Plans for wooden sculling oars

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by PSob » Fri, 30 Aug 2002 02:43:51


I'm looking for advice on plans for building a pair of wooden sculls.
I'm new to rowing and boatbuilding and not really sure what to look
for in a scull. I'm on the verge of completing a recreational shell,
CLC's Oxford, and am looking for scull plans that would be appropriate
for such a craft. I've located a couple of plans on the Net but have
no way of evaluating them. They are from Glen-L and Aeneas Originals.
Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Lacking that,
does anyone know of any other plans out there? I'm a reasonably
competent woodworker with a well equipped shop and capable of building
from scratch. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this question.
 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Jim Conli » Fri, 30 Aug 2002 09:13:10

Commercially available carbon sculls are much lighter, stiffer and tolerant
of knocks than any wooden scull i've seen.  Once you've tried 'em,  wooden
sculls would be just intolerable.  How many wooden tennis racquets, skis,
vaulting poles or windsurfer masts have you seen recently?  For that
application, carbon is better.
The older carbon sculls with spoon blades are losing popularity to the
hatchet blade and can sometimes be found at more modest cost.
Quote:

> I'm looking for advice on plans for building a pair of wooden sculls.
> I'm new to rowing and boatbuilding and not really sure what to look
> for in a scull. I'm on the verge of completing a recreational shell,
> CLC's Oxford, and am looking for scull plans that would be appropriate
> for such a craft. I've located a couple of plans on the Net but have
> no way of evaluating them. They are from Glen-L and Aeneas Originals.
> Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Lacking that,
> does anyone know of any other plans out there? I'm a reasonably
> competent woodworker with a well equipped shop and capable of building
> from scratch. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this question.


 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Nick Sues » Fri, 30 Aug 2002 12:11:25

Aaaah the na?vety of youth!! Now what's the name of that old geezer who
occasionally refers to wood as "nature's own uni-directional carbon fibre"?

I still occasionally row with wooden oars, both sculls and sweeps, and they
are very far from intolerable. In fact, they are extremely nice to use. They
may not be able to generate quite the same boat speed as modern carbon
cleavers, but the difference would only be a single figure percentage. And
our original correspondent made it clear that he wanted them for a homebuilt
recreational boat, that he was a good woodworker, and he wanted to make them
himself.

It's horses for courses. We recently restored a beautiful wooden tub pair
which must be about as old as I am (and I was born in the first half of the
last century) and cleaned up, varnished and painted a pair of wooden sweeps
to go with it. If we could have laid our hands on some old toothpick blades,
we'd have used them, but made do with macons, and they look great. The
perfect combination, an absolute delight to row, and a boat that catches the
eye of all who see it out on the river, drawing lots of admiring comments.

You see, they could actually build very nice boats and oars back in the old
days when dragons roamed the earth and wood was the principal material. And
it would not surprise me if any of the old wooden oar makers who are still
around would be happy to offer advice and be interested to hear how you get
on. I'd try Howard Croker over here in Oz. He's a very friendly and helpful
guy, and a true craftsman who used to make beautiful wooden oars long before
the market moved to composites. My guess is that he'd be interested in your
project. Send him an e-mail.


Quote:
> Commercially available carbon sculls are much lighter, stiffer and
tolerant
> of knocks than any wooden scull i've seen.  Once you've tried 'em,  wooden
> sculls would be just intolerable.  How many wooden tennis racquets, skis,
> vaulting poles or windsurfer masts have you seen recently?  For that
> application, carbon is better.
> The older carbon sculls with spoon blades are losing popularity to the
> hatchet blade and can sometimes be found at more modest cost.


> > I'm looking for advice on plans for building a pair of wooden sculls.
> > I'm new to rowing and boatbuilding and not really sure what to look
> > for in a scull. I'm on the verge of completing a recreational shell,
> > CLC's Oxford, and am looking for scull plans that would be appropriate
> > for such a craft. I've located a couple of plans on the Net but have
> > no way of evaluating them. They are from Glen-L and Aeneas Originals.
> > Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Lacking that,
> > does anyone know of any other plans out there? I'm a reasonably
> > competent woodworker with a well equipped shop and capable of building
> > from scratch. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this question.


