Step 5 - Shaping the Blade

After the glue has dried, remove all of the clamps, scrape off any excess glue and Flatten both sides of the blade by first planing down any high spots, then sanding flat with 80, 120, 180 and 220 grit sandpaper.  You should end up with a blank that is roughly 1/4 of an inch thick.

Then center the blade template on the blank.  It’s very important to make sure that the template is centered on the center piece of laminated wood.  Trace around the edge of the template.

Now cut away the excess wood with a jig saw or a band saw.  Be sure to stay outside of the line.  Then, sand up to the line.  The sanding can be done with a belt sander turned on it’s side and clamped to a workbench.  Take your time.  This is the final shape of the blade.

Next, draw some lines to guide the shaping of the back (non-power face) of the blade.  Draw a line all the way around the center of the edge of the edge of the blade.  

Draw another line 3/4 of an inch in from the edge of the blade.  Start and end this line on the outside of the center laminates.  You need to leave the center of the back of the blade flat to insure a good gluing surface when the shaft and blade are joined together.

Now sand a bevel on the back of the blade.  This will create a flat, angled surface that touches both pencil lines, which will give some shape to the back of the blade.  This is easily done by using a belt sander to sand down to the lines that were drawn on the back and the edge of the blade.  Use a light touch so you don’t take too much off.  Note that adding the bevel to the back of the blade does not add to the functionality of the finished paddle and is done for looks only.  If you want to skip this part, you can.

Give the blade one final sanding with 180 and 220 grit sandpaper to remove any marks that may have been left by making the bevel.  Also sand a slight round-over around the entire edge of the blade.

The blade is now complete.

Step 6 - Joining the Shaft and Blade

© Gary Mastry II 2013