Monday, January 21, 2008

Making Canoe Paddles

Before the Christmas Break, the students took on the challenge of making and designing their own canoe paddles. They received a paddle blank and took it from there. Using various wood tools, a planer, plenty of sandpaper and providing lots of sweat, each student designed their handle and blade into a piece of perfection. They were very careful, because it wasn't hard to take out a bigger chunk of wood than they planned, which sometimes resulted in some interesting design choices.

With the paddle designs complete and the paddles sanded, everyone got creative. This was when the paint and the stain came out. Everything from flowers and horses to names and dolphins found their way onto individual paddles. There were plenty of artists amongst us, something we should have known on the canoe trip as we passed through some of the magical landscapes the Group of Seven loved to capture. Maybe sometime in the future, these students will dip their freshly varnished paddles in those same waters.

Take the time to check out the pictures of some of the designs of the paddles.

1 comment:

Nik_S said...

When I first got my plank I remember thinking, "I'm supossed to turn this into s paddle!" My design was to make it look like a paddle and that's it. I started off with the handle. I rounded off the top a little bit and the made a little grove for my fingers to make the paddle more comfortable. The Blade was the hardest part. I think it took me five days to actually get to the finishing product. You make it look kind of like a paddle then you have to thin it down so much and still try and make it symmetrical. I sanded it down using the power sander and normal sand paper. The entire time I as working on it I was thinking about the design. I wanted a navy blue handle and shaft with three wood coloured rings on the shaft. The blade I wanted to be stained. I put the tape on the shaft and then stained the blade. For the shaft and handle I knew I had this very cool shiny blue spray paint at my house, so I brought it in. The only problem is that it smelled so bad I got kicked right out of the room. Ehen I took the tape off to see the rings, the paint and the stain ran through the tape and it didn't look good. So I decided to paint them orange and finished it off by varnishing the paddle. Alll in all, I had a great time building the paddle and would love to do something like that again.