 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Jim Conli » Fri, 30 Aug 2002 13:42:12

Alas, it's my vanishing youth that makes me glad to take any help I can get.
Before age 50, the macho impulse was to think "So what if it's heavier, it's a
good workout."  Ten years later, my wonky shoulders tell me otherwise.
For many things, I'm a champion of "miracle fiber W" (see
http://www.conlin-boats.com/ ), but not if i'm expected to lift it many times,
as with a scull.  I'd hope for better tan 'far from intolerable'.
I appearances are paramount, you can fake it, like Jon Wilson, the
owner/publisher of Woodenboat mag, who had a faux wood finish put on his
Concordia's new carbon mast.

Cheers,
Jim

Jim Conlin

Quote:

> Aaaah the na?vety of youth!! Now what's the name of that old geezer who
> occasionally refers to wood as "nature's own uni-directional carbon fibre"?

> I still occasionally row with wooden oars, both sculls and sweeps, and they
> are very far from intolerable. In fact, they are extremely nice to use. They
> may not be able to generate quite the same boat speed as modern carbon
> cleavers, but the difference would only be a single figure percentage. And
> our original correspondent made it clear that he wanted them for a homebuilt
> recreational boat, that he was a good woodworker, and he wanted to make them
> himself.

> It's horses for courses. We recently restored a beautiful wooden tub pair
> which must be about as old as I am (and I was born in the first half of the
> last century) and cleaned up, varnished and painted a pair of wooden sweeps
> to go with it. If we could have laid our hands on some old toothpick blades,
> we'd have used them, but made do with macons, and they look great. The
> perfect combination, an absolute delight to row, and a boat that catches the
> eye of all who see it out on the river, drawing lots of admiring comments.

> You see, they could actually build very nice boats and oars back in the old
> days when dragons roamed the earth and wood was the principal material. And
> it would not surprise me if any of the old wooden oar makers who are still
> around would be happy to offer advice and be interested to hear how you get
> on. I'd try Howard Croker over here in Oz. He's a very friendly and helpful
> guy, and a true craftsman who used to make beautiful wooden oars long before
> the market moved to composites. My guess is that he'd be interested in your
> project. Send him an e-mail.



> > Commercially available carbon sculls are much lighter, stiffer and
> tolerant
> > of knocks than any wooden scull i've seen.  Once you've tried 'em,  wooden
> > sculls would be just intolerable.  How many wooden tennis racquets, skis,
> > vaulting poles or windsurfer masts have you seen recently?  For that
> > application, carbon is better.
> > The older carbon sculls with spoon blades are losing popularity to the
> > hatchet blade and can sometimes be found at more modest cost.


> > > I'm looking for advice on plans for building a pair of wooden sculls.
> > > I'm new to rowing and boatbuilding and not really sure what to look
> > > for in a scull. I'm on the verge of completing a recreational shell,
> > > CLC's Oxford, and am looking for scull plans that would be appropriate
> > > for such a craft. I've located a couple of plans on the Net but have
> > > no way of evaluating them. They are from Glen-L and Aeneas Originals.
> > > Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Lacking that,
> > > does anyone know of any other plans out there? I'm a reasonably
> > > competent woodworker with a well equipped shop and capable of building
> > > from scratch. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this question.

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Al » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 04:33:48

Quote:
> Commercially available carbon sculls are much lighter, stiffer and tolerant
> of knocks than any wooden scull i've seen.  Once you've tried 'em,  wooden
> sculls would be just intolerable.  

heh, a smashed carbon loom, four chipped spoons and a couple of other
oars needing attention prove you wrong... the wood provides me a lot
less work, practically anything on them is just an epoxy job to solve.
And I haven't managed to smash a wooden loom yet.

For the beginner I would _ALWAYS_ use wooden oars.  When we're training
up new crews we send them out with the heaviest, nastiest wooden oars in
the boathouse.  It makes the boat much more stable and much easier to
"sit" (like when you learn to ride a bike without stabilisers).  I still
row with wooden oars in my scull, and Aluminium here at home, it makes
my life an awful lot easier.  I can go out doing squared oars while
others go out with cleavers and sprint up and down dragging theirs oars
on the water.  

