Help! Shortening an Epic Wing Paddle

9 years 5 months ago #9961 by Kocho
After researching some, it seemed easy enough to chop off a few cm from the shaft of my Epic wing paddle. Carbon blades on green (carbon on the inside) shaft, plastic lever lock. The paddle is actually branded Peregrine, but it is an Epic (probably both made and assembled by Epic at some point).

The lever lock is glued to the shaft and I wanted to remove it before cutting the shaft. Having read stories of paddle blades etc. separating from shafts while in use, I expected a flimsy connection that would fall apart when heated. Not so. I could not remove the lock from the shaft. I heated-up the shaft and lock with a heat gun, but could not separate the shaft from the lock...

So, I decided to cut the shaft with the lock still attached to it with the idea that once off the shaft I can scrape off the shaft material from the inside of the lock and reattach the lock back to the shortened shaft. I only cut about 1.5cm of shaft beyond where the lock ends. Now, back to the heat gun and this time I was able to soften things enough to remove the shaft material from the lock.

However, the plastic lock (made from very tough plastic) is about 1mm wider in diameter than the shaft. To fit snugly to the shaft, there is some sort of hard rubber material that looks a lot like an inner tube from a car or bike. That rubber fits b/w the shaft and the plastic on the lock.

That rubber got destroyed in the process as it would not separate from the shaft or the plastic in one piece. I heated to a point where the carbon shaft softened but the junction with the lock would not give - so my only choice seemed to just take off the shaft fragments out of the inside of the lock cylinder piece by piece along with the rubber that still stuck to it.

So, if you have done that kind of job, what did you done to fit the lock back on the shaft? Also, what adhesive did you use to reattach?

Did you do something to make the new junction more stable due to the oval profile of the shaft going towards the blade? After cutting, I noticed that the round section of the shaft (near the original junction) is actually pretty short and from there it becomes oval faster than I thought it would (would not have cut if I had noticed that before). There is some play when the two pieces of the paddle are inserted into each other. There was a bit less play before cutting, since I had to cut off about 3cm of the round section...

Thanks!

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9 years 5 months ago #9964 by owenfromwales
Kocho, sorry for your loss! Sounds like a classic Homer `Doh!` moment! (don`t worry, you`re not alone as I`ve been in a similar place myself).
Sounds like your best bet might be to contact Epic and ask them nicely if they`ll sent you a spare rubber with instructions ;)
One question though, why couldn`t you use a hair-dryer to melt the heat glue holding one of the blades on? Easier to cut a bit off one end surely?
Good luck with the fixing matey!

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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9 years 5 months ago #9967 by latman
that hard rubber may be black pigmented epoxy glue ?

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9 years 5 months ago #9969 by owenfromwales
About 12 years ago I decided to retro-fit my Bratcha II with an adjuster. I used fibreglass resin and it worked fine for a season or two, but then it became unstuck. When I repaired it I used epoxy resin instead and made sure I sanded a good key on both surfaces. That job has been fine ever since, although I think it can be hit and miss whether or not you get as good a job as the original factory join.
On another paddle I resorted to making a sleeve from a tube of fibreglass (a piece of old paddle shaft with a length wise cut down it) and I used some universal clips to keep the whole thing together. That still works fine too - although the clips can slice your wet hands if you don`t tape over them.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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9 years 5 months ago #9970 by Kocho
Heating-up with a heat gun did not help much. A hair drier would have been no help at all :angry:

Some good adive here on the blades side - the oval is constant there it seems, so shortening there would have been the natural thing to do. Oh, well - next time if there is a next time...

More discussion here too: www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=1489258

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9 years 5 months ago #9973 by Rightarmbad
Interestingly enough, we simply pulled apart my epic wing today.
The tube with markings on it that is inserted in one end started clicking, two people, a bit of a twist and out it come.

Looks like the same glue they use to join the seam of the boat.

When my black rubbery bit came adrift, I epoxied it back on.
Worked perfectly.

I think this must have been a friday arvo paddle, my other one has done heaps more miles and heaps more rough water paddling and hasn't given me a problem.

This original one, has rusted it's adjuster, the leverloc fell off, and now the shaft seperates from the inner.
Overall a bit of a dud really.

Seems like quality control can be a bit hit and miss at Epic.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 5 months ago #9984 by cjborg
I've done this exact thing on several paddles, including a Epic Signature Series mid wing. You did the right thing . . . you don't want to remove the blades; you want to cut the shaft on the side with the locking sleeve, and then order a new one from Epic. They are available from the Epic website, or just call them . . . not expensive and better than trying to work with one you've butchered trying to separate it from the shaft.

