A little about me before we get this thing going. By day I’m a Software Engineer, by night I’m a Martial Arts Instructor (https://SunMtnDojo.com). I constantly have little building projects going on and am fixing cars or learning new stuff.
Just got back from a trip to Puerto Rico where I helped a team of people to put new roofs on some homes and did a bunch of heavy duty concrete work as part of a gazebo repair. The result of this is that I need to learn how to stick weld. You just don’t find MIG welders in third world countries, stick is the modus operandi.
My approach to the Greenland paddle and F1 build may be a bit different than what most people do. Basically my mental model is the the first builds are “throw away.” By this I do not mean that I will literally throw them away, but that they will be of lesser quality and suitable for my use only. The goal is to learn what works and what does not. So far I have not found any issues with Brian’s plans or videos so in spite of the way that I chose to do this I’d say stick to the plans!
On quality… My time is extremely limited. My boat builds are for me and my family, so if I can cut a corner here and there (not following Brian’s plans/recommendations) then I will do so in the interest of saving time. A simple example is the use of dimensional lumber. The F1 plans have gunwale dimensions of 11/16”, using dimensional lumber I will get 12/16”. Not worth my time to hand plane and I don’t want to spend the money on a bench planer.
Greenland Paddle Notes & Results
I used a rough cut 2x4x8 cedar board from a local big box. I would recommend running a hand planer over all 4 surfaces to remove 1/32” or so, it will make it easier to mark.
Next came some marking…
I was using a jig saw instead of a band saw on the loom. The plunger shaft disintegrated. This left me with having to use a circular saw to back cut the loom. You can imagine this is far from ideal and the result was crude. I later tried to “fix” it and in retrospect I should have just left it alone.
Planing and Shaping…
All said and done though it took me about 4 1/2 hours of work. I’ve been out paddling with it 6 times now and like the paddle. Prior to this I was using cheap aluminum paddles. I find the Greenland paddle is more shoulder friendly, it also floats quite nicely in the water. The only downside I have really noticed is that water travels down the spine and will deposit onto your legs which is a bit frosty in Colorado lakes. Not an issue if you have a splash skirt. The paddle is super light and everyone that sees it are impressed at the lightness and that it’s handmade.
I bought Brian’s other course on the fast way to do Greenland paddles and that will be my approach on the next paddle.