As far as cleavers go, stick with spoons until you know what you're
doing.  cleavers give you a lot less clearance at the catch (when you
put the oars in) so you're more likely to clip the surface which ruins
the balance of the boat as well as slowing you down.

In my experience, lightweight cleavers are the choice of an experienced
oarsman in light air.  If you're going to be out in a fair wind, choose
spoons, rowing against a wind with cleavers is horrible (trust me, I've
rowed 10 miles along the Thames in London with cleavers with a wind, it
wasn't nice).  For the beginner, wood is the most forgiving to use.
When competence is achieved (the boat is sat, and the oarsman is
comfortable) one may consider the use of spoon bladed lightweights, if
the oarsman is still comfortable and in full control, the cleavers may
be used.

Speaking personally, the only time when I ever take Cleavers from true
choice is when I'm going out on race day, and a few days beforehand.  My
oar of choice is always a lightweight wooden with carbon reinforcing.
Not too heavy, forgiving, and makes sure you're giving 100%.  Race day
seems like s troll in the park!

Al
Sir John Deane's VI College Boatman.  1st IV.

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Paul » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 05:47:42

"reasonably competent woodworker" - Yeah, and the Space Shuttles SRB's
generate a 'moderate' amount of thrust.  [;o)  Beautiful work!

- Paul Smith

Quote:

> Alas, it's my vanishing youth that makes me glad to take any help I can get.
> Before age 50, the macho impulse was to think "So what if it's heavier, it's a
> good workout."  Ten years later, my wonky shoulders tell me otherwise.
> For many things, I'm a champion of "miracle fiber W" (see
> http://www.conlin-boats.com/ ), but not if i'm expected to lift it many times,
> as with a scull.  I'd hope for better tan 'far from intolerable'.
> I appearances are paramount, you can fake it, like Jon Wilson, the
> owner/publisher of Woodenboat mag, who had a faux wood finish put on his
> Concordia's new carbon mast.

> Cheers,
> Jim

> Jim Conlin


> > Aaaah the na?vety of youth!! Now what's the name of that old geezer who
> > occasionally refers to wood as "nature's own uni-directional carbon fibre"?

> > I still occasionally row with wooden oars, both sculls and sweeps, and they
> > are very far from intolerable. In fact, they are extremely nice to use. They
> > may not be able to generate quite the same boat speed as modern carbon
> > cleavers, but the difference would only be a single figure percentage. And
> > our original correspondent made it clear that he wanted them for a homebuilt
> > recreational boat, that he was a good woodworker, and he wanted to make them
> > himself.

> > It's horses for courses. We recently restored a beautiful wooden tub pair
> > which must be about as old as I am (and I was born in the first half of the
> > last century) and cleaned up, varnished and painted a pair of wooden sweeps
> > to go with it. If we could have laid our hands on some old toothpick blades,
> > we'd have used them, but made do with macons, and they look great. The
> > perfect combination, an absolute delight to row, and a boat that catches the
> > eye of all who see it out on the river, drawing lots of admiring comments.

> > You see, they could actually build very nice boats and oars back in the old
> > days when dragons roamed the earth and wood was the principal material. And
> > it would not surprise me if any of the old wooden oar makers who are still
> > around would be happy to offer advice and be interested to hear how you get
> > on. I'd try Howard Croker over here in Oz. He's a very friendly and helpful
> > guy, and a true craftsman who used to make beautiful wooden oars long before
> > the market moved to composites. My guess is that he'd be interested in your
> > project. Send him an e-mail.



> > > Commercially available carbon sculls are much lighter, stiffer and
>  tolerant
> > > of knocks than any wooden scull i've seen.  Once you've tried 'em,  wooden
> > > sculls would be just intolerable.  How many wooden tennis racquets, skis,
> > > vaulting poles or windsurfer masts have you seen recently?  For that
> > > application, carbon is better.
> > > The older carbon sculls with spoon blades are losing popularity to the
> > > hatchet blade and can sometimes be found at more modest cost.


