The First Curved Paddle


I got my first curved paddle finished in time to give to BootblackChrissi for her basket at this year’s GLLA.  It is bloodwood over maple, rosewood, and walnut with an ebony over maple handle.  It is a good example of the high finish I can produce by sanding with ultra fine grits, a couple of coats of tung oil, and a couple of coats of wax.

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A Flitch

Early this week I visited my nearby wood store.  They had a flitch of lovely walnut that I had seen the previous week.  Luckily it had not all sold and I ended up with 4 slices of very nice wood that will take care of a number of projects.  In woodworking, a flitch is simply a stack of wood that has all been cut from the same log, rather like slices of bacon.  This tree has some outstanding figure in places and excellent color throughout.  It appears to me that this wood was not steamed while it was being dried, as it is not a uniform color.  While that process yields more dark walnut, it also makes the color more even, and thus more boring to me.

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Prototype to Production

I got to thinking today about prototyping new items.  The curved sticks turn out to be a great example of how things work.

My first prototype was with me at RBB in Indianapolis in mid August.  By C.O.P.E. in early September I had over a dozen with me, and another half dozen assembled and ready for finishing.  I plan to knock out at least four of them this week.

Today I pulled the first curved paddle from my lamination press.  It looks quite good, and it will be ready to show this weekend at The Mark.

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On the verge of C.O.P.E.

One of my ‘home’ shows, and often my biggest show of the year is this weekend.  I’ll be showing a couple of new things, and also have lots of favorites like my steel marlinspikes and pokers.

That said, I will be vending at The Mark next weekend, and am working on stock for that event this morning.  Once I get everything sanded and under a coat of tung oil, I’ll be finishing some things for C.O.P.E. that do not require finish on the wood.  After that, lots of steel wool to clean up the finish on the items I sanded out last week and on Tuesday.  Sheesh!

Tomorrow, I’ll run over to storage and pick up my display, then head over to set up.  It’s going to be a long, fun weekend!

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Ready for SINergy

I am finished with the work I wanted to get out for SINergy.  Everything is in the basement, drying.  I have a fan running on them.  Hopefully they will be ready for steel wool by Thursday evening.  They can get waxed and buffed during set up.

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A Delivery


I was able to purchase a very special piece of purpleheart during my recent trip to Chicago.  This is the first paddle I have made from it.  It features a handle made from cocobolo, and was made for a commission I got a couple of months ago.  The photo does not show that it is also laminated with a white/black/white pinstripe down the narrow side.

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A new prototype


This is the first test piece of a curved stick. The method I am using can be applied to both sticks and paddles. I expect to have 4 sticks and at least 2 paddles by COPE. I’ll have this prototype with me for inspection at RBB and SINergy. This stick is about 2 feet long, about 2 inches wide, and under half an inch thick. It is made from 5 layers of mahogany and maple.

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Back from the East Coast

Last weekend I went to vend at The Geeky Kink Event, New England.  It features room vending which is my favorite kind.  I ran into a lot of friends, made some new ones, and in general had a grand time.  Along with vending, I taught a class on the basics of safe impact play, and read some Kipling at story time for the littles.

The trip there and back is a long one.  I broke it up on the way out, but drove the whole thing on the way home.  It was close to 14 hours.

My car was rather full, so I went to storage yesterday and unloaded.  I made some room on a couple of tables so that I can reduce the stock I’ll be bringing to Indianapolis this weekend.  At GKE I had 2 five foot tables, 1 six foot table, and an eight foot desk to work with.  In Indy, I’ll have one eight foot table.  In the evening I’ll be taking photographs again, which is a LOT of fun.

Today I ended up making a boat load of rough pokers, and cutting down a pile of wicked stick handles.  The pokers sold out at GKE NE, and by cutting down the wicked stick handles, they fit a whole lot better into the tub I am using to store them in.

Also I am doing an experiment today, trying to make my first paddle that is curved on the end.  It’ll take at least 12 hours before I know if it worked or not.

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I had planned to start working hard on Sunday to get about 100 new rods and wicked sticks.  However on Sunday I wasn’t able to work on the handles as I could not find my sanding eraser.  That is a block of rubber that cleans off the sawdust that clogs sanding belts.

My new bases for the copper pipe called to me, and I ended up working on them instead, using my orbital sander.  Monday and Tuesday also ended up not getting any work done.  I had some trouble with my internet and spend two days getting things working properly again.  This evening I got most of my new bases glued up so they are almost ready for finish sanding and tung oil.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get a bunch of sanding done, this Sunday is my last day to put tung oil on things I want to take to GKE NE.

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Back from Chicago, and when it rains…

I went to Crimson Moon over last weekend.  It is a spanking event in Chicago.  The event was fun, and I took advantage of my trip to visit Owl Hardwood.

Last fall I discovered Owl.  It is an absolutely amazing wood store with wood ranging from petite to overwhelmingly large.  Every piece is individually graded and priced.  Very fairly in my opinion.

Among other things I ended up with 7 pieces of cocobolo which is rather hard to find here in Columbus.  I also got some very pretty purpleheart and a couple of good pieces of padauk.  All in all a most successful trip.

I was on a particular lookout for cocobolo because I got a commission a couple of weeks ago to make a matched pair of cloud floggers.  They wanted cocobolo, but I needed some that was almost 2 inches thick to make them.  Owl had that.

For the next few weeks, the sawdust is really going to pile up.  I have lots of things to finish before GKE New England in mid August.

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