Gluing Shaft

Seven laminates are cut for the paddle shaft: ash, basswood and walnut. Each laminate is about 5/32″ thick (stacked together, the laminates are 1 1/4″ thick), and 1 1/4″ wide and 62″ long. Glue is spread on each side of each laminate. When I began building paddles, I used West epoxy. It is a very strong glue but on the down side: it is messy, very hard to remove once hardened, and if too much clamping pressure is used, the strength of the joint can be compromised. I now use a polyurethane adhesive (Gorilla Glue) for gluing the shaft and blade. This glue is much easier to remove. However, it does not fill gaps well and this will sacrifice joint strength. If you use polyurethane glues, make the joints fit tightly.

Blade end of shaft is first clamped to form

Then grip end is clamped

Side pressure is used to keep strips aligned as well as downward pressure to hold strips to form

The shaft laminates are bent around the form, which has a 14° bend. After the glue dries (overnight), the clamps are taken off, excess glue removed and the shaft trimmed to width (1 1/16″).