Paddles…

I took a great paddle making class a few years ago, but haven’t had the time since to make another one.  My 4 year old keeps growing so she was due for another paddle.  She is in love with the colour purple so I grabbed a bit of purple heart along with some poplar and walnut and made her a little paddle for our adventures.

akcbpaddle

The second paddle was a present to my wife, after many years she was still using some junky old paddle lying around the garage.  Her’s is also in the picture above, it’s made from walnut and butternut and is very light.  Mainly used hand tools to plane down the blades and shape the shafts, worked out great. Both paddles were finished with spar varnish, wasn’t happy with the product and it smelt awful.  I’ve read many people say that poly is better as it is harder, and you don’t really need the uv protection for the limited amount of time it is outside, so on the next one I’ll use some poly instead.

akpaddle

Up next I’m making a paddle for a local kids charity to use for their silent auction.  Hopefully it brings in some big bucks for the organization, it will be auctioned off at a canoe fundraiser so hopefully it’s a good fit.

Looking sharp…

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I always jump into projects without being properly prepared.  So this week when I had some time, instead of starting yet another project only to get frustrated when things didn’t work out perfectly (usually due to my lack of prep), I instead decided to do some tuning up.  I started with making a zero clearance insert for my table saw, but I didn’t have the right material, so instead I decided to sharpen.

 

Over the past 6 months I’ve acquired several planes and a set of chisels shortly after Christmas.  Some have been sharpened, some not, some half way, so I spent a couple of nights sharpening and tuning everything up.  Sharpening really isn’t so bad, I somewhat enjoyed it as I could see the tools performing better as I put more work into them.  Next week I’ll do a little project, still waiting for work to wind down before I start anything big.

Tool of the Week – Hand Plane by Conrad Sauer

This week’s tool isn’t actually one that I used…. It is a hand plane owned by one of my fellow students at Rosewood.  It is a custom made hand plane by Conrad Sauer, and as Ron (my teacher) put it, “it’s worth more than your car”.  Now I don’t own a very expensive car, but to think any hand could be worth more than a roadworthy automobile seems a bit outrageous…

I have to admit that to look at it, it is a thing of beauty, and I’ve been led to believe that it performs admirably, but would it really be that much better than a Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen plane?  Considering they sell for $200-400, there is no way this plane is 10-20 times better.

But buying custom will cost you as you are paying for craftsmanship and attention to detail that simply isn’t available elsewhere.  At least the student uses it regularly and doesn’t just put it up on a shelf to be ogled.