Projects I’m working on

A long time ago in galaxy far far away…

Wait a minute that was another story.

So back in the day when I was involved in scouting, we went on a great canoe trip on the North Saskatchewan River. The route was from the Genese bridge to Edmonton. I remember it being a total blast, so last summer I pitched the idea to some of my friends and we went on a weekend in June. Things were a lot different this time; we took kayaks, which was way more fun. Watch for that adventure and pictures when we do this trip from further up the river in mid-June.

When we go back from the original trip, I looked through my scouting book and found a project that you could do to earn a badge. The project was to make a paddle to canoe with. All the info was pretty straight forward. Get a board of a certain wood (there were a few options listed). Trace a pattern, and cut it out, and then shape to you’re desired dimensions before putting some varnish on.

So that Christmas my folks forked out and gave me a plank of Black Cherry wood. It was listed as being easy to work with, but light and strong at the same time. My dad said it cost about $60 bucks, I can’t imagine what it would cost now being as nice as it is. I was pretty pumped, and when you’re pumped on something you generally start working on it straight away. But, being winter I had other priorities, like snowboarding, so I opted to start it in the spring.

So spring has sprung its getting warm out and I dig the old Black Cherry plank, with paddle sketch on it, out of the garage. Here’s the catch. Its ten years later… and I never thought I was a procrastinator!

My first obstacle was to find the proper saw, the wood is really dense so I didn’t want to burn out the old skill saw we have. I sent a message out looking for a band saw. I had used them back in shop class as well as when I did a stint as a butcher so I figured it would be a good choice to get it done with quick and clean cuts.

One of my good buddies Tristan, contacted me saying he had one so I went over there tonight. After we got it all set up he went in to make a killer Po-Boy sandwich while I made the cuts. Here is a shot after the first few cuts

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Things went pretty well, except for a small screw up at the top near the handle. Here is what I ended up with after cutting as much as I need to.

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Next step is to start shaping. Right now the handle is rectangular and the blade of the paddle has a long way to go until its ready to push water. Once I track down the proper tools for planning and shaping the handle I’ll post another update so keep your eyes peeled.

Another project I’m working on which is more of a work in progress is fly tying. Last update was all about the Anchor worm.

I was bored on Friday so I looked at what I had and ended up struggling through what’s called a Royal Wulff. I just used what I had which started with a giant #4 2xl hook and some synthetic fiber for the wings. I had to borrow some hackle from Logan, so I finished it Saturday afternoon when we met up. Check it out, my giant Royal Wulff in all its glory!

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After that little triumph Logan gave me a few tips and showed me a few tricks. We ended up tying a few Pheasant tails. Here is what I ended up with on my second try.

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So that’s what I’m working on right now in addition to my 9-5 and other gigs, I’ll keep you posted and let me know what your working on too!

Cheers

-Tom

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