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CANOE PADDLES: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR OWN Canoeists are increasingly discovering the deep satisfaction to be had by creating their own equipment rather than adapting to the generic standards of boats and paddles available through retailers. Indeed, interest in making paddles and canoes is at an all-time high with recreational boaters. For the how-to beginner, a paddle represents the perfect challenge, both finite and functional. For the skilled woodworker, the opportunity to experiment with design and technique and thereby create a tailor-made product that perfectly suits a paddler's needs is a dream come true.In Canoe Paddles: A Complete Guide to Making Your Own, longtime canoeist and woodworker Graham Warren presents detailed blueprints for making paddles that you will cherish and use with confidence. From his insightful look at the way a paddle works when it meets the water through the selection of the best woods, adhesives and tools, Warren takes the reader on a veritable paddlemaking odyssey. You will learn how to make a paddle with a single blade, a bent shaft, or double blades; how best to protect a paddle with oil oil or varnish; what to look for when test-driving your paddle; how to decorate it; and how to care for and repair it. Warren also includes an appreciation of the evolution of the paddle, and a special chapter by renowned canoe-building teacher David Gidmark celebrates paddlemaking in the native tradition. Canoe Paddles is thoroughly illustrated with photographs and drawings.PRAISE FOR CANOE PADDLESWill challenge any canoeist ... to design and craft a paddle ... This fascinating book ... is richly illustrated." --Art Lander Jr., Lexington Herald-Leader, April 1, 2001"Just about anyone can custom craft their own canoe paddle using this book as a guide ... Whether you are a recreational canoeist, a weekend woodworker or someone interested in wilderness skills, this book should provide hours of entertainment, year round." --New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, May 26, 2001"A how-to book that's valuable even if you choose never to use the how-to parts." --Linda Turk, Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, July 8, 2001"Well illustrated with sketches and black and white photographs ... a definitive work." Canoeist, August 2001TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction -- Make your own paddles!Chapter One: Diversity: Evolution of the canoe paddle- Prehistoric paddles- The evolution of North American paddles- Tribal variation and adaptation- Fur trade (voyageur) paddles- Identifying native North American single-blade paddles- Paddles from other culturesChapter Two -- Design: The inner workings of a canoe paddle- Grips- Shaft- Blade- Flexibility- Weight- BalanceChapter Three: Woods and Adhesives: A guide to choosing your materials- Grain direction- Choice of species- AdhesivesChapter Four -- Tools: Select your level of technology- Tools for marking out- Clamps and holding things steady- Tools for carving- Tools for finishing- Power tools- Homemade tools and jigsChapter Five -- Paddlemaking Basics: Making a single-blade paddle- Preparing a one-piece blank- Making a laminated blank- Bandsaw and thickness planer- Laminating checklist- Marking out- Designing your own blade- Cutting out the blank- Adding carving guidelines- Making flexible templates- The keys to paddlemaking- Carving a single-blade paddle- Using a spokeshave- Critical sighting pointsChapter Six -- Adding Power: The bent-shaft paddleChapter Seven -- Twinning Up: Double-blade paddlesChapter Eight -- When Wood Meets Water: Oil or varnish protection for your paddle- Varnish- Oil- Looking Good: Decorating your paddleChapter Nine -- Care and Repair: Welcome to the real world- Care- Repair- Performances CharacteristicsChapter Ten -- Origins: Paddlemaking in the native tradition; Text and Photos (c) David Gidmark- Paddle woods- Making a paddle- The crooked knifeChapter Eleven -- Paddle Plans- Key paddle dimensions- Traditional beavertail- Ottertail- Voyageur- Algonquin- Sugar Island- Whitewater paddle- Sugar Islet - bent-shaft paddle- Double-blade paddle- Child's beavertail- Paddles for children- Patterns for grip templates- Scalloped guide grip- Tip and throat templatesGlossaryResourcesFurther ReadingEXCERPT: Introduction -- Make your own paddles!Interest in paddle- and canoe-making is today perhaps at an all-time high. Canoeists are fast rediscovering the intense satisfaction to be gained by creating their own equipment rather than merely adopting the often rather soulless stuff to be found down at the canoe store.Fashioning a paddle is a small enough project that it will not cost the earth or devour all your spare time. On the other hand, the subject is sufficiently deep that it will provide a lifetime opportunity to develop your woodworking skills, to experiment with various designs or to research the rich historical context of the craft. When you make your own paddles, you are immediately connected with the roots of canoeing, roots that stretch back hundreds, even thousands of years. Indeed, in the past, probably few canoeists did not also build their own boats as well as paddles.Taking the time to learn paddle-making skills will ensure that you get exactly the paddle you want -- a perfect fit, the blade area that you need, created with a wood that you particularly like -- and all at a fraction of the price you pay for a store-bought paddle. And once you have mastered the basic skills, there are many directions you can take. You might want to progress to power tools and synthetic materials in the quest for the lightest or most efficient paddle. Or you might want to go in the opposite direction and recreate the native skills of paddle-making with an ax and crooked knife, using wood that you have harvested yourself. Why not go on to make a range of paddles to suit all moods and water conditions or build a collection of native paddles, authentically decorated, to form a beautiful and unique display?At first glance, a professionally made paddle might seem like the kind of thing that only a master craftsperson could produce -- and then only after years of practice. This is simply not the case. Even with modest woodworking skills, you should be able to get good results first time out. In a short while, you will gain a very different perspective on most commercial paddles: Why don't they balance properly? Why is the finish so poor? Why are hardwood paddles nearly always warped?Creating something beautiful in wood evokes real satisfaction. If you have previously practiced home woodworking limited within the confines of the straight line and right angle, you are in for a liberating experience. Although you may initially find the move away from the security of the ruler and set square a bit scary -- like a first trip into the wilderness without a guide -- it will ultimately become a delight. You will soon find yourself navigating through the wood freely, guided by touch and light.Making a beautiful paddle is not that difficult. Forming its graceful curves is a technique, not an art. In fact, with quite straightforward methods, you can get your tools to cut intricate curves as surely as any basic geometrical shape. You just need to be aware of the capabilities of your tools, learn to break down the complex paddle shape into a series of simpler ones and work not haphazardly but to a system.Anyone can make a good paddle, and Canoe Paddles will show you the way. ISBN: 1-55209-525-8 publish date: 03/14/2001
Binding Type: Softcover
ISBN: 1-55209-525-8
Author: Graham Warren & David Gidmark

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