys about the double paddle, but I carry a single for those other issues. It does outshine the long double when the trees get close together or as a push pole.
    Jack
    On a painted paddle the epoxy could be used and not infringe on tradition. I was thinking of the red tip I have seen on store bought paddles. The paddle I use needs protection. It spends more time stuck in the mud, and pushing on trees or concrete boat ramps than it does paddling. I have a paddle in the works that will address the problem in a "non epoxy" way:
    [​IMG]
    It will have a white oak edge on the tip like the epoxy one you suggested.
    Joey
    Your paddle looks sweet and I like the looks of the grip. I usually just cut away wood until it feels good to me. I have large hands so I was wondering what might be best for other folks. The store bought ones seem too thin for anybody's grip. I think they are saving wood not worried about how well it works.
    Anybody on here a single paddle person? Please chime in.

    beekeeper
     
  9. FlaMike

    FlaMike Well-Known Member

    I just love seeing these pictures!

    Couple of questions:

    In the first post, the picture showing the blades of two paddles, do you happen to know the width of the bottom paddle, the darker one of the two? I'm wondering how wide the piece was it was made from.

    And any hints about how the top end is carved, like the one shown in Joey's pic of the cypress paddle. Never made anything like it, myself. But I'd certainly like to.

    One I'd like to make would be like the dark paddle with the square tip, as it looks to me like it would fit right in with a more traditional (OK, old-school) pirogue.

    Mike S.
    Spring Hill, FL
     
  10. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    I am a single paddle person , had a couple of double's and gave them to the kids when they got the kayak and one pirogue from me.

    I have used a double , it is nice when going against the current up river but that is about all the uses I have for one. Besides that I always sort of snicker when I see a person using a double paddle , it looks like a windmill approaching since all you see 1st is the paddle being swung. YES , You can cover more water with a double paddle since the blade in in the water twice as much as a single paddle. For some reason I always got double the amount of water in the boat no matter how low I keep the paddle when paddling. A single paddle never got me wet when paddling.

    For me a double paddle is not the best thing to be using if I want to ease down a river and see wildlife , to dam noisy , and is not worth a darn in tight places.
    A single paddle can be used all day on one side of the boat and still go in a straight line or make all the turns that are necessary. All it takes is some knowledge and practice to get all the moves down like they should be. Using a single paddle a person can paddle there boat along without excessive movement , noise or distractions. Might be one reason the Indians liked them so well , they could ease along and hunt out of there canoes without disturbing ( warning ) the wildlife.
    Disclaimer..... Indians , The ones that do not live in Igloos and hunt seals but are in areas like we paddle in and enjoy.

    The main reason is that my Father taught me how to use a single paddle and all the different strokes with it , when I was really young , and have used one all my life.

    Chuck....
     
  11. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    Mike
    I have no clue how to describe a tradtional pirogue paddle. Not sure there is one. Don't recall seeing many shaped like beaver or otter tails, or with bent(on purpose) shafts. I suppose most makers used whatever wood was on hand. The paddle was what the wood would give them. Pick one style you like and call it traditional until someone proves you wrong. I'm guessing the square end paddle is about 4" wide and the other one about 6". Pretty common size lumber.

    Chuck
    What style single paddle do you like.

    beekeeper
     
  12. seedtick

    seedtick Well-Known Member

    got to agree with beekeeper,

    old paddles around here are straight sided, squared off and no more than 6" wide. They're quick and easy to make and functional for what was typical everyday life. Remember the average Cajun was no more than about 5' 6" and 120 lb and paddling was not the primary objective of the day. He still had to work all day once he got where he was going, then paddle back home. He's not going to use a wide bladed paddle so he can go 7 mph and be worn out before the day gets started
     
  13. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Go on line and look at Inuit or Greenland paddles.
    Kayaks weren't invented in Louisiana. Nanook was on vacation in the Arctic region that weekend, and needed a different kind of a pirogue for different waters. :wink:
     
  14. jdupre'

    jdupre' Well-Known Member

    I think beekeeper has it right. There doesn't seem to be any traditional pirogue paddle, probably because almost no one paddled pirogues for pleasure. It was a small, manuverable work truck. Someone made you a pirogue and you were left to make a paddle for yourself. Probably made with easily gotten 2 x ? lumber by a novice paddle builder.

    I've seen quite a few old paddles shaped like the dark one in the bottom of the picture above. It does tend to favor the shape of the oars made around here...... squared off bottom with fairly long blade. My hunch is the squared off bottom gave a better purchase on shallow, muddy bottoms. The ones I've seen are pretty stout and made for heavy uses other than paddling........knocking tree branches out of your way in the swamp, prying your way through mud, and dispatching the odd snake.

    Joey
     
  15. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    Both are long and narrow and I suspect because of the materials and/or tools they had to work with, more than some theory of the best design. The best design may have been invented for his use or this may not have been the original paddle but what it evovled(tweeked). Nanook found a long piece of drift wood to use. Probably too much work to cut it into and there was no trees to dodge, and no place to store one in the tight fitting cockpit anyway so he left it long draped across the boat. It worked well so he never bothered to cut it into.
    Joey's thought that the pirogue paddle was left square on the end to help in the mud, shallow water or whatever may be correct, but it may be that the builder did not bother to finish rounding it over, or didn't know it was suppose to be, or he had a round tipped one that was sawed off because of damage, or he cut an oar into to use in the pirogue, but it worked so why change it. He was known as "the" paddle maker, so we will make ours like he does. The "traditional" pirogue paddle is born(invented).

    What would a "traditional" Indian birch bark canoe paddle look like?

    There is a lady famous for her pot roast. Her "secret" is she buys only 12lb. roast and she cuts both ends off befor putting it in the pot to cook. She does it that way because her mother does it that way. Her mother does it that way because her grandmother taught her, and it is the best pot roast around. When asked why she cut the ends off the roast befor putting it into the pot, grandmother said, "The meat shop only sold 12lb. roast, but my pot would only hold a 10lb. roast." The best way to cook pot roast was born.

    beekeeper
     
  16. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Just the standard old time one , today is is called the Beaver tail. Straight shaft , average blade and nothing fancy , just functional.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. catfish

    catfish Well-Known Member

    i believe this is TRats and chucky,s moto what ever works best fer you geezers. I have to agree with them. for what kind of paddling I do the double wouldn,t work good for me. it might would help sometimes when I paddle up river but that's all. like mr bee not in tight places or in the swamp like I paddle a lot. I have one I got at bass pro I like a lot it is really lite weight . :D
     
  18. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    Most of my paddling is done to move the boat to the next casting target, and then to return to the launch when I'm done. The double is working best for my paddling and needs most of the time. I carry and use a single blade for tight spots, and to use as a push pole and other task we often call on a paddle to do. I have not taken the time to master the single for all the time use.
    I asked about single paddle design features because I figured someone who uses one regular might know how the different designs function. I like making them and I want them to work well.
    Catfish do you prefer a particular style?

    beekeeper
     
  19. catfish

    catfish Well-Known Member

    mr bee haven't never made a lot but the ones I like are the couple ones chuck posted last. I bought one like them it is out of white pine or cypress and is light weight also.couldn,t think of the one I found at bass pro the other night but it is the carlsle. it is real lite weight. you can tell the difference between it and one that is heavy when paddling a lot.
     
  20. beekeeper

    beekeeper Well-Known Member

    Finished the cypress paddle with white oak tip and a "plain old pine" one. The cypress is nice to work with using hand tools. I used pine for the other paddle because it is what I had and I wanted to make a paddle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    beekeeper
     

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