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wkisting

Oars for CS20 (attn Ray)

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Ray, I've asked you about this 2 or 3 times already, but I've finally got time to start these tomorrow...

For the oars from the DuckTrap plans, did you build the 9' or 10' oars for your CS20? Did you laminate the looms as shown for the 10' oars, or just use a single-piece handle like the 9' and smaller? What size board(s) did you use and how many did it take to make the pair of oars? Finally, what species of wood did you use? Fir is readily available to me, but I may be able to find spruce or western red cedar.

I'm not sure if I can build these to plan, as I don't have a bandsaw. I'm not sure if I want/dare to attempt it by hand saw and my saber saw won't cut deeply enough. If all else fails, I guess I could build them with a flat, custom blade.

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Hi Wes and Ray

I am interested in building oars as well - and in particular what sort of wood would be best to use.  I have made a greenland paddle in the past from western red cedar - nice and light but not sure if this would be strong enough for an oar.  Any suggestions appreciated.

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Thanks Ray! What do you think of the 9'8" length? To the end of the CB case, I can fit 10' 1" with my oar tubes.

Richard, my gut tells me Western Red will be a bit weak and would need to be upsized for strength. I think spruce or fir is a good bet, though fir may have a higher likelihood of cracking/splitting if it isn't air-dried old growth (so I've read). I'm going to see if I can get my hands on spruce, and if not, I may try fir.

[Edit to add: Ray, your blade blank is 36"? Is that too long, or is the blade able to bury fully in the water while rowing?]

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Good news, I found a bandsaw I can use to cut the oars! (Two, actually... one at a neighbor's house--an older gal who likes to do arts and crafts--and another at the university here where I teach, in the theater props department.) I glued up the oar shafts and blade blanks yesterday... messy but it looks successful. I'll try making the bandsaw cuts for the curved blade faces today.

Also, I finally built and epoxy-sealed the rub rails that I have been putting off since last year. They just need some light sanding and 5 coats of varnish before I can attach them. They're made of mahogany and should look very nice when attached because they'll finish off the color scheme on my boat nicely.

I'll post some pics when I get further along...

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Well, I've got about 12 hours of labor in these, from the initial cut-out and glue-up to the final coat of epoxy. Still need varnish. They came out surprisingly well, but there were about 8 hours of shaping with the block plane under a hot sun that I wouldn't care to repeat anytime soon.  :)

Here's the pics I promised, showing a very quick overview of the process... glue-up, shaping the handles, shaping the blades, then epoxy-sealing. I added a layer of 6 oz. glass to each face of the blades to protect them from scratches. The wood is Spruce.

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Yep, I'm sure that's true. This was my first go with a bandsaw also, so I cut very conservatively. There is a lot of blade wander when cutting through 5-1/4" of material, so I stayed well away from my cut line. If I had been braver with my cuts, I probably could've saved 2 hours of planing. But I'm very pleased with the results.

I used two 2x8 Spruce boards, costing a total of $9.10 to make these, plus leftover epoxy from boat-building. One board was almost perfectly knot-free, so I used that to make the handles. The other board has a lot of surface knots, but they are tight and don't go through the entire board (in fact, if I shaved a little deeper, they would probably disappear, but I like how they look). The surface fiberglass on the blade faces is to help ensure no water penetration, which can sometimes make a knot swell and "pop" out of the wood in a chunk.

Although they started at 10'1" long, I had to cut the final length down to about 9'7". My oar storage tubes give enough stowage to hold a 10' blade without sticking beyond the end of the CB case, but I forgot that there will also be a mizzen mast in the way at the center of the thwart, so the oars have to be short enough to clear the mast and can't reach all the way to the end of the CB case.

We're planning a trip to Beaufort, SC to visit some friends who own a bed-and-breakfast. We're taking the boat to get out on the ocean for the first time. I want the oars finished by then (August 3 - 7) so that I don't have to put our motor in the saltwater.

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Ray, do you recommend painting? I'm thinking I might varnish mine so they look nice hanging in the boat. But I also toyed with the idea of painting the blades and varnishing only the handles/shafts.

How do you epoxy-tip the blades? Is there an easy method? All I can think of is slathering a thick goop of epoxy-sawdust mix on the end, then shaping it after it cures. Is that the way to do it?

