Norcal Paddle Kit – Part I

norcal_paddlesI have had this paddle kit for about ten years, but have not done anything with it until now. I have a station set up again, and am operating again on CW. Also, I bought a MFJ keyer at a recent hamfest. For these reasons, I needed paddles.

I’ve had some vacations days this week, so I started work on the paddle kit. The parts in the kit are machined very well, but are in their raw form. They have tool marks and very sharp edges.




IMG_7084I took the parts to a friend of mine that owns and operates a machine shop (BFM in Farmersburg, IN). I used one of Bob’s “shakers” to de-burr and polish the brass parts and the steel base. The shaker shown is about two feet in diameter, and is the smallest one Bob has at his shop. The largest is about five feet long, and three feet wide. It took about three hours, but the parts came out with nice rounded edges.






Here is the paddle base. After being in the shaker, the surface was smooth and ready to be painted. I put screws in the threaded holes to keep the paint out.






The first coat of paint has been applied to the base. Well actually the first coat of my second attempt. I really messed up the first try and had to sand it off. I’m not very good at painting. OK I hate painting.

To this point I have spent about 8 hours spread over two days. This is taking a lot longer than I expected, but I think the results will be worth it.


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