Some tips, not necessarily in production order: 1) obtain some very good waterproof two part epoxy to glue the new locking sleeve to the cut shaft. 2) Understand that the lock adds about 2-3 centimeters length to the shaft, so cut accordingly...a bit more than you want the shortest length to be. 3) Take great care to realign the angle lines with the new lock. You have to insert the male end of the shaft to see this, and then mark the new lock and female end of the shaft before gluing. This isn't essential as the paddle works fine even if misaligned - you can adjust the feather angle by sight - but it's nicer when it's aligned correctly. 4) Lightly sand all inside surfaces - inside the shaft and inside the new lock - before you begin aligning and gluing, and after the glue has set (let the glue set at least as long as the directions specify). The shafts will fit back together much better if you do this.

Good Luck . . . it will turn out great if you take your time.

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9 years 5 months ago #9994 by Kocho
Hmmm. Thanks for the lock advice - I'll check with Epic and if the thing is not too much $$$ I might just order a new lock, provided it comes with the rubberish stuff on the inside. Or maybe just get an inner tube pice and glue it there myself.

Epoxy (other than perhaps G-Flex) would probably be my LAST choice to use on the plastic lock - it will likely not adhere well to the plastic. If I had a new lock with rubberr-ish stuff already glued to it, perhaps it might work, but then so would other adhesives that would not form permanent bond with the shaft but that would still be strong enough (contact cements or 3M stuff). Epic did not use epoxy on the insert (on the insert they used some sort of black hard-rubberish glue that melts sooner than epoxy would, the stuff on the lock did not melt so it might have been epoxy or some other adhesive).

Anyhow, might want to follow the comments on Paddling.net for a bit more info since my last post here.

Shortening the shaft from the mid-point (ferule insert/lock) does not seem like a good idea, if one is to chop off more than a cm - the round section of the shaft there is very short - about as short as to allow a secure connection to the round insert in the ferule. Cutting any length there compromises the joint - I saw it with my repair. Now my straight/round section is shorter than what I'm comfortable with.

In contrast, the oval section on the blade side seems longer and can take shortening OK, at least looking from the outside... Forces are higher on the blade connection though, so there should be more care taken to reattach well.

Lastly, it was MUCH easier (1 minute or less) to remove the insert compared to removing the Lock. First off, the lock would not come out at all despite my heating the shaft to a point that the shaft softened. In contrast, the insert came off extremely easy with a lot less heat needed. Second, removing the insert does not damage enything - it can be reused, where removing the lock apparently damages the rubbery stuff that holds it to the shaft and that can't be reused. Third, after shortening the shaft on the insert side (after the insert is removed) seems to be less likely to cause weakening of the connection, because the insert is glued back and would move less compared to if it was not glued but just inserted, as is the case when one cuts the lock side.

So, I would disagree with your advice for specifically the oval shafts on the Epic. Appears what I did (remove the lock and shorten that side) was the WORST way to do it :silly:. Second worst (but easiest, perhaps) is to remove the insert and shorten that side, then reglue the insert. Best, likely is to approach from the blades side and do both sides by the same amount - if my eyeballing things is correct, that should not weaken the paddle at all, where the previous two options do weaken the center joint.

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9 years 5 months ago #9995 by cjborg
Right. I wouldn't let the fact that I've done it successfully with 5 paddles and they've worked well for years influence you . . . keep researching and good luck!

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9 years 5 months ago #9996 by Kocho
Advice appreciated and gives me piece of mind that what you did worked.

However, that does not change the fact that shortening the lock side does weaken the joint and require a new part. It is plain obvious and does not require too much thinking: on test-fitting without the lock, the two parts of the paddle wiggled uncomfortably too much after I took off 3cm from the round area - because now the remaining round area is shorter than it was before, and before it was barely long enough IMO. The lock is there to just hold things together and to slightly reinforce the end of the shaft but does not not provide stiffness.

Neither does your successful track record change the fact that it is MUCH easier and does NOT require purchase of ANY new parts if shortening is done on the insert side. But weakening of the shaft is still inevitable with that too, albeit a bit less than shortening the lock side, because the insert is glued back in place rather than wiggle on the lock side. And I assume, shortening the blade sides would avoid both of the above problems: no weakening and no new parts needed.

So, while your approach may have been successful, there is definitely room for improvement to think about your 6-th job :)

I am just a bit perplexed why I did not take a closer look as I should have before I started, because it is plainly evident that what I did was not the best approach, but it seemed the easiest and probably good enough, which is what matters at the end. At least I partially improved my job by moving the ferule insert tube out of the paddle half where it was and re-glued it in the shortened half, thus minimizing the wiggle there. My lock will be now on the "other" side, but that does not matter much is my thinking ...

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9 years 5 months ago #10002 by Rightarmbad
It probably depends on what length shaft you had in the first place as to which is the easiest method.
If Epic change the centre length, then if you already had a short one you will bump into problems.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #10006 by onnopaddle
Please let Kocho's experience represent the reason to call the builder first.

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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #10012 by Kocho
Pat, your original reply summed-it up more succinctly :woohoo: but you know real men don't ask directions ...

