Birdsmouth Stuff

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Jun 17, 2007

And about the birdsmouth technique of making lightweight hollow paddle shafts (or spars) we were talking about...

Below is a photo of my recent experiments. On the left is my first attempt at using the birdsmouth method to make a shaft, and putting a blade together. It was all so easy to fix up, and stronger than expected, that I quickly made up a second sample using (even) lighter stock which resulted in the finished paddle on the right (I also used contrasty staves to see how it would look). The little guy in the center is a half-scale test of a laminated bent shaft, ala Gray Owl/Bending Branches.

The finished paddle was tested during 12 hours in the front seat of an 18-foot Wenonah Champlain over about 20 miles. Worked like a champ. Weighs a hair over 12 oz, feels very nearly as light as a carbon Zaveral. Western red cedar and redwood.

In Response to: Internut Paddle Talk? by Kurt Maurer on Jun 17, 2007