> > > > I'm looking for advice on plans for building a pair of wooden sculls.
> > > > I'm new to rowing and boatbuilding and not really sure what to look
> > > > for in a scull. I'm on the verge of completing a recreational shell,
> > > > CLC's Oxford, and am looking for scull plans that would be appropriate
> > > > for such a craft. I've located a couple of plans on the Net but have
> > > > no way of evaluating them. They are from Glen-L and Aeneas Originals.
> > > > Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Lacking that,
> > > > does anyone know of any other plans out there? I'm a reasonably
> > > > competent woodworker with a well equipped shop and capable of building
> > > > from scratch. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this question.

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Jim Conli » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 06:59:59

Quote:

> <SNIP>

> heh, a smashed carbon loom, four chipped spoons and a couple of other
> oars needing attention prove you wrong... the wood provides me a lot
> less work, practically anything on them is just an epoxy job to solve.
> And I haven't managed to smash a wooden loom yet.

> <SNIP>

I guess some are more fragile than others.  I judge my old Concept II
(Dreissigacker) carbon spoons to be approximately bulletproof.
 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Al » Mon, 02 Sep 2002 00:36:43

Quote:
> > heh, a smashed carbon loom, four chipped spoons and a couple of other
> > oars needing attention prove you wrong... the wood provides me a lot
> > less work, practically anything on them is just an epoxy job to solve.
> > And I haven't managed to smash a wooden loom yet.

> > <SNIP>

> I guess some are more fragile than others.  I judge my old Concept II
> (Dreissigacker) carbon spoons to be approximately bulletproof.

in all fairness, we did smash the loom by wrapping it round a tree when
the second men screwed up a start.  The third women did the same thing
(same tree) with a wooden, not a scratch... ok, their boat was lighter
and slower, but even so...

really, my point is that wood's much easier to patch up and easier to
row with as a beginner.

Al

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by PSob » Thu, 05 Sep 2002 05:06:34

Let me thank all of the posters who kindly responded to my original
post both via email and the rec. Since a significant number opined
that I should skip the idea of wooden sculls and get composites I will
enumerate the reasons why I want to build wooden sculls, should anyone
care.

1. I have never rowed before and want to make the minimum investment
possible while I decide if I want to pursue rowing in depth. I expect
the total cost of building my boat, sans riggers, to be around $350. I
would like to spend a commensurate amount on the sculls.

2. The boat that I will be using them with is a recreational class
boat. My main goal right now is learning how to row. Bottom line
performance is not an issue, at least not yet.

3. I enjoy woodworking as much as I enjoy vigorous, stimulating
exercise. I prefer to be more of a producer and less of a consumer of
my material wants.

4. I have heard that wooden sculls are more forgiving of beginner's
mistakes. Composites are apparently much more responsive to input,
including errors.

5. Nothing is more aesthetic than wood.

6. Properly constructed, wood is incredibly durable and in this regard
is very underrated. In a previous life I paddled whitewater
extensively. I had a wooden paddle that was more than equal to the
demands of that abusive environment. It only required a small amount
of yearly maintenance. In fact, it outlasted two heavy duty composite
paddles by a wide margin. It also had a liveliness and feel that was
lacking in my composite paddles.

Having said all this I am still looking for a set of plans for sculls
made out of wood. Does anyone know of any good ones?

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Pm_willi.. » Thu, 05 Sep 2002 16:27:38


Quote:
>3. I enjoy woodworking as much as I enjoy vigorous, stimulating
>exercise. I prefer to be more of a producer and less of a consumer of
>my material wants.

Despite all that, why don't you get along to a local boat club, most
of the have dozens of unused wooden sculls*** around. Nearly all
use carbon hatchets.

This then gives two opportunities.

1) Buy a set ( not  woodwork )
2) See how they are made, take some photo's measurements then make
some (not  vigorous or stimulating excercise)

Wilf

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Ron Mage » Fri, 06 Sep 2002 00:15:56

Paul,

As the British say, "HEAR, HEAR !! "

If you get a set of plans, let me know; I'm looking as well.

