Posts Tagged ‘tools’

Making a Paddle – Twice Warmed

January 18, 2018
Bent shaft cedar SUP paddles

I grew up in a house heated with wood. Usually, in the summer, my brother and I spent beaucoup time out at the wood pile, sweating away, cutting long logs into short sticks and then splitting those sticks and THEN stacking those split pieces. I don’t recall too many late nights during my teenage summers, we were too tired from the advance planning for wood heat. Whenever we did this ‘wood working’, it was the ‘first-warmed’ episode. A crackling wood stove down in our basement during the cold Duluth winters of the 1970-80s was the pleasant ‘second-warmed’. We were truly twice warmed, with one of those times being sweaty and full of mosquitoes.

Making a paddle is like that, minus the Cro-magnon physical labor aspect that wood heat requires. There’s a good bit less mosquitoes involved, too. Spend time in your garage making the paddle. That’s the ‘first warmed’. Getting that piece of wood out on the water becomes the (hopefully) ongoing and repetitive ‘second-warmed’. Hopefully, there’s only a few mosquitoes around for your version of ‘second-warmed’.

I still have the first paddle I made and I still derive a good deal of pleasure whenever I opt to use it. It still works. It still feels good and I am still twice warmed.

My paddles have evolved over the years as I have improved in my craft and explored other materials and styles. The first one was not the only one, rather it was like dipping my toe in the lake and finding it to be a pleasant temperature. My shop is full of paddles now, and full of wood waiting to become kits and custom paddles.

I hope you’ll consider the double pleasures of making a paddle. It’s just like wood heat, but without the hard labor. You’ll be ‘twice-warmed’ in the best of ways !!


J is for Jig

April 12, 2015

I consider the jig, aka the form, to be the main piece in a paddle making kit from wavetrainSUP. A jig is nothing more than a tool to streamline a process, something that makes a process easier, and importantly, something that allows the maker to do the same thing repetitively, achieving the same shape, angle, appearance, etc.

The wavetrain jig is simple in appearance and simple in function. It allows the maker to ensure that the five strips they are using to make the paddle shaft are all vertically aligned. The jig holds them all in the same position. The jig allows for the shaft to be removed from the jig and then put back in the exact same position. The wavetrain jig makes paddle making easier.

For me personally, the jig I developed and am selling as part of a wavetrain paddle kit, is one outcome of what really interests me. Some seasoning in life and in woodworking has shown me that while I like the actual making of a paddle, I also like making the tools that are part of the process. I really like the process of conjuring up something that has not been done before. Gap recognition, maybe even opportunity recognition is at the heart of this. I love the time in a project when I am standing in my shop looking at something that is frustrating me. The next thing is me hearing myself say “..there has to be a better way to do this..” and with that I am off on a different path, developing the jig or the tool to make that frustrating thing into something enjoyable.