Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Varnishing Snowshoes

Ojibway style snowshoes

While the warm weather holds I thought it would be a good time to do some maintenance on my homemade wooden snowshoes. The photo shows my snowshoes (long set) and my mom`s snowshoes (short set) which she just finished building, hanging to dry after a thick coat of varnish was applied. We put down a double layer of poly to keep the mess contained then using a good brush we liberally applied the varnish. We used a good quality spar varnish which should provide an adequate protective coating.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I woke up yesterday morning and felt like making a canoe paddle, so I went out the my shop and prepared the pieces. I had an extra cedar / ash shaft made up from the last bunch of paddles I made so I used that and laminated walnut pieces on for the blade and top grip. I left it to cure over night. The following day (today) I did the shaping. Everything went well, I haven't played in my shop very much since I started back to school so I took my time and really enjoyed the carving process. For this paddle I choose what I call my Trapper blade design with a modified northwoods top grip. The cedar/ash shafts are very light and with the addition of the walnut blade I was concerned that the paddle would unbalanced so I decided to add the northwoods grip because it would provide more weight on the shaft and thereby balancing the paddle. I'm happy to say, it worked! The finish is oil.

Close up of my logo and the interesting light and dark grain in the walnut.

Here's a look at the modified northwoods top grip. This grip is 11" long

I cut two strips of wood off of a larger 8/4 piece of walnut that I had. I book matched the grain patterns but as I carved away the material the lighter grain pattern on the one side became less and less. I ended up with a paddle with an asymmetric grain pattern.