Paddle shaft shortening

I'm going to acquire a paddle that's a bit too long for me. How do I go about removing the T-top off of the wooden shaft so I can shorten the length. Any good solvents, heat,?, etc. Thanks

Submitted by drewp on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 1:39pm

Hacksaw & Elmers?

#1 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 1:58pm

I was wondering more about shaft lengthening...tee,hee,hee

#2 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 3:17pm

make sure you wrap a rag aroun the T and use a rubber mallet to take it out. wacking each side till it pops off

#3 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 6:02pm

Shaft lengthening comes under poops expertise.

#4 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 6:46pm

make sure you wrap a rag aroun the T and use a rubber mallet to take it out. wacking each side till it pops off

Will have to remember that trick if I do have to shorten a wooden shaft paddle. My first thought would have been just cutting it below the T at the joint. Then drilling some holes in the piece and finally use a small chisel to get the rest out of the T top.

#5 Tue, 12/23/2008 - 11:20pm

Aren't handles typically glued on? I'd probably try carefully heating the area first with a heat gun to soften the glue and then whack it off ;>

#6 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 2:15am

I think if I heat and whack the shaft....I'll NEVER get the damned thing out! (I stepped into this....I'm glad I got at least ONE real suggestion from the experts :)

#7 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 2:57am soul-mate!!! out what length you want....cut it off as E7M suggests, drill & chisel the piece of shaft glued into the handle carefully....measure how deep the hole is in the handle (usually 3/4" deep), measure the total "length" (usually 1-11/4") of the handle, then cut the shaft again so total length equals whatever you're aiming at..........I then cut a collar on the shaft about 20mm (3/4") back from the end, then reshape the shaft end to fit the hole in the handle.....take time to shape it so its a neat fit........the collar will cover up most minor mistakes...........

If I had access to fancy tools like fixed belt or disk sanders etc, I might do it a bit different to get a neater fit.............

I use 5 minute Araldite (which is epoxy) to glue it back on & make sure its square & true.....If you can cramp it, its always a better bond, but make sure you dont use it for at least 24hrs......................................In future, hitting it with a mallet will only bust the handle to bits .........but it wont come off in your hands out in the ocean!


PS: There are "other" websites which claim to make your shaft longer

#8 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 3:08am

Voce Donu, has it right just make sure you measure twice cut once, or your shorter friends are going to have a paddle that will fit them instead of you.

PS take your time while gluing everything back together. Make sure its fit square or its going to feel all wrong.

#9 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 10:21am

I did exactly what what Voce Donu suggests to two of my paddles last year. However I borrowed a dremel(sp?) to clean out the cut shaft out of the handle and also used it to shape the new cut shaft top to fit into the hole in the handle. I then used Gorilla glue to attatch it...if you use Gorilla glue, you don't want the shaft to fit too snugly into the handle, because the glue expands as it seals. Both paddles fell perfect now. I also cut down a carbon fiber paddle also, but all it took to remove the handle was to heat it up, much easier.


#10 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 12:04pm

whoops, i read the title of the thread and thought this was about putting crisco on your paddle shaft for water proofing.

#11 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 1:34pm

Forgot about using a Dremel Tool to get out the piece stuck in the T top since they are a good tool to have for its many uses. I've cut down a few SUP paddles and have been cutting and gluing my new carbon paddles that I've bought recently. It's always good to learn to do things like just so you know how.

If you ever break your T top or can't easily remove a palm grip from a carbon paddle, you can always buy a new top/palm grip from some paddle shops. Some have extra ones that they can sell or they could probably order one for you.

When putting them together, I put some masking tape on the shaft just below where I'm gluing and on the outside of the grip. Then I put some reference lines that I can use to align them correctly when I glue or epoxy it. Try not to use any 5 minute epoxy or quick drying/setting glue as not having to rush before it sets and end up making a mistake.

As for shaft lengthening, they sell some pills and creams that claim to make that certain part longer.

#12 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 3:41pm

Here's the link to get your shaft lengthened!

