A new prototype: SUP paddle – Part I

A friend had taken up on Stand Up Paddling. After some time she asked if I could make her a wooden SUP paddle. I’d never made a wooden SUP paddle and was kinda bored or atleast looking for something different to tinker on , so I promised to try to make a paddle for her.

Making something out of bits of wood wasn’t a problem. The challenge in this case was the basic design, shape and dimensions. I had no clue. I’d tried SUPping  awhile ago in Portugal, but I was having such a fun time at the time that I didnt really pay any attention to the details of the paddle. Thank ze gods for the internet!

After googling for about 45 minutes, I more or less had some basic shaky idea what I was going to attempt.  Online, I found a basic template of a paddle blade shape (I’ve lost the link for the moment from where I found the template, sorry about that!) and some possible dimensions as well. Also I had a book (yeah, I know, such an ancient concept and with no wifi either!),  about canoe paddles!! So I was all set to go.@

The idea was to make a bent shaft paddle. My plan was to make the shaft from laminated strips. Partly for visual effetct and partly to make it .. well stronger. I fashioned a glue press with a 10 degree bend. The materials for the shaft were 3 strips of nordic pine sapwood @5.6mm thick and approx 40mm wide. Length at this stage was unknown so I built the shaft about 2300mm long. The remaining 2 strips I decided to use Mahogany of same dimensions. Mahogany may not be the smartest choice , as it is on the heavyish side.. but boy does it look great!

SUP paddle shaft in Glue Press. The shaft consists of 5 wood strips 5.6mm thick each. 3 strips of Nordic pine and two of mahogany. Glue used is Polyuretahne glue . Water spray bottle to ensure the glue ahrdenin process
SUP paddle shaft in Glue Press. The shaft consists of 5 wood strips 5.6mm thick each. 3 strips of Nordic pine and two of mahogany. Glue used is Polyurethane glue . Water spray bottle to ensure the glue hardening process.

To keep it all together, I decided to use single-component polyurethane glue made by Wurth. I’ve used it previously on a couple canoe and kayak paddles with good results. At the moment I dont trust it as much as 2-component epoxy, which I’ve used on several occasion previously, but I think it’ll do the job sufficiently. besides my finances were in the dumps.. polyurethane is soo much more cheaper than epoxy.

Polyurethane glue foams nicely when "drying". Due to this foaming tendency the press needs to be solid and no looseness can exists. otherwise the foam can push laminate startips apart!
Polyurethane glue foams nicely when “drying”. Due to this foaming tendency the press needs to be solid and no looseness can exists. otherwise the foam can push laminate strips apart – leaving pockets filled with foam, which arent structurally sound! Angle of the bend at the paddle thrat is 10 degrees.. a number I  settteld on after googling stuff online. I have no idea if it is suitable… Time will tell! Lotsa exprerimentation in what I do!

After some gluing, pressing, planing I had the shaft ready after which I glued the “cheek pieces” of the blade, ie. the parts that make up the majority of the paddle blade area. For my Prototype #1 which will probably end up being a wallhanger anyway I used some scrap pieces of walnut I had lying around.. yeah, I know. not smart choice = too heavy and probably not very durable in the longterm.. but I had a hankering to work on walnut and I was going for looks at this stage.

After the glue has dried, the shaft blank is removed from the press and planed to correct width, in this case its about 28mm
After the glue has dried, the shaft blank is removed from the press and planed to correct width, in this case its about 28mm. Next step is to glue the blade cheeks.

Prototype#2 is basicly the same as #1 but the blade cheeks are nordic pine-sapwood, and 100mm longer. Should be quite a bit ighter than the shorter walnut version.