Here in Philly the 'Schuylkill Navy' is a bit 'snooty' . . . anybody with a
few bucks can join one of the 'clubs' on Boathouse Row and even keep their
boat there. HOWEVER, it MUST be a 'scull'. At the 'other end' of the river
is the Philadelphia Canoe Club. A little more informal, BUT for canoe's &
canoeists ONLY.

I'm more of a 'Swampscott Dory' or 'Open Water Scull' type, so BOTH look at
me, 'that certain way'. My idea is much needed exercise, as well.

Regards,
Ron Magen
Backyard Boatshop

Quote:
> Let me thank all of the posters who kindly responded to my original
> post both via email and the rec. Since a significant number opined
> that I should skip the idea of wooden sculls and get composites I will
> enumerate the reasons why I want to build wooden sculls, should anyone
> care.

 
 
 

Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Andrew Butchar » Fri, 06 Sep 2002 06:27:07

I've built several sets of oars myself, but I presume that sculls are longer
and lighter.

I posted a page recently on my method at
http://www.abutchartconsulting.com/sailing/oars.htm  There are lots of other
ways to do it as well.  Now, keep in mind that this won't give you optimized
shapes, but you could use this as a basis to make something better.

--
Andrew Butchart


Quote:
> Let me thank all of the posters who kindly responded to my original
> post both via email and the rec. Since a significant number opined
> that I should skip the idea of wooden sculls and get composites I will
> enumerate the reasons why I want to build wooden sculls, should anyone
> care.

> 1. I have never rowed before and want to make the minimum investment
> possible while I decide if I want to pursue rowing in depth. I expect
> the total cost of building my boat, sans riggers, to be around $350. I
> would like to spend a commensurate amount on the sculls.

> 2. The boat that I will be using them with is a recreational class
> boat. My main goal right now is learning how to row. Bottom line
> performance is not an issue, at least not yet.

> 3. I enjoy woodworking as much as I enjoy vigorous, stimulating
> exercise. I prefer to be more of a producer and less of a consumer of
> my material wants.

> 4. I have heard that wooden sculls are more forgiving of beginner's
> mistakes. Composites are apparently much more responsive to input,
> including errors.

> 5. Nothing is more aesthetic than wood.

> 6. Properly constructed, wood is incredibly durable and in this regard
> is very underrated. In a previous life I paddled whitewater
> extensively. I had a wooden paddle that was more than equal to the
> demands of that abusive environment. It only required a small amount
> of yearly maintenance. In fact, it outlasted two heavy duty composite
> paddles by a wide margin. It also had a liveliness and feel that was
> lacking in my composite paddles.

> Having said all this I am still looking for a set of plans for sculls
> made out of wood. Does anyone know of any good ones?

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http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
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Plans for wooden sculling oars

Post by Skip Gundlac » Sat, 07 Sep 2002 01:28:26

Greetings, o oarsmen :{))


Quote:
> Paul,

> As the British say, "HEAR, HEAR !! "

> If you get a set of plans, let me know; I'm looking as well.

> Here in Philly the 'Schuylkill Navy' is a bit 'snooty' . . . anybody with
a
> few bucks can join one of the 'clubs' on Boathouse Row and even keep their
> boat there. HOWEVER, it MUST be a 'scull'.

Ah, how things have changed, apparently.  In my collegiate days, rowing in
the Dad Vail regatta (approximately the small college national
championships) and against the local Philly schools, much was made of the
marvelous, ancient (even then) boathouses.  One of my rowing mates even
became a fitter at one of them and has been, since college, or at least,
was, until recently, after which I've not inquired.

However, all of my collegiate rowing  was heavy 8's, and the Olympic champs
of a couple of times before that time (and perhaps later, too?) were, also,
out of one of the boathouses on the row.

So, the Navy has gone to sculls only?   A pity.  I only scull now, but
fondly recall taking mounds of shirts in front of one of those boathouses
each year (I'm fortunate to have been at a school when it was ***; I've
got one each Frosh, JV and Varsity [heavy 8, the only races of the time]
medals) - Undine Barge Club, I think...

L8R

Skip, skiing since it's still too warm, but rowing in a month or so,
variously on carbon spoons or cleavers

--
"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so
much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in
boats-or *with* boats.
In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's
the charm of it.
Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your
destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get
anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in
particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and
you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."