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The Paddle Challenge

Do you know someone in the Navy or Marines? If so, then you have seen one of those cool paddles. Well, I was challenged with getting one for someone that is separating from the Navy. Man are those things pricey! They range between $75 and $200. I just knew that there must be a less expensive paddle out there some where. After some research, the answer is NO! So, you know what that means…time to get my craft on!!!

During my research, I looked at several pictures of paddles online. Some were very intricate with words within the paracord wrapping, and others were very simple. I also noticed that some of the paracord wrapping was nothing more than friendship bracelet making. Do you remember making those in school? I do.

Supply List:

  • 3 ft Wooden Paddle
  • Parachute 550 Cord (Navy Blue and Gold)
  • E6000 Clear Flexible Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating
  • random orbital palm sander
  • adornments (i.e. pins, coins, ribbons, etc.)

First, I came up with a design for the neck of the paddle. I went with the traditional Navy

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The paddle before

colors of Navy Blue and Gold. I wanted something a little fancy for the wrapping. I went with a two-colored, double spiral and two 5×4 Turks Head knots. Secondly, I had to come up with a design for the face of the paddle. I collected some items to adorn the face of the paddle–pins, coins and ribbons. I also had a little plague engraved with the Sailor’s name, rank and a nice sentiment.

 

The face of a paddle is curved. So, to start, I had to sand down the places for

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Sanded down areas

the adornments to go. You definitely can NOT put a FLAT object neatly on a CURVED surface–trust me. I surely gave it a try. 🙂 While, I had the sander out I smoothed out a few rough spots on the handle, sides and back. This is also a necessary step in order to properly adhere the objects to the face of the paddle.

 

The paracord wrapping was rather easy for me. I guess all those years of making friendship bracelets really paid off! Now, that 5×4

Turks Head knot?! I must have tried to tie that knot about 11 times before I was finally successful at it. So, of course the second Turks Head knot was no problem at all.

Now time for the gluing process. I used some E6000 Industrial Strength adhesive to adhere the adornments to the face of the paddle. This was a little tricky. I have never personally used E6000 before. I had no idea of how slick it was! I thought it would be tacky, like most adhesive. I was wrong. So, what I had to do was to apply some heat–a blow dryer. I glued the pieces down and then turned on the blow dryer. I positioned it to where it would be able to blow heat on the pieces while I held them in place. I held them in place with the

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Some weights added to hold down

heat for about a minute and a half. I let the pieces finished curing overnight. I had to place a 10 pound kettlebell weight on top of it overnight. This was to ensure that the pieces did not pop up or off during the curing process. The curing time for the E6000 adhesive is at least 24 hours–72 hours for maximum hold/curing. Oh, I also put a little of the adhesive on the Turks Head knot to secure them in place. Don’t need them moving all over the place. 🙂

 

Once everything was done, I added my logo (advertising and marketing :-)) to the back of

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Back view of paddle

the paddle. I sprayed the handle and paddle face with about five coats of clear, glossy acrylic coating. VoilĂ  –one awesome Navy

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Finished Paddle

paddle!! Can’t wait to see the Sailor’s face when he lays eyes on this.

 

Until next time…keep crafting!

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