Carving an ottertail

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by FreeMe, May 15, 2019.

  1. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I bought an ash plank a couple years ago, intending to carve a paddle for the first time. Work and other things kept getting in the way, and that plank got moved around as it got in the way of other more pressing projects. Now that I'm retired....no more excuses. I'm well into it, with the grip shaped....

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    Now, on to the blade...
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  2. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Taking a break from carving - and I realize that I wrote "ash plank", when it is, in fact, cherry. Doh! Probably obvious to some here. Call it a senior moment. :confused:
     
  3. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Mother in law made a nice one out of cherry, it's at her cabin, I'll have to take a photo of it......

    Keep up the effort....you'll be smoothing through water by mid summer night......:dblthumb:
     
  4. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It's a good project, enjoy the journey young fellar, and keep posting progress. joe
     
  5. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    A cherry otter tail will be sweet!
     
  6. Niagara

    Niagara Scout

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    Nice I 've done few of them in Cherry - spoke shave and card scraper?
     
  7. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    I have a few nice pieces of cherry I am hoping to turn into a paddle. Needing something with a little more finesse than my cedar paddle. I may copy some of your details.
     
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  8. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    May not want to copy my details. This is a first time for me - and because I already have a nice ottertail made by someone who knows what he's doing, I'm experimenting with some change in the design. I'm making it with a longer blade and shorter shaft, with a fatter grip. It may work, and it may not. ;)

    The Warren and Gidmark book says to start the blade shaping by shaving about 45° off around the edges to the layout lines.

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    Woops! Gotta back up....
    My perfectly flat and straight plank decided to take on a little bow after I cut out the profile. Since the blade will be much thinner than the shaft and grip, I will take more material off the side that sits high when laid flat on the table. I had already clamped the shaft end down, and marked a new center line on the blade edge, parallel to the table top. I added another reference line for the desired amount to remove. Now I need to shave off the excess above that line to straighten the paddle....

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    But wait....
    I've been using Dad's old Stanley Bailey #7 hand plane for years, but only on big jobs in soft woods with no need for real precision. The iron really needs to be sharpened. I see Dad sharpened it by hand. Not bad...but I use a fixture for a more precise edge...

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    Still a some work to go...

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    With the iron sharpened....time to make some shavings...

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    All four sides shaved to 45° with spokeshave. Now, on to the meat of the project....

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    With all the rain we're having, I'll probably keep at it. Might even finish before company comes next week. But first - I have a garbage disposal to replace. :(
     
  9. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    I likely will take an axe to the cherry, knocking it down to shaving shape. I still free hand my hand plane blades.
     
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  10. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    There have been a couple spokeshaves involved, and there will be scrapers used before it's done. But the bulk of the blade thinning has been with the Stanley #7 and Millers Falls #14 planes. I like the way it's turning out, but the next time I do one, I think I'll use the power plane for the rough shaping to save time and liniment. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019 at 12:46 AM
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