April 25, 2013

Building a lightweight Canoe Paddle – Glue up

Tightbond III Ultimate Wood Glue
Today my buddy and I glued up the Cedar strips we cut previously for our lightweight Cedar canoe paddle. We chose to use Tightbond III wood glue because of is resistance to water. Tightbond III it is not designed to be submerged under a waterline, however since we will be fiberglassing our paddles this should not be an issue. In my research online I found that many paddle makers use either Tightbond III or the epoxy resin that they use for fiberglassing. Should this glue fail, I will update this post and report how epoxy resin functions.

Glued Paddle
Lightweight canoe paddle blanks glued and clamped
We glued the strips together by brushing a thin coat of wood glue across all of the matting surfaces and then clamping both paddles together. To clamp the paddles together we used 4 bar clamps at the paddles, spring & locking clamps up the shaft, and quick release bar clamps for the handles. Across the width of the paddles we clamped 1″x2″ hardwood boards on edge to help keep the glued up surface from bowing as a result of the clamping pressure. This is not 100% necessary, just a good procedure if the tools are available.

Because of variances in the width of our wood strips the glued up paddle blanks look very uneven. This is not a problem as we will address this issue later by planing the paddles down using a 12″ surface planer before we proceed to shaping the paddle. The variance in the surface by upwards of 1/8″ is the result of how we cut the original planks of Cedar in half…in essence we only made 1 cut that was not centered on the board creating two unequal halves.

Our completed lightweight cedar canoe paddle blanks ready for planning.
Glued Paddle Blanks

Learn more

Day 1 How we cut the Cedar strips for our lightweight canoe paddle.

Day 2 How we glued up Cedar strips for our lightweight canoe paddle.

Day 3 How I planed the Cedar strips for our lightweight canoe paddle.

Day 4 & 5 How I shaped the blank canoe paddle for our lightweight canoe paddle.


One response to “Building a lightweight Canoe Paddle – Glue up”

  1. Nathan says:

    I have been using one of these paddles (other paddle is my buddies) for about 4 years now in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and the Titebond III has worked great. No delaminating issues at all. I have even used Titebond II on other paddle glue ups with no issues.

    Reminder, all my paddles are given an epoxy coating from top to bottom. This creates an initial protection from the elements. Though that protection does get dinged up and damaged on the paddle blade.

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