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Wes,

The advice I received from the Shaw & Tenney Company:  polish the entire oar and then varnish the shafts and blades but just oil the handles ("grips").  (http://www.shawandtenney.com/index.php)   Actually the way they said it was something like

          "if you want to blister your hands be sure to varnish the grips."  

[While building our CS20 in time for the EC'08, my son Alan and I wanted to build our own oars but we flat ran out of time; so, we turned to Shaw & Tenney for a pair of absolutely beautiful oars.  Very nice but 'ouch'  --we proved once again that time is money.  They are very good however.  A year later they surprised me by sending me another little bottle of oil. Wow.   If you can't build your own and need to buy oars, check out Shaw & Tenney.....  ]

So far,  lots of rowing and no blisters at all.

It would be interesting to hear others opinions about oar handles.  For example, does the appropriate treatment depend on the kind of wood, or is oil best on all handles?  

--Paul

Update: two choices of grips below...

post-1353-129497685366_thumb.jpg

post-1353-129497685369_thumb.jpg

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Yep, I'll be oiling the handles. I'd be interested to hear how people shape the handles... I'm not sure how to trim mine down to a handle shape, except perhaps to run the shaft across a dado blade on the table saw... but that would give me an evenly rounded handle if I leave the dado at a set height. I'm wondering how folks shape the handle into the nice ergonomic grip that you posted in your pic.

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Ha ha  :)  No, I'm keeping the motor, but whenever I see Ray, I'll hide it and switch to the oars to dodge accusations of being a pantywaist. That's really the only reason I built the oars.  :)  Call it pier pressure

Ray, I already installed my oar storage tubes on centerline, in line with the mizzen. In retrospect, I probably would switch them over to the other side of the CB case, but I think it won't be difficult to stow/retrive them either way, since I used oversized tubes that give me plenty of wiggle room to pull the oars out at an angle (to go around and past the mizzen). At the time, I was more concerned with the vertical height of the thwart, as it takes a bit of angle to get the long oars out without running into the aft deck. On centerline, there is just enough vertical clearance to angle the oar up to clear the aft coaming with a 10' oar. Otherwise, it will bind. But no problem at all now that ours are cut down to 9'7," which seems like a very comfortable rowing length after a dry test in the driveway yesterday.

Last night, I roughed up the ends and put on a glob of epoxy and fumed silica mixture, then shaped it back down to an oar-tip shape. Should make a nice rock-guard to prevent end splitting or tear-out if the oar strikes a rock.

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Well, after six coats of varnish, the oars came out beautifully. I still have to shape and oil the handles, but here's some pics of the nearly finished results. If you look close, you can see the thickened epoxy-and-silica rock guards I applied to the blade tips.

Thanks for your advice Ray and Paul.

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Shaped the oar handles by chisel as Ray recommended. Worked great. I sanded to 80-grit and now will finish by oiling the grips.

Also had a chance to finally install the rub rails, so our boat is officially "finished" today, even though we've been sailing it for almost a year. Today is also my fourth wedding anniversary, so it was an appropriate date to put the finishing touches on the boat. And we just found out awhile ago that we have our first baby on the way (Anna is 13 weeks along), so I need to get thinking of nautical names for what we think is going to be a girl: Maybe "Marina"?  :)

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Congrats on the baby

All right a name the baby contest.  You could name her Beagle after Darwin's ship or Maria Jesus after my wife.  Both names by the way are in the running for my boat.  I have some friends who are into rodeo.  They named their kid "Rope", real name, not a nickname.

My baby boy just wrecked my car and so the money that was going to plywood and epoxy is now going to the mechanic.  I told him if he doesn't get me the money back soon Im going to sell one of his kidneys.

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Wes,

Congrats to you and Anna! So, my advise to you is to go sailing as much as you can until the great event, time will become more precious afterwards. . .

And, as to the oar handles, there's an old New England saying about oiling: Once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and once a year forever.

Your handles look great, mine have more of a, well, shall we say, a handmade look! :'(

Sukie

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Congrats on the new "build project". I'll toss in the nick name "Bobber"

It could go male or female, boater or biker... I saw your Suzuki in the photo.

I ride a C-90 myself. Great bike,great boat (CS)

Roger

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