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9 years 5 months ago #10015 by Rightarmbad
And that would be wonderful if in general the manufacturers made themselves available to questions like this.

Sadly, most don't, so the brave amongst us forge on and discover whatever surprises lie in store for us.




Not to take anything away from those manufacturers that do, we as customers appreciate this sort of service more than you expect.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 5 months ago #10024 by cjborg
There won't be a "6th job" for me, Kocho. The smartest and best thing to do is to save your pennies for an Onno. - Best paddle on the planet and it will arrive the proper length.

Plus, Onno's don't have a reputation for breaking a mile offshore, as does one famous brand that I won't mention by name. . . be safe out there. . . test your modifications well before trusting your safety to them.

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9 years 5 months ago #10032 by Miller
if it is Branded Peregrine instead of the epic logo`s then it is not an epic paddle, it is a copy that is made in China.Just to let you know!!

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9 years 5 months ago #10033 by Kocho
Well, before I bought it I tried to find out about it - nothing from anyone... so I got it at an auction for a very reasonable price. I have shown it to an Epic rep and the blades are Epic, meaning made in the same factory, same layup, same style serial number (as in the older, not current crop sold in the US). He mentioned Epic buys the shafts so others could do tthe same. He was surprised to see the lock, so that has unclear origin too. Wether this is a copy or a rebranded seconds of some sort or some old stock, it is not clear. But it is not a copy, it is the same as an Epic. And is better made than my other Epic that I sold to buy this one (changed sizes at the time). Intriguing story how it got its Peregrine badge though - sold in the US so theoretically it should not be a counterfeeited...

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9 years 4 months ago - 9 years 4 months ago #10517 by Kocho
A quick update - the repair is finally done and had a chance to test it for a quick paddle outing. Worked well and the paddle feels solid enough. Will see how it holds-up.

I used an aluminum insert that I had lying around that happenned to be the same size as the carbon insert on the paddle. That held the lock aligned while I filled the gap b/w the lock and the outside of the shaft with Fast Cure (24 hours) 3M 5200 marine adhesive. I used a thinned bamboo stick to push the glue all the way down into the gap. I had roughened-up the surface of the shaft and lock with sand paper to ensure better bond. Because the lock where it mates with the shaft may have a small gap (in the middle of the lock, where the split part begins), I wrapped several rubber bands to make sure the glue does not leak out. I also used masking tape on the shaft and the insert as much as possible as that 3M stuff really sticks and leaves white stains easy that are hard to clean.

The 3M stays somewhat soft after cure, which I'm of two minds about. On one hand it is good to have some flex so not to create a stress point. On the other, too much flex is not good either. Seems to work well enough though and the grip of this thing is tenacious so it won't come apart for sure.

One thing I noticed is that the 3M expanded as it cured, so now I have a 1mm round ridge around the shaft at the lock, instead of the smooth flat surface I made when the glue was still pliable. I decided against cutting that off to avoid damaging the paddle shaft in the process - the shaft is very thin and even a small cut into the fabric will weaken it.

Had a little bit of a struggle to remove the aluminum insert after cure, because a small amount of glue had leaked (a drop or so). I'm glad I did not use the real half of the paddle for the alignment as it would have been even more difficult to separate. With a knife I was able to losen the bond at the small spill, then finally managed to twist the insert out with the help of a screwdriver through a hole drilled through it as a lever. Once I got it out I was amazed at how little spilled glue had created such a trouble so I'm comfortable that the rest will stay put ;)

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9 years 4 months ago #10528 by DougMar
Hope your mods to the Peregrine work for the long haul, Kocho!

I have been using, amongst a nice quiver of paddles, a newer Epic Mid Wing stiff shaft. Nice enough paddle. A friend wanted to rid himself of an older paddle of the same size and make, but with the older shaft lock. I bought it at a low, low price. Problem is that it is five cm too long for me, and him. I have had it sitting in the quiver without using it for more than a year now. I am thinking of simply heat up the paddle blade joints, remove the blades, and shorten the shaft at the ends. Has anyone done this with the older Epics (mid wing, stiff shaft)?
Thanks
-Doug

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9 years 4 months ago #10529 by owenfromwales
I`ve done it with older Knysna paddles (ones where the shaft goes into the blades, not the other way round). Really easy job:

1. Before you start, remember to draw a line on the shaft in line with the seam on the blades so that the angles on your joiner in the centre remain the same - make sure the line is longer than the amount you intend to cut off!).

2. Heat the area up with a hair-drier and slide the blades off.

3. Next measure half of the total length you want to reduce your paddle by and take the same amount off each end. I use a pipe-cutter to make the cut square, just be careful not to tighten it too much at any one time.

4. Once the desired amount has been cut off you can put it back together again, with some new hot-glue if needed.

5. After you`ve finished and it`s all set you can slice off any bits of hot-glue with a razor blade or sharp knife. Sometimes a little tape wrapped over this bit can make it look better too.

There you go. Have fun!

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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