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View Full Version : Need to make oars - can I do this ?



Arron
31st Jan 2010, 08:29 PM
Hi Guys.
I need to make some oars for a recreational rowing skiff, and I'm thinking of using my lathe to make the shafts. These are fairly long oars. What I need to make is a shaft about 2920mm long, tapering gently from 44mm to 37mm. Its a bit more complicated then that due to having a handle at one end and a blade at the other, but thats basically what they are.

In the past I've made these using a plane, spokeshave and drawknife, but its a pain doing it that way and I'd like to make the process simpler.

I can go one of two ways with this. The best thing would be to be able to go right through to finished stage, but if all I can do is take it to the roughing stage then thats OK because its an improvement over the plane and spokeshave approach.

The only lathe I have available is a bit low-end, a Hafco WL-18 which has a 1 hp motor. What I'm wondering is how can I separate the tailstock and mount it about 3 metres away from the lathe itself. I dont have any thumping great lumps of timber or iron that I can use to make a makeshift lathe bed, and also the budget for this is a bit limited. Has anyone tried this, and how did they do it ?

This must be a fairly common requirement, so any advice or ideas you wish to offer are appreciated.

cheers
Arron

tea lady
31st Jan 2010, 08:49 PM
:think: Well I have heard of people putting the tail stock just on something solid the required length away. One artical I read talked about having the apprentice standing jammed up against the wall holding the live center. :doh: That sort of length and diameter might require a few steady rests too.:C How you rig up the tool rest could also be interesting. :think: Maybe there is someone in Sydney you could go and "visit"? :D (How many is "some"? If you do solve the problem of how to make them easily maybe you could corner the market.:cool: )

hughie
31st Jan 2010, 08:49 PM
oooooh! hmmm, generally they come in one piece straight grain where the strength is etc

last lot I had anything to do with were made from Larch. How long is your lathe bed......... 3m :U

Arron
31st Jan 2010, 08:56 PM
How you rig up the tool rest could also be interesting.

I'm thinking perhaps I could modify some one of the roller stands I have by knocking out the roller and replacing it with a rest type thing - perhaps just a blade of steel or hardwood.




(How many is "some"? If you do solve the problem of how to make them easily maybe you could corner the market.:cool: )

Right now I just need one (I broke one of my existing ones on Saturday). Later I will need to make 2 more, but that might be in the second half of the year.

cheers
Arron

tea lady
31st Jan 2010, 09:04 PM
I'm thinking perhaps I could modify some one of the roller stands I have by knocking out the roller and replacing it with a rest type thing - perhaps just a blade of steel or hardwood.:think: Could work. Needs to be pretty solid to the floor.





Right now I just need one (I broke one of my existing ones on Saturday). Later I will need to make 2 more, but that might be in the second half of the year.

cheers
ArronWhat sort of timber do you use for them? I would have thought to get the best strength in such a small diameter the wood needs to be split rather than cut so that you get strong grain. Shaping by hand might be the best in the end anyway. :shrug: I have seen picks somewhere of a thing that looked like a big pencil sharpener that you could run down the length of whatever and get a uniform diameter. Then taper from there. :shrug: (Was the one you broke one you had made yourself? Do you think there were weaknesses in the way it was made? )

Arron
31st Jan 2010, 09:59 PM
Hi Anne-Marie

I use clear pine, sometimes with cedar inserts. I usually laminate three pieces of 19mm together, then cut down from there. There are lots of more exotic materials like larch which are probably better but much more expensive and hard to get. If it was critical to me to have something light and strong for racing I would be using carbon fibre not timber.

There are no issues on the strength side. They are plenty strong enough for recreational rowing. I broke one because I ran over it in the car.

cheers
Arron

rodent
31st Jan 2010, 11:08 PM
MM i think its time for the SUPER axe Wielder to make his entrance come'on where ar't thou .

tea lady
1st Feb 2010, 01:32 PM
MM i think its time for the SUPER axe Wielder to make his entrance come'on where ar't thou .Maybe Arron should come down tp 's for an oar making holiday? :D

Allen Neighbors
1st Feb 2010, 01:39 PM
Somebody... on another forum?... removed their tailstock, and mounted it to a bench placed in the right location, to turn 8' porch posts. Don't see why you couldn't do that, as long as the bench didn't move any. A turning-dog on each corner would hold the tailstock down.
I think the handle could be turned, and then the blade portion could be sawed out on a bandsaw. Then finish sand, and bob's yer uncle.
Sort of the same way I turn cake icing spreaders... only on a much larger scale... :D

RETIRED
1st Feb 2010, 03:13 PM
homemade tailstock - International Association of Penturners (http://www.penturners.org/forum/showthread.php?t=33939)

Post no 5.

Arron
1st Feb 2010, 06:49 PM
OK, so today I separated the tailstock from the lathe and attached it to the bed of my tablesaw. Coincidently, the height difference between the two was a mere 10mm, so I decided to ignore that. I then moved the tablesaw about 3 metres away from the headstock on the lathe and lined the two devices up by knocking out the live centre and sighting down the hole. Then I put the stock in place, set it on the lowest speed and turned it on. The result was pretty awful - the shaft flexes way too much. I would need at least 2 very robust lathe steadies to make this work - and some way to attach them to a very solid and steady anchor point somewhere between the lathe and the tablesaw.

I was so alarmed at the amount of flex I pulled out a plane and planed it into shape - it only took about an hour to make it acceptably round and nicely tapered, which is probably at least as good as I would have got it with the lathe.

FYI - the lathe had more then enough power to do the job.

cheers
Arron

tea lady
2nd Feb 2010, 10:13 PM
:2tsup: Well done. Sometimes its more work trying to avoid work than just doing it.:D
So where's the pic then? :?:D

Arron
3rd Feb 2010, 08:06 AM
:2tsup: Well done. Sometimes its more work trying to avoid work than just doing it.:D
So where's the pic then? :?:D

Yes, I agree. After finishing, I decided it would be a better to put the time into making some sort of jig to
1. support the oar shaft evenly along its length
2. allow it to be rotated through about 20degrees at a time
3. allow it to be locked in place
4. guide the hand plane so it doesnt remove excess material.

anyway, heres a photo. The shaft is finished, but I still need to carve a handle on one end. Blocks of pine have been laminated to the other end to form the blade, with a couple of bits of jarrah on the outside to slow abrasion on rocks etc. I'll carve the blade into shape using a arbortech and carving tools, then sand it, which takes about 4 hours in total. Ultimately I'll epoxy the blade with 3 oz fibreglass which eliminates any real likelihood of breaking it so I can cut the timber down real thin.

The only real hard bit of the process is finding the pine (or whatever other softwood you intend to use) which is ten feet long and completely free of knots. I found this bit at a little hardware store on the Central Coast and there's a few more boards so I'll go back and buy them this weekend. Only works out about $17 per oar.

cheers
Arron

Arron
3rd Feb 2010, 09:12 PM
Answering my own questions now.
I spotted this and wondered whether it would be a better approach

Tenon cutter Logman basic tenon maker 5 sizes - eBay Power Tools, Tools, Tools Home Improvement, Home Garden. (end time 03-Mar-10 05:24:48 AEDST) (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Tenon-cutter-Logman-basic-tenon-maker-5-sizes_W0QQitemZ180440488190QQcmdZViewItemQQptZRouters_Bits?hash=item2a031758fe)

I think it would be easy to make a home-made one with just one size - say 50mm, and go from there. Might even make something to attach to my router table ....

cheers
Arron