Having decided on Tulip Poplar for my oars
, I drove down to Hearne hardwoods and found a straight plank 12' long x 2" thick. I had them joint one edge. I cut the two looms to 1 3/4" square and then used my jointer to make them eight sided.
|Make the loops eight sided |
I marked off 10" by 1 1/8" diameter handles and then cut them out.
|Cut out the handles|
|Make the handles eight sided|
I used a rasp, plane, chisel and sand paper to get everything mostly round. As with most of my projects, I was able to justify the purchase of a new tool. In this case it was a saw rasp from duckworks
|Round with a rasp and sand paper|
I should have cut out the curved flats where the blades meet the looms before I rounded the looms - it would have been so much easier. Ah well. Then I glued on the blades. I didn't have any marine plywood handy so I used AC Fir. I put a fillet of thickened epoxy and embedded five or ten strands of linear fiberglass into the fillet.
|Glue the blades|
I tapered the loom with a drawknife and gave everything a coat of epoxy. Then I put on three coats of spar varnish on the looms and a few coats of white rust-oleum enamel on the blades.
|Taper the looms|
|Coat with epoxy, then varnish|
|10' 3" - that is a long oar|
I made buttons (or stops) out of 1/4" nylon braid. I tied a turks head as tight as I could get it but it was still loose enough to slide when subjected to a lot of force. I varnished them in place - hopefully it will be good enough to keep them in place.
|Turks Head Buttons|
After a trial row I found the oars needed counter weights. I chose 1 3/4" propeller shaft zincs, each weighing 2.5 lbs each. I think they are just right.
The cockpit coaming is about four or five inches inboard of where the oarlocks are normally mounted on a Core Sound 20 so I created outriggers out of ash and cherry. The geometry isn't ideal - I have to sit on four or more inches of foam cushions to be comfortable.
|Outriggers for oar locks|
|Outriggers mounted on the coaming|
|Stowed under the coaming|
|Oars at the ready|