Not recommended for a woody, much better with exotic materials.!@#$%

#13 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 4:06pm

Good suggestions.

Here's another - If you have access to a band saw, cut a "V" out of the shaft in the amount you want to shorten the length. Next, glue the top part of the shaft (the part with the upside down "V"), back in to the lower part of the shaft (the part with the "V"). Hint: the deeper the "V", the stronger the join.

Merry Christmas to All!


#14 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 4:22pm

The way I learned to do it was to first pierce the seal of the handle with a razor blade. Jam the razor up in there all the way around the shaft as best you can. If you do it right, the T top should come off intact with a couple of wacks from the wooden handle of a hammer or something similar. If it doesn't budge with your first wack of the hammer, then that means that you didn't pierce it well enough with the razor.

Then clean out the inside of the T with anything that you have... dremel or drill or whatever.

I think you can pretty safely assume that the handle adds about 1/2" of length, so keep that in mind when you cut it down.

We used to then trim down around the top of the shaft with the razor blade to get the handle to fit again...

Then some 5 minute epoxy and voila.... the whole process shouldn't take any longer than 10 minutes.

#15 Wed, 12/24/2008 - 6:46pm

a step I always make sure to do is when I finally get the handle on and before the glue sett's.

I put the paddle up to my eye with the blade away from me, like a riffle and look down the paddle. and line the knob up with the blade. and then when I leave it to set over night I make sure its not leaning on anything so it stays that way.

#16 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 12:53am

Indeed, now we have flushed out the artisans!.......thanks Bill, Tpoppler01, zumapop and Luke for your support.

A dremel would be handy, alas, I'm using my father's tools and training...........all done by hand, eye & a kerosene lamp in them days!...hehehe

Trues up!.....measure twice, cut once.........I dont like hitting handles with mallets coz I dont have a paddle shop to go to........It takes me a few hours to make up a new tee-piece and mine are nothing like true paddle-men's.

I tell you, a carbon shaft into a wooden tee-piece is a challenge......had to put it into a big drill press & drill it out carefully.................

Is it just me or does anyone else feel some sort of reverence towards the tee-piece.............its the connection between you & your paddle.............mulus, you're dead has to be sighted important!

Clarkie, go catch a robber!........hahaha

Peace bros & sis's

#17 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 2:43am

That's what I love about this, look how many ways explained to knock a T-handle off...

Did this earlier this summer to an X3; clamped paddle "just snug" upside down in a vice (protected shaft with foam & a rag) grasped shaft above vice with free hand to keep it from slipping through (don't want that vice too tight). Used rubber mallet with moderate taps on opposing ends of T-handle. Best advice: Take your sweet time, strong glue will fracture the shaft or handle. After I loosened handle I took two short 2x4's, put them side by side along shaft and again moderately knocked the T-handle straight out (2x4's hit handle at same time). Took me about 15-20 minutes because I did it slowly and carefully, but no damage. Sawed 1-inch off shaft and made hole a little bigger in T-handle (shaft was slightly larger 1-inch down) with course sandpaper (no dremel available). Glued with epoxy, layed paddle on flat surface so T-handle would be aligned.

Now girls, if you're gonna cut an inch, ensure you measure at only 1/2 inch, 'cause we all know your sense of shaft measurement is always 1/2 of reality...

#18 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 4:58am

aahhh, all these great suggestions with just a HINT of sarcasm on OCP forum! There IS a Santa Claus!! I do have an arsenal of wood working tools (dremels, saws, chisels, etc). It shouldn't be any problem. I just didn't know if there was a solvent out there to loosen the joint. Sounds like the "T" is best removed by mechanical means rather than Chemical.. (BTW I agree w/ the T-top handle vs. other grips. I think the T-top "connects" me better w/ the paddle). Merry Christmas & Happy New Year All

#19 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 5:25am

These can help get a perfect fit but they run 90 $ or so but I love mine .

1" Power Tenon Cutter


#20 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 7:19am

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