I began to fair the hull interior today and made some good progress, but as always, I quickly tired of that strenuous work. So I decided to begin working on my paddle. In his book, Nick Schade describes a a couple of methods for building a paddle. I am using Nick’s blade profile (see image below) but making a dihedral blade. That means there is a very slight v-shape to the cross-section (1/4 inch over 4 inches on either side) which directs the flow of water past the blade and should reduce fluttering. I also wanted to have a longitudinal curve through the blade to provide a good grip on the water. I used to have a white-water blade that I loved which was similar in shape and I am hoping to create something similar. You can see the shape in the video below:
Duane Strosaker documents his paddle building process on his site and I am going to roughly follow his procedure. In fact, I am using his guidelines for the curve of the blade, except that mine will be dihedral and feathered sixty degrees (and perhaps have a bent shaft?) Since my blades are going to have compound curvature, I wanted to create a mold for the carbon-fiber (Duane just lays up the plies flat and then bends them to fit the shaft.) I considered using some thin plywood bent to the right shape, but I didn’t have any, so I decided to make mold using the tried and true strip-built way. To go one step farther, I decided that I may as well make the mold as a usable blade itself. So I cut a few forms to my dihedral shape (I should have taken a photo of the forms before I glued on the strips) and hot glued them to a board and then selected a variety of wood strips and glued them together in the same manner as I did with the hull and deck. Since the shape is simple, it only took about 20 minutes to get it all glued together. After a few hours, I took off the clamps and faired the top surface and then put on a single layer of 4 oz ‘glass and wetted it out with resin. Tomorrow I can fill the weave with more resin and then use this smooth surface as my mold for a pair of carbon fiber-blades.