Restoring paddles/iatos

am looking at cleaning up some old paddles and iakos on my canoe, and wondering what the general consensus is on protecting agents ie varnish or oils? Some of the kayak guys i´ve talked to (who restore a lot of paddles/Greenland style kayaks) say a good oil is the only way to go - something about not trapping moisture inside the wood.

I´m a little concerned on a paddle the oil would make changes pretty dodgy - anyone out there with experience?

Submitted by Mullet on Sun, 12/21/2008 - 10:28pm

I have tried oil but it does not last long. some parts of the wood take in the oil better than others.
I would not recommend oil for paddles.
I have had success with.... lightly sanding and mending...use an epoxy...mix and paint on with a brush.
It will make it somewhat water proofish and give it a tuffer shell like exterior... and looks like varnish.

That is my experience .

#1 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 12:28am

"something about not trapping moisture inside the wood."
Doesnt it stand to reason if oil doesnt keep moisure in, it doesnt keep it out either?

#2 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 7:50am

i was under the impression oil only worked one way. otherwise it wouldn't be able to float. doesn't it make a barrier impervious to water and therefore it is able to float? similar to Gore-Tex...right? air molecules may pass through it to dry the wood, but water is much too big to get in.

#3 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 5:06pm

I think oil floats on water just because its lighter.

#4 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 5:38pm

jibofo, you can't be serious. try this experiment.

fill two glasses half way with water.

pour a one inch layer of oil on top of the water in one of the glasses.

wait a month.

see which glass goes empty.

obviously oil is water proof.

now pour more water into the glass with the oil...

what happened?

the oil let the water pass.

conclusion: oil only lets water through in one direction!

#5 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 5:55pm

if you want you blade like new you would have to strip it with varnish remover . then sand it with 180 the 320 git sand paper, the clean it with acetone or alcohol. then using a letex rubber glove, rub 2 coats polyurethane clear coat. sand in between coats with 320 the brush 2 more coats for a gloss finish.. thats how i do it on my custom wood paddles.. but on my balsa ultra lights i use 2 to 1 clearepoxy resin its a little more costly but a better shine , aloha hope that helps. you can see how it looks on my website ,,

#6 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 6:24pm

hold it good man JC9, right here.
Don't wait a month. pour water on oil immediately and yes oil will let water pass, but not through it, in a chemical sense. It just bullies itself through by being heavier and pushing the oil aside, not through, so your conclusion doesn't hold water... although oil holds water, hahaha.
The problem with oil is that it wears off because it is soft and affected by physical contact ( as minimal as turbulent water may be ) and it hardly offers protection against UV breakdown. If you are into oiling your shaft, no damage done, but frequent treatment is required. Any 2 component ( hardener-resin) clear coat will last you much longer but the pain in the behind increases when you have to replace aged, brittle, cracked, crapola old resin.
Love goes for oil.
Low to No-maintenance goes for high-tech 2 part compounds.
Your choice.
Biggest thing is: Having dry wood to start with. Oh and once you oil there's no turning back to modern means. Fisheye being the least of your problems.

#7 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 6:30pm

Two different wood paddle makers told me the same thing : Sand, let dry (behind your fridge is a good place) for at least 1 week, then coat with epoxy...

#8 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 6:48pm

wait wait wait. Ok ok, so may things here my head's gonna explode.

So let me summarize
1. dry wood is no good
2. Oiled wood needs much more attention
3. If you are into oiling your wood, frequent treatments are needed
4. Resin/hardener on wood is a pain in the behind
5. Not all wood takes to oil
6. Oil is the only way to go
7. Love goes for oil

Ok ok that helps me A LOT. Tons.

On a serious note, I would think, without applying science, oil is the last thing besides butter, that you'd want on your paddle!


#9 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 8:28pm

ive seen paddles get made, where they put two coats of epoxy, and a little spar eurethane, for grip, but only a little because i guess that spar eurethane is heavy.

#10 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 8:38pm

on a slightly less serious note. i was once told to use a mixture of oil and urethane to seal a wooden surfboard by a world famous builder. he said to use something like 1 part oil to 3 parts urethane. or maybe it was 1/4 oil 3/4 urethane. or one quart oil per gallon urethane. something like that. in any case all parts are equal except of course 1/4 and 3/4, which are obviously 300% different.

#11 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 8:44pm

This has officially become my favorite thread this week....thanks poops and jc9_0! Great info....

Enjoy the ride!

#12 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 9:49pm

wooden surfboards are a different story. They are treated with boiled linseed oil and turpentine. Once boiled, linseed oil is very toxic to manipulate...

#13 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 9:54pm

jc9, I don't think you can mix oil and urethane.

#14 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 5:35am

The oil mentioned maybe a leveling/flow-increasing product like penetrol and that will work with urethane with no more then 5% added.
In general adding oils will keep drying time open a little longer and will help when blushing occurs, sometimes a problem in drier climates.

#15 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 7:05am

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