The paddle blade cheeks being glued on. The blade template visible in the background
The paddle blade cheeks being glued on. The blade template visible in the background
The paddle blade outline has ben marked and the excess cut off. The blade cheek materil in nordic pine of relative "light" growth. ie. not so dense+heavy
The paddle blade outline has been marked and the excess cut off. The blade cheek material is nordic pine of relative “light” growth. ie. not so dense+heavy
The paddle blade outline has ben marked and the excess cut off. The blade cheek materil in nordic pine of relative "light" growth. ie. not so dense+heavy
Paddle face side
The handle knob has been glued on and paddle is at its final length, approx 195cm.
The handle knob has been glued on and shaped to its rough outline. Paddle is at its final length, approx 195cm. This is the lighter version made of NordicPIne/Mahogany
Walnut planes really nicely!, even with a slightly dull blade.
Walnut planes really nicely! Even with a slightly dull blade. Here am in the process of shaping the backside
Slowly geting there.. and the pile of shavings grow! Its hard to imagine that there is approximately 80 €uros worth of walnut in this picture!
Slowly getting there.. and the pile of shavings grow! Its hard to imagine that there is approximately 80 €uros worth of walnut in this picture!
A handy tool for concave planing
A handy tool for concave planing! I decided to make the powerface of the paddle blade concave. Not sure if it has effect and what it could be? looks cool, plus need to lighten the paddle every which way possible!
Concave section is begining to show
Concave section is begining to show
10 degree angle
10 degree angle, (and a pair of work shoes marked “Left” and” Right”, incase non-finnish speakers were wondering?) 😉

The paddles still need to be sanded down to their final size and shape and varnished and then at some date tested! Follow up posts will follow….

 

 

 

Some tent addons

I had some time to make a couple modifications on my tent. The Marmot Trailite 2P tent has served well the past 3 seasons and for the moment looks like it should well for the unforeseeable future. No fault there.

There are a couple additions that I have been hankering for quite sometime. These aren’t tent specific, just little addons to add versatility.

The first add on

Many a times along the rocky Finnish coast the ground is well, Hard! Granite tends to be that way. Even though the tent is self-supporting, it often needs to be anchored down, especially where its windy..  Short of having a diamond tipped drill bit and/or a power drill/jackhammer.. tying a tend down on a rock is next to impossible.

Many a times I’ve filled a plastic bag or an Ikea bag with rocks  to make anchors for the tent. Plastic bags don’t last that long and I don’t carry around 8 Ikea bags.. So clearly this wasn’t the solution to be.

A friend who had seen another friend using something that is apparently called in the mountain climbing circles a “parachute” ! A lightweight but sturdy fabric that can be  buried under snow and packed over with snow for guy lines for tents!!! These things aren’t very common in Finland, at least outdoors stores don’t advertise them at all.. so IF they were available in Finland, then I would surmise that a specialist product like the “parachute” would cost and arm and a leg plus your firstborn.

Bricks simulating rocks.. Rocks need to be BIG! Not sure if the fabric square is big enough (30 cm x 30cm)?
Bricks simulating rocks.. Rocks need to be BIG! Not sure if the fabric square is big enough (30 cm x 30cm)?

After seeing what these devices looked like I realized that they wouldn’t be too hard to fabricate ones self!

Here I must confess , despite initially planning to do the sewing work meself, I opted out to order the sewing work done by the seamstress students at the local vocational college. That was easy!

Following pictures hopefully are self explanatory:

Sturdy fabric squares (30 cm x30cm each). Tunnels for line sewn at two opposing sides of each square. 1 line /square, line length approx 150cm. 1 plastic snap shackle/square. I decided on 8 parachutes for my current tent..
Sturdy fabric squares (30 cm x30cm each). Tunnels for line sewn at two opposing sides of each square. 1 line /square, line length approx 150cm. 1 plastic snap shackle/square. I decided on 8 parachutes for my current tent..
Fabric used was some sort of nylon/cotton mix, workclotchs farbic, plenty sturdy, but might be a bit on the heavy sde, especially when it soaks up water. But beggars can't be choosers!
Fabric used was some sort of nylon/cotton mix, work cloths fabric, plenty sturdy, but might be a bit on the heavy sde, especially when it soaks up water. But beggars can’t be choosers!
To tie the line end together I decided to try the Reever hitch. It holds better than the typical square knot (on this slippery type of line) and is lower in profile, plus it was inneresting to learn to do! :)
To tie the line end together I decided to try the Reever hitch. It holds better than the typical square knot (on this slippery type of line) and is lower in profile, looks nice plus it was inneresting to learn to do! 🙂
After tying the line ends, I slid the knot into one of the tunnels.. to make appearances neat.
After tying the line ends, I slid the knot into one of the tunnels.. to make appearances neat.
The second add on

