How to Make a Kayak Double Paddle

How to Make a Kayak Double Paddle
If you've tried your hand at making a wooden canoe paddle, maybe it's time to try a double-bladed kayak paddle. In a canoe or kayak, the double bladed paddle is one of the easiest paddle styles to master and it's not terribly hard to build. It takes a lot of shaving and sanding to get it shaped properly, but with a little patience, you'll soon have an impressive looking paddle to show off to your paddlesports partners. This version is feathered so you get a proper feathered recovery to your stroke.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Assembling and Finishing a Double-Bladed Paddle

Things You’ll Need:
  • Sabre saw Two or three 1 inch or less thick hardwood planks of different woods One 10-foot 2-inch-by-2-inch piece of ash, hickory or other suitable hardwood Gorilla Glue or other strong epoxy wood glue Oil wood stain Marine varnish or clear coat Power sander and/or planer Rasp and/or draw knife Bungee cords or furniture clamps Sand paper Steel wool Surfboard wax
  • Sabre saw
  • Two or three 1 inch or less thick hardwood planks of different woods
  • One 10-foot 2-inch-by-2-inch piece of ash, hickory or other suitable hardwood
  • Gorilla Glue or other strong epoxy wood glue
  • Oil wood stain
  • Marine varnish or clear coat
  • Power sander and/or planer
  • Rasp and/or draw knife
  • Bungee cords or furniture clamps
  • Sand paper
  • Steel wool
  • Surfboard wax
Step 1
Determine how long you want your paddle to be, measure and cut the 2-by-2-inch shaft to the full length. Rasp and sand the shaft round to within 2 ½ feet of the ends. Leave the ends squared for gluing the blade sections to the shaft.
Step 2
Pick a blade length. Measure and cut the hardwood planks to the length you want your blade to be as shown in the picture.
Step 3
Arrange the planks on either side of the shaft, glue the seams and press it together.
Step 4
Clamp or bungee the blade pieces together while the glue is wet, wipe off the excess and let the blade cure for a day.
Step 5
Repeat with the opposite end of the shaft, but turn the shaft 90 degrees so that this blade is perpendicular to the other one. Clamp it together and allow this blade to dry and cure.
Step 6
Cut the completed blades into the shape you choose using a band saw or sabre saw.
Step 7
Shape the paddle with a rasp, draw knife or planer and sand it smooth. Make sure the blade is thinner at the edges and remains thick at the center to add strength and flexibility.
Step 8
Sand the paddle to its final shape in stages. Use progressively finer grades of sandpaper and steel wool.
Step 9
Stain the assembled paddle with the oil stain. Blot the stain onto the paddle surfaces with a cloth dipped in stain. Let the stain sink in for a few seconds, then wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Let the stain dry for several hours before applying the varnish or clear coat.
Step 10
Spray or brush on a minimum of 3 thin coats of marine spar varnish or water resistant clear coat. Allow the layers of varnish to dry between coats. Before you apply the next coat, rub the entire paddle lightly with fine grade steel wool to improve adherence of the next coat.
Step 11
Polish the kayak paddle to a high sheen with surfboard wax.

Tips & Warnings

 
Folding a piece of light fiberglass cloth over the tip of the blade and coating it with fiberglass resin will protect the paddle from damage. It won't look as pretty, but the blade will resist swelling and cracking longer.
 
Folding a piece of light fiberglass cloth over the tip of the blade and coating it with fiberglass resin will protect the paddle from damage. It won't look as pretty, but the blade will resist swelling and cracking longer.
 
Don't use combination varnish stains or furniture varnish. Make sure your varnish or clear coat is a marine specific product. Make sure your glue is waterproof and doesn't dissolve when wet.
 
Don't use combination varnish stains or furniture varnish.
 
Make sure your varnish or clear coat is a marine specific product.
 
Make sure your glue is waterproof and doesn't dissolve when wet.

Article Written By Tom King

Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.

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