J is for Joins

The join is where all the magic happens. The verb is joining. Sometimes a large volume of the same work on the same project is known as joinery. The join is that interface between two pieces, almost always where something like epoxy goes. A join done right, is reputed to be stronger than the wood surrounding it. Much goes into that assertion of course, all of which must be near perfection.

In the paddle making world though, while I’ve not tested the strength of joins by taking them beyond their breaking point, I do have confidence in the materials I use and their contributions to making a good join that holds up to the rigors of paddling. GFlex, from West Systems, has been very good to me. Western red cedar, poplar, pine, basswood, purpleheart, sapele, and old growth cedar of uncertain genus and species have also all been very good to me. All have bonded together in joinery and stayed tight. In some cases for years now. The sun may fade the surfaces, but the join stays tight. I continue to wear out before the epoxy does.

Joinery. Symbolically I guess it can stand for many things, not all of which are wood. Get the right pieces and the right adhesive and some long lasting relationships can occur.


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