This week I've laminated and cut out the modern design blades as well as started the tedious task of thinning down the blades. I realized I had to find a fast and effective way to take off material. But I'm set on not using machines for the rest of the project now. After experimenting with spokeshave, axe, jack plane (with a round blade edge) and travisher I settled down with first axing off as much as I could and then using a smoothing plane. But on some blades the grain direction was just completely wrong, and turning the paddle upside down and axing didn't work so I used the jack plane for those.
|The little "backrest" on the chopping block really helped with the cutting.|
I soon realized I needed a better way to strap the wood. Using clamps took too much time. After speaking with my teacher we got the idea to use a trough cutting plank. It's a thick plank with holes for plugs that keep the object in place. The trough plank is meant to be used standing astride and cutting with an adze. But I put it on a bench instead, so I could sit on the paddle while planing and use the plugs to keep it in place. This works wonders and I think I'll make one specifically for paddles in the future.
Now I'm taking one days rest then I'll thin down the blade on the last two then start working on the grips and smoothing the surface. There's still quite a bit left but I feel I can start seeing the goal on the horizon.