Saturday, May 21, 2011

Carbon Fiber Paddle

I just finished my latest paddle. It's a modified ottertail with carbon fiber laminated blade. The 5.7 oz carbon cloth allows for just enough flex in the blade that should reduce impact on joints. The core material is cedar with a 1/4" strip of ash running the length to give it some rigidity. As with all my paddles the edges of the blade are very fine for silent paddling. It weighs 470 grams.

Here's a close up of my bear logo and the great 3D effect that the twill weave gives.

The over all length is 56.5 inches, the blade is 5.5 X 25 inches

Here's a close up of the top grip and the book matched grain patterns


Pawistik said...

Hi Mark, looks great! (better than the phone pics)

Is it difficult to keep the weave of the cloth aligned? With glass it's easy to disturb the alignment of the fibers a bit, but you don't see them so it doesn't much matter. With Carbon, the weave of course is highly visible. I suspect the stiff fibers of carbon help keep things aligned.


Wildpaddler said...

Thanks Bryan,

I haven't had too much trouble keeping the weave aligned. I agree that the stiffness of the fibers likely helps a lot. Carbon fiber seems to be much easier to work with than Kevlar. The weave of Kevlar is much easier to disturb, it is a loose weave that tends to catch on everything. With the carbon I was able to lay it down lightly on an epoxied surface, then pick it back up to reposition it (prior to wetting it out) with out disturbing the fibers.


Anonymous said...

How did you apply the logo? Is that silkscreened onto the carbon?

Wildpaddler said...

After the initial coat of epoxy has set to the point that the surface is tacky, three more coats are applied. letting each dry to tack. After it has cured fully the entire blade is sanded with wet/dry sand paper until smooth. At this stage the logo is painted on using a stencil. 3 or 4 coats of varnish are then applied to the whole paddle.

Clarkson said...

Hey Mark,

Looking at doing a paddle similar to this but wants some advice as i have never worked with carbon fiber, fiberglass or Kevlar. How exactly do you work with the stuff and where did you find it ?