Making a Greenland Paddle

  • December 20, 2016 5:11 PM
    Message # 4469493

    I am looking for some help making a Greenland paddle.  I have all the necessary tools and a lovely piece of cedar.  Here's my trouble, I'm not used to working with planes.  I was able to make the initial planes on one both sides one end of the paddle, but when I flipped it around to work the opposite end, the blade just keeps catching and tearing the wood.  Doesn't seem to matter which direction I go (toward the end or away from the end).  The grain looks nice and even, so it shouldn't matter, but there must be some trick that I'm missing.  Can anyone offer some advice?  Thanks.  --Gena

    Last modified: December 20, 2016 5:26 PM | Anonymous member
  • December 20, 2016 5:21 PM
    Reply # 4469495 on 4469493

    I think my blade may be out too far?  However, the knob to adjust the depth of the blade is a bugger to turn.  Anyone willing to give me a short tutorial?  I can come to you.  :-)

  • December 21, 2016 9:22 AM
    Reply # 4470519 on 4469493

    First the blade needs to be SHARP. There are various methods...I prefer the microbevel. The least expensive method of sharpening is to use wet sanding paper (get it at auto parts store) start with 220 or 400 grit to establish the edge of the blade (& the back of the blade) the work your way up to 2000 or 5000 grit (if you can find it) to establish the microbevel. Use a piece of thick glass or marble for a table to put the sand paper on...this gives a nice flat work surface for honing & is several hundred usd less than buying stones & flattening them. 

    Once the blade is sharp, you need to set the blade so that it takes a shaving about the thickness of a sheet of paper. After achieving this, adjust the throat of your plane to close the gap between the blade & the shoe. Many small #60 size planes have this feature. 

    Planing technique varies with the grain, but one method is to skew the plane so that the blade is at an angle to the direction of travel. (think ferry angle). Another method is to plane across the grain, or go the other direction.

    The most critical  points are a) SHARP BLADE, (not only should you be able to shave with it, but you should also be able to use it as a mirror.) b) Paper THIN SHAVINGS (especially when working with difficult grain)

    You can get all of the info by searching the inter web. Or take a lesson from Don Beale. Or you could come to my house in Sonora;) I'm sure there is much more to be said on this subject.


  • December 21, 2016 1:52 PM
    Reply # 4470824 on 4469493

    Thank you, Ryc!  I've sharpened the blade and finally figured out how to adjust the darn thing so that I can cut more than sawdust or giant chunks.  Hurrah for lots of good tutorials on-line.  Just finished getting all the initial planes onto the blades.  Off to the next step.  I'm done with the jack plane, now to figure out all the other ones.  Look out fingers!

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