Keeping stuff organized in anyway at all inside a tent is /has and probably will always be mission impossible or the next best thing. Many a time I have wistfully gazed at neat and tidy tents at camp, usually someone else’s! What most of these neat tents had in common was a nifty organizer pocket hanging from the roof! Now just about most of the major brand names usually offer one of these organizer pocket doodads for the price of your second born…

Being  a stingy sort and once realizing I had some left over deck netting and some 2mm bungee cord I decided to make my own organizer pocket! Hah! That made me feel good for a bit! Time will tell how this mod works out?

Some stretchy deck netting, 2mm bungee cord and sgharp scissors!
Some stretchy deck netting, 2mm bungee cord and sharp scissors!
Voila! And there she is! Took less than 10 minutes to rig it up! Now its just a matter of testing how it works!
Voila! And there she is! Took less than 10 minutes to rig it up! Now its just a matter of testing how it works! A good place to store random items and dry those wet socks etc.

So.. If the above add ons work nicely this likely be the last post.. If they don’t then.. this likely be the last post on the subject matter! 😉

A new toy..

I’ve never been too excited about live picture/video capturing. Have always considered myself a “still image” type of guy. Looks like that may change…

Marko had recently acquired a GoPro Hero4 Session camera and attached Ram Mount hardpoints where to install the camera on his kayak.

The GoPro Hero4 Session is a camera produces to my uneducated eye actually pretty decent net worthy video! Also it is pretty darn small!! In addition it has only TWO buttons to operate!! This is borderline limit for my feeble mind to comprehend.  Sounds like something I may learn to use?

The kit is pretty small. From left to right: GoPro remote, RamMount 6" Mount, GoPro Hero 4 session camera, Holder for the GoPro Hero 4 session camera with Ram Mount adapter ball for the Go Pro.
The kit is pretty small. From left to right: GoPro remote, RamMount 6″ Mount, GoPro Hero 4 session camera, Holder for the GoPro Hero 4 session camera with Ram Mount adapter ball for the Go Pro.

Also the Camera can be  operated with a separately sold remote control, OR a smart phone app. So if the camera is further away from the operator, one can still start and stop the filming!  This can be handy on a kayak!

I have the understanding that these GoPro Devices are reasonably robust and actually may operate successfully in marine conditions.. so this might be  working formula!

1" Ram mount ball on bow of the Beaufort
1″ Ram mount ball on bow of the Beaufort

The 1 inch ram mount B- size balls are reasonably low in profile, yet sturdy for intended use , particularly this small camera and has a large selection of adapters, gadgets etc available and whats best these were all  available from Finland without complicated, unsure, expensive “order from abroad and pay taxes” spiel!

1" Ball on the stern
1″ Ball on the stern

I acquired the necessary parts from local company nearby with excellent service and which pretty much covers the whole Ram Mount catalog of parts available: Yepnet. Whats best, the whole package was under 100€!! This hardly ever happens in Finland anymore!

Camera installed on the stern hardpoint. The white line is the DIY safety line for the camera. It will be attached onto the deckline.
Camera installed on the stern hardpoint. The white line is the DIY safety line for the camera. It will be attached onto the deckline.

Installation of the hardpoints was easy/hard. I used SS M4 Hardware + White SikaFlex 291i to attach the Ram Mount balls on the bow and stern. Evereything  else was easy apart from holding back the nuts while tightening the screws. Here and additional pair of hands was necessary.

So.. now I have another toy to play around with.. and if all goes well I might actually have some videos to post at a later date.. Ofcourse before that I will have to try to learn the complex world of digtalvideo editing! 😉