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Grandson's Paddles

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by Norm Hein, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    I have 3 Grandsons under the age of 3 and one more on the way in about a month. My thought is to make paddles that they can use when they come out to visit. The Old Town paddle in the picture is what I would like to make a down sized version of. So if I do half scale size would it make sense to half size the shaft diameter too or would that make it to fragile? I want them to be able to use them without worry of them braking easily. Is half size the scale I want to go to? Any thoughts, comments or dimensions would be most appreciated.
    Norm

    IMG_2722.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I can send you a pattern from one my kids used when they were small. My father bought it for them from the shop that was across the street from the OT factory many years ago. PM me if you are interested and I'll make a tracing of it for you...assuming I can find it in the deep pile of paddles and skis in our garage.
     
    Norm Hein likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Mike,
    I got the tracing in the mail yesterday. What great lines! Beautiful design. I’m going to attempt to make a couple the same size as your pattern and size down a couple more. I’ll post my results if everything goes well.
     
  4. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    The all wood paddles I have carved for really young/small kids were made of lighter weight woods, spruce, butternut and sassafras, sized accordingly.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Rob,
    I am making the first one out of NWC and see how that goes. Then I will probably switch to one of your other suggestions.
    If you have any patterns for small kids you wouldn't mind sharing I would like to see them.
    Norm
     
  6. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Agreed...it's a legitimate paddle. I see that Shaw and Tenney still sells these in 36 and 42 inch youth sizes. It looks like it is their Penobscot pattern.
    In retrospect my father got quite a deal...I think he paid $3.00 for it.
     
  7. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Here is a selection, from toy/souvenir paddles progressing upwards in length.
    My thinking on the paddles for very young is make the light, and long, so they can reach the water without leaning too much, but they don't need to be strong as they can't pull very hard, and often don't stick to it very long. They just want to participate.
    Later, they get a little larger, and correspondingly thicker, heavier with more surface area.
    As you can see, I favour "ottertail" shape. In my experience this moves through the water more smoothly (certainly than a parallel sided or square end blade). Although it has about the same surface area as any other shape, the "moment of force" is closer to the paddlers arms and shoulders, so creates less strain and muscle pain. Ya don't want to make it too hard/pain from the get go.
     

    Attached Files:

    Andy Hutyera likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Rob,
    I too am a fan of the Ottertail. It is always with me even when I am in shallower rivers. I use it as my back up and will switch to it if I hit a patch of deeper water.
    This is something I didn't think of. Good to know.

    Mike,
    If you can post a picture of the Shaw and Tenney.
     
  9. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Yellow poplar is another relatively light weight wood for smaller paddles. Also easy to carve. Sometimes has yellow or green streaks. Available in the trim section of suppliers like Home Despot.
     
  10. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    IMG_20200610_191353138 (2).jpg
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Thanks Mike. Great paddle.
     
  12. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    It's looking a bit rough...it's was used quite a bit before the boys got big enough to use "adult" paddles. I never get myself into the mood to work on paddles...perhaps one of these years I'll clean it up and give it a coat of varnish.
    This is the image of the same paddle on Shaw & Tenney's site https://www.shawandtenney.com/engravableproduct/penobscot
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    So if I want to make the 36” of this model, the pattern is a 42”, do I take all the length difference out of the shaft? It’s already kind of short that’s why I ask.
     
  14. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I haven't seen the shorter paddle so I'm not sure. The shaft is already pretty short on the 42, I'm not sure I'd want to take another 6 inches from it. It seems like you'd need to split the difference or take it all from the blade. Let's face it, how much real paddling is a small child going to do. They'll hold on the paddle, dip it in the water a bit and hopefully not drop it. Our guys didn't start seriously paddling until they were able to use a small adult sized paddle. By then they were already masters of slapshots with their youth sized hockey sticks....
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    The one on the left is a down size 36" from the pattern Mike sent me of the Shaw & Tenney, it is nearly complete. The one of the right is the patterned 42", I think I like it better. They are both made of NWC. I am going to do some kind of paint design on them. Very enjoyable project.
    S&T Youth Paddles.JPG
     
    MGC likes this.
  16. Andy Hutyera

    Andy Hutyera The Red Canoe Guy

    I like your Brian Boggs shaving horse. Great tool for paddle carving!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    You are right Andy. I made dozens of chairs with it but this was the first paddle.
    I may make a new lower jaw for it with a flatter angle for paddles.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Well that was a blast! They came in at about 8oz each, except the one on the far left. It was the first one I did and somehow the grip turned out smaller and the shaft is a bit more slight, so it is at 6oz. Over all I am pleased with them. So the boys rang in age from 26th months to arriving any day now. I just had a 1 acre pond dug so I am guessing the older boys maiden voyage will be when it rains enough to fill the pond. Thanks for everyone's input.
    Norm
    IMG_2832 (1).JPG
     
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  19. OP
    OP
    Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Tip/Tool One of these are handy for a drying rack.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    In case you hadn't thought of it, tie a small cord to the paddle for easy retrieval when their attention lapses.
     
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