Eric’s F1 build in Finistère

Starting with the Greenland paddles.

I started with the paddles as it felt less intimidating than starting with the kayak. I chose a beam of red cedar, looking for the ‘ideal’ grain orientation described in the CFK paddle plans. The beam was thick enough to cut out three paddles, below is a picture of the three thirds of the beam at different stages of paddle building.

The rough shape was cut out with a metabo bas318 band saw and a 16mm blade. I did the rest of the shaping with a cheap low angle block plane, which I spend a decent amount of time flattening and sharpening. I looked at commercial honing guides, but decided to go for three pieces of legos and two rubber bands …

In addition to Brian’s excellent advice on carving, I found that tracing the middle of the paddle’s width on all four sides helped me quite a bit to keep the symmetry while carving (I don’t have an electrical plane).

I watched the instructional videos, practiced on a stick of pine first and made several mistakes, watched the entire series again, tried again and did okay, watched select bits of the video again to see how far the carving was extending, for example, and felt comfortable on the third attempt.


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I'm a marine ecologist and sea kayak enthusiast

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