SUP paddle part II

Part II, continuation for blog post A new prototype: SUP paddle part I

To finally finish the SUP paddle pair I started building way back when.. I needed to do the most annoying bit: sanding and varnishing !!! Basicly its a simple chore, so simple that its easy to botch and then the end result looks cheap… so much for all that painstaking woodwork! 😉

So its time to confess. I’m probably a laziest sander I know and my varnishing skills are pretty poor, but in my defence I only make things that get banged up, scratched, misused, and usually at some point broken… so if the varnishing isn’t top-notch I suppose it doesnt matter much in the end? 😉

So the sanding. Yes, its booring. I won’t go into that other than despite its tediousness.. Its actually an important part of the process!! Don’t skip it! I start out usually with grit 80 -> 120-> 180-> 240 after that its time to varnish! Sometimes I start varnishing after 180. Sanding between every 2-3varnish layers I use 3m scotchbrite pads (or similar).

For the past 5 years or so I’ve mainly used the following method for varnishing my wooden paddles:

  1. Pre-impregnation with Hempel Wood Impreg oil
  2.  4-7 layers of varnish, Le Tonkinois Brand. Light sanding between every 2-3 layers
  3.  redo varnishing as needed, usually after each season
Varnish: Le Tonkinois. Impregnation oil : Hempel Wood impreg. Here pictured is an old can (leftovers) of Wood Impreg1 which has been discontinued and replaced by “Wood Impreg”.. Not sure what the difference is between the two.. probably the new version is “less toxic” or some such thing…?

This cocktail seems to work nicely. Le Tonkinois seems to hold on better than urethane-alkyd varnishes out there! ‘Le Tonk’ is more expensive, but on wooden paddles you don’t need that much! Varnishing approx 6 paddles with 4 coats I use slightly less than 0.5 liters of varnish!  One of the greatest things about ‘Le Tonk’ is that the paddle shaft doesnt feel slippery when wet, when it has been varnished with ‘Le Tonk’!

‘Le Tonk’ is an natural wood oil varnish.  Consists of linseed oil, Tung oil and some other ‘natural’ ingredients. It doesnt require hazmat suits, its quite easy to apply with brush, is durable, has  nice UV protection. Works nicely on paddles! It is my “go to” choice!

Le Tonkinois Varnish brings out the wood grains quite nicely! Here is the wallhange paddle with Walnut blade.
Le Tonkinois Varnish brings out the wood grains quite nicely! Here is the wallhange paddle with Walnut blade.
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The handle of the lighter paddle, pine version
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Pine paddle handle- sideview
The two paddles varnished x 4 layers : Pine paddle (on left) is 190 cm long and final weight is 966g. Probably slightly heavy, but hopefully usable? Walnut paddle (on right) is 180 cm long weight: 1105g = wallhanger.. well maybe I'll try it out after I built meself a SUP board? ;)
The two paddles varnished x 4 layers : Pine paddle (on left) is 190 cm long and final weight is 966g. Probably slightly heavy, but hopefully usable? Walnut paddle (on right) is 180 cm long weight: 1105g = wallhanger.. well maybe I’ll try it out after I build meself a SUP board? 😉