I noticed a split in one oar so I needed to do a repair. They are rather battered oars and have seen better days but I tend to use them as temporary ones on Arwen until such time as I build a proper portable rowing seat and alter the rowlock blocks to accommodate my longer oars that I built a couple of years ago. You can find details about those oars here https://arwensmeanderings.blogspot.com/2019/04/building-oars-for-john-welsford.html
This is the starting post - there are several about making my new oars and testing them out.
Anyway, back to the temporary ones! The split. A rushed repair, because I am hoping to sail next week. I sanded the broken areas to remove any old varnish and then on the split oar. I then cut some fibreglass tape I had over from another project long ago into strips - one I used to go across and around the blade tips - cutting darts into the cloth at each end so that it would correctly.
After doing the cloth and mixing up epoxy, I knocked in the tip of a thin flat screwdriver blade to prise the crack apart further. Trickling epoxy into the crack was difficult and I used a trick recommended to me by someone on one of the dinghy cruising Facebook forums; namely to use a shop vac - hoover in the UK - on the underneath of the crack. The suction pulled the epoxy further into the crack. It actually worked!
The cloth tips were put on and wetted out and folded over correctly . I added a little more epoxy on each side to ensure the cloth wouldn't dry out. It is a balancing act - too much and the cloth 'floats' off; too little and it dries out and there are areas where no epoxy takes.
Another strip was then butted up to the first on each side of the blade as well. The issue here would be the join line - because of the nature of the cloth - the butt between them would be slightly raised which would require sanding later ad possibly some fairing in.
The end result?
The cloth and epoxy set correctly. No dry parts; no floating away from position. I trimmed off all he rough edges using my multitool saw blade and then sanded each blade. As I suspected, there was a ridge between the two sets of cloth and sanding just wouldn't remove it.
It was now that I discovered that I have no fairing compound. I thought I did, but alas none to be found on the epoxy shelves. After a few minutes reflection, I have decided to leave it as it is. I have sanded it all as smooth as possible but getting fairing compound now with only a few days to Christmas will be difficult. With Omicron spreading rapidly in Plymouth and our area now one of the highest affected areas in the UK, we are trying to avoid any unnecessary contact with others so that we dont have to self isolate over the Christmas period, jeopardising plans with family.
They are temporary oars and a rough-ish job will do. The first undercoat has gone on. I will paint the tips five coats of paint and then sand and re-varnish the oar looms and top parts of the blades.