View topic - How It's Made - Canoe Paddles

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PostPosted: October 29th, 2008, 8:00 am 
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Starting at 3:45 in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiEHUf1CW-I

And finishing in this clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy21FUd3Nl8

This show is addictive.


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PostPosted: October 29th, 2008, 12:13 pm 
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Wow, thanks for the links. What I really find interesting is that although their methods are more efficient than mine, they are really not much different. I would have expected much more automation. I wonder if the show skipped a step shaping the blade before they go to the big sanding belts.

I gotta get me one of those "routers"! (Actually a shaper.)

Cheers,
Bryan

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PostPosted: October 29th, 2008, 6:49 pm 
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i had a brief tour of the factory last year with the owner -terrific guy. It looks like any normal medium sized wood shop, nice and tall and open. very clean. they could be making anything but paddles it is, from the canoe and kayak ones that we love to Dragon Boat paddles and custom stuff. it shows how different two of the same type could be though doesn't it.
thanks for posting it.

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PostPosted: October 29th, 2008, 10:55 pm 
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:o beats the hell out of the 12 hours with a spoke shave...I still think I'll take my imperfections though. Cool vid, thanks for the post.


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PostPosted: October 30th, 2008, 5:54 am 
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Great video...

Anyone have thoughts on the type of glue they used? It certainly doesn't look like a polyurathane like Gorrila.

I think i'll try their tip method on my next paddle.


Jamie


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PostPosted: October 30th, 2008, 6:06 am 
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no help on glue, but you might be curious to know the one day I was there they were having an issue with getting the exact supply of something, and it was - well, we'll wait till the right stuff arrives then. there was no concept of reducing quality, changing materials or chancing poor results. I'd say they make paddles just how you hope they do when you are alone in the woods. (I don't have any shares, honest, thougt it was worth mentioning).

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PostPosted: October 30th, 2008, 11:34 am 
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It was probably 10 years ago that I stopped with a retailer friend at the Grey Owl factory on a Sunday to pick up an order. There were a couple guys working... one guy was cutting the dihedral on the back side of a bent freehand with a HUGE bandsaw. I watched him for a while in amazement that more GO paddles don't flutter. I like the finishing scene... how many folks that have tried building paddles wouldn't like to a have a 6 foot deep vat of varnish and just drop the paddle in and allow it's bouyance to bring it back to the surface, hang it up and call it good.

PK


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PostPosted: October 30th, 2008, 6:51 pm 
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Thanks for posting the links Tony.
I switched to Grey Owl Paddles several years ago, but didn't know much about them at the time. I bought my first 2 paddles at Mountain Equipment Co-Op. A whitewater one and a more normal one for flat water. My first opportunity to use them was on a very early Spring trip in Temagami, just a few hours after the ice had gone out. I was passing by an island and managed to hit a submerged rock with my new paddle. This put a long split in the face and I had to switch paddles .

Later when I got home, I looked up Grey Owl and discovered they are located in Cambridge, only about 20 minutes from where I live in Guelph. I went over and they said they could fix my new, broken paddle, and I asked if they would also glass it for me. They did this for a very nominal amount of $$$.

Later I bought 2 more identical, but shorter paddles for Ruth and now after several years of hard use, I have just got them back from Grey Owl , with new glass facers on the whitewater paddle and new varnish on both... again for a very nominal sum of money.

A few years ago they put a glass sleeve over the shaft of my whitewater paddle to protect the shaft. I am an addicted gunnel pryer on my J stroke, and the shaft was getting pretty worn.

I wouldn't buy a paddle directly from them as they have to charge their full list price in order to support their Dealer network.... but those sellers charge quite a bit less.. so there are lots of good bargains out there if you look around a bit....


The glue they are using.... :

This is conjecture on my part, but I think I am correct....
I have never been in their shop, so I looked at the videos to see what was going on.....
The white glue they are using looks supiciously like a Resorcinol / Formaldehyde glue that is very quick to set, is very thermoset in nature and is very waterproof when cured. It finds application for laminating large structural beams made from several pieces of wood such as 2" x12" planking made to support roofs in free standing structures. It is also used to join the wood scraps, we see being sold these days, which are made by joining several pieces of what would be waste wood ends, into a long single piece using a series of finger joints..... These production lines typically run at several hundred feet/minute, so the R/F glue they employ, has to set very quickly.

Resorcinol/Formaldehyde adhesives used to be available from Weldwood. Not sure if they are still in business under that name, but for sure someone out there is still making them for use.
For use on wood, Resorcinol/Formaldehyde adhesives are probably better than epoxy although Epoxy adhesives seem to have pentrated the market, that R/F glues once had to themselves.


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PostPosted: October 30th, 2008, 9:40 pm 
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Thanks for the great link. PK's right, that's the easiest varnishing technique ever...wow...I wonder if it will work on my wooden boats?
As for the glue I wonder if it is not one of the Titebond II type (cross linked pva) glues. Cheap, easy, non-toxic, water resistant. It's been a while since I used resorcinol but back in the day it had a distinct reddish tone and showed a glue line and had very little tolerance for bad joinery (ie no gap filling qualities), thus the rise in popularity of epoxy with amateur woodworkers these days methinks.


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PostPosted: October 31st, 2008, 7:00 am 
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Cedar Rib:
It could be one of those as well. Easier to work with and not as potentially toxic for shop use.

Maybe we should ask Grey Owl what they actually use. Whatever it is, it must be pretty good. The 4 paddles I currently own have never broken along the glue lines.


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PostPosted: October 31st, 2008, 7:09 am 
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The first paddle i ever bought was a grey Owl....it was 80 bucks or something like that. After one season of use, the shaft snapped after hitting a rock in a very normal paddling situation. The core wood in the shaft sure looked and felt like basswood, which is a poor choice, in my opinion. Anyway, I make my own now, and found the video quite interesting, especially their lamination style for many paddles at once...pretty sure I'll try that this year.


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PostPosted: October 31st, 2008, 9:13 am 
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Cedar Rib:
It is a well known epoxy system .


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PostPosted: October 31st, 2008, 12:07 pm 
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cedar rib wrote:
As for the glue I wonder if it is not one of the Titebond II type (cross linked pva) glues. Cheap, easy, non-toxic, water resistant. It's been a while since I used resorcinol but back in the day it had a distinct reddish tone and showed a glue line and had very little tolerance for bad joinery (ie no gap filling qualities), thus the rise in popularity of epoxy with amateur woodworkers these days methinks.


Highly unlikely that it's an aliphatic resin or PVA glue. They are not waterproof and will come apart upon upon prolonged immersion in water. Neither is it resorcinol as that glue is a dark purplish brown color, and like you said it needs very tight glue joints. Besides, it has a short pot life at room temperatures.

Likely glues are one of the urea-formaldehyde glues like "Urac-185" or Weldwood "Plastic Resin Glue". These glues, however, are usually tan rather than white in color.

The stuff looks suspiciously like casein glue which is moderately waterproof in cold water, but that certainly wouldn't be my first choice even though it was commonly used for interior plywood for decades due to it's low cost.

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PostPosted: October 31st, 2008, 1:25 pm 
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Does anybody know where you can get your hands on that reddish-brown polyurethane they were using to tip the blades with? I can never find it.

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PostPosted: October 31st, 2008, 2:11 pm 
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Hey BK:
Read the post above you....


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