July 6, 2014

Building a Lightweight Canoe Paddle – Shaping

With the canoe paddles planed down the time came to cut the shape of the blade. My buddy and I went to work tracing the shape from another paddle we had onto our paddle blanks. Once traced we headed to the bandsaw to cut the blades and handles shape.

Canoe paddles cut out

Next came the difficult part: Making a taper down the length of the blade while taping off toward the left and right edge to create an apex on each side of the blade. After researching many ways to perform the necessary cuts including using a hand plane, a power hand plane, a jointer, bandsaw (need a bandsaw that can cut large enough), CNC router, or a table saw I decided on using a router. The router with jig option delivers precision with a quality finish from the cut marks left behind. This should ensure repeatability in making multiple paddles and minimize the time spent sanding.

Routing the Blade

My inspiration for using a router to create the necessary profiles was from Bob Bear’s website on making a canoe paddle from a single log. He demonstrates a router jig he made that he calls the Router Box Profiler. I built my own take on his jig that I like to call the Canoe Paddle Profiler.

Canoe Paddle Profiler

Canoe Paddle Profiler - close upThe Canoe Paddle Profiler is a pretty simple jig. The paddle’s blade is fixed to the floor of the jig. The router moves back and forth upon a carriage that forms an apex. The carriage itself rides along a sloping track. To operate the jig you simple chuck-up a fluted or spiral cutting bit and proceed to run the router up-and-down the length of the blade (upon the sloping track) while motioning the router back-and-forth (on the carriage).

I will post more details on building a Canoe Paddle Profiler after my buddy and I route the second paddle. There are likely to still be a few adjustments to the final design.

Canoe Paddle Profiler Results

Routed Canoe Paddle Edge Routed Canoe Paddle

More Photos of the Canoe Paddle Profiler

Next Steps

Next up we will round-over the edges of the paddles and start sanding the entire paddle to the final shape. From there we will move into finish sanding and to fiberglassing.

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.


July 1, 2014

Simple Way to Disable Spotlight Drive Indexing on OSX

spotlight-indexingOSX Spotlight’s driving indexing can be a nuisance on drives that don’t need search capabilities or that need a greater level of privacy. All it takes to disable Spotlight’s drive indexing is to create a blank file on the root of the drive.

Disable Spotlight Drive Indexing in 4-steps

1. Create a file called “.metadata_never_index” at the root folder of the drive. Example:
touch /Volumes/[VolumeNameHere]/.metadata_never_index
2. To confirm and remove and previous indexing, execute the following command:
mv /Volumes/[VolumeNameHere]/.Spotlight-V100/ /Volumes/[VolumeNameHere]/.Spotlight-V100-REMOVED
3. Disconnect and reconnect the drive (do not forget to unmount the drive first).

4. Once the drive is reconnected, confirm that a new .Spotlight-V100 folder has NOT been created.


Other Spotlight Disabling Sources

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