We have made it no secret about the fact that Cora spanks me and we display many of her 'tools' freely (See description of the display of her implements and 'Certificate of Authority' in March 2, 2010 post). About a month ago, Cora's daughter was visiting and she and Cora were discussing the implements on the rack, specifically the purpleheart paddle. I later had a conversation with her daughter and asked if she would like me to make one for her (note that while Cora and her daughter are aware of each other's activity in the 'scene' neither wants to participate with the other- its their choice and I respect it). "Sure", she replied. I guess I had been looking for a reason to get my hands 'dirty' again but now had a commitment to get to work in the shop.
I am blessed to live in a city that has lots of resources including several woodworking stores that stock 'exotic' wood. The first purpleheart paddle began life as a 3/4 inch thick, 4 inch wide, 24 inch long piece of wood. I wanted the finished paddle to be 1/2 inch thick and reduced the thickness the hard way - sanded it (OK, I did obtain a power sander for this). This time I found a 1/2 inch thick piece that was 3 inches wide and 24 inches long. I really had intended for this paddle to be almost a duplicate of the first one, which was 3-1/2 inches wide, but decided that the loss of 1/2 inch in width would be an acceptable compromise.
When I decided to make the first paddle, I planned to use our 'school' paddle as the prototype. This paddle is made from a lighter wood (I am not sure what) and is about 18 inches long, 3-1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. I had layed this paddle on the purpleheart stock and drew the outline. After rough cutting the paddle, I had Cora 'test drive' it. At this point it weighed around 14 oz, about twice the weight of the school paddle (this was after reducing the thickness to 1/2 inch - Purpleheart wood is quite heavy!). Needless to say, the impact was quite intense and very 'thuddy'. I was beginning to believe it would end up just a showpiece as its affect was probably more than I could endure.
One of the steps in making the paddle was to use a 3/16 inch 'round-over' bit in my router. This gives the curved edge that I wanted. I was still in the very beginning stages of using my tools and ended up trying to remove too much stock in one pass. The result was that I 'blew out' a large piece of wood from the paddle. Fortunately the blow out had occurred about 2 inches from the end. Rather than throw it away and start over (I had quite a bit of time already invested), I decided to remove the damaged portion and salvage the rest. The result was that instead of the intended 18 inch length, the new length was 15-1/2 inches. After smoothing the new edges I had Cora 'test drive' the smaller version. She remarked that it had a much better balance and liked the 'feel'. On my end, the result was something that could be sustained over an extended discipline session. The finished paddle weighs 9.8 oz, a significant reduction from the earlier 14 oz weight and not too much more that the 6.7 oz weight of the 'school' paddle. This was truly a 'lemons to lemonade' story.
Since the 15-1/2 inch length worked so well for the first paddle, I decided that the second paddle would be similar and cut it to 16 inches long. I used the first purpleheart paddle as a pattern for the second one and adjusted the shape of the handle to accomodate the narrower width (3 inches wide vs. 3-1/2 inches wide). A 'test drive' of the resulting paddle demonstrated that it had a similar 'feel' to the first one.
The basic paddle was cut using my band saw. As before, I used my power sander to taper the blade so that the end measured about 3/8 inches wide. My power sander has two parts, a disc and a belt. The belt is 4 inches wide and 36 inches long overall with 2-1/2 inch rollers at each end. Where the sanding belt goes around the rollers provides for a great place to sand the concave edges of the handle of the paddle and makes quick work of removing the marks from the band saw. Once the edges were sanded, I used the 3/16 inch round over bit to round the edges. I have found that feeding just a little of the stock at a time prevents the 'blow out' as mentioned above. I probably made 6 passes feeding a little more stock each time. This process is done by hand and care must be used in feeding the stock to the router bit.
Once the edges have been rounded, I fine sanded it to a smooth finish using 22o grit in the last step. I then began applying 'Seal-a-Cell' clear finish. I apply about 7 coats, fine sanding just a little between applications. On the next to the last coat, I 'wet-sanded' the finish with 600 grit sandpaper, something that was suggested by one of the woodworking store experts as an alternative to using filler. A length of red leather lace was added as a hanger. The result is a smooth, shiny finish, ready for application to a naughty bottom.
Once the paddle was completed I felt it needed something that would protect it. I have used things like tube socks to protect some of the implements in our 'toy bag' in the past but wanted something a bit more 'classy' for the purpleheart paddle. So I enlisted Cora's skills and we located a dark red kitchen towel. She used some of her sewing Magick skills to turn it into an appropriate sized bag and even applied a draw string. I think you will see how nicely it matches the paddle.
What to do with the leftover stock? Well, my thoughts were to make Cora a purpleheart paddle she could carry in her purse (can you ever have too many paddles?). For the design I took inspiration from a paddle we obtained from the Disciplinary Wives Club, a model they call 'Old Reliable'. Thier paddle is made of 3/4 inch oak and is similar to a hairbrush without bristles. I scaled down the dimensions to fit the 8 inches of purpleheart stock I had left over.
The construction of this paddle is almost identical to the purpleheart paddle described above, except that it was left 1/2 inch thick overall with no taper applied. The shaping and finishing were done at the same time the other paddles was made, which saved quite a bit of time in the set-up of the tools.
The finished paddle weighs only 5.6 oz. but has an amazing impact. I thought this paddle would be mostly 'for fun' and to 'show off', but it appears that it can (and probably will) be used for some serious discipline if needed while away from home. Cora showed it off at last Sunday's SMTR Tea and it received great reviews. I was present when one of the women tested in on her hand. I think she smacked her palm harder than indended and probably felt it for a few hours after.
As with the purpleheart paddle above, I thought that a protective bag would be beneficial. This would protect the paddle from sharp objects in her purse and would allow a bit of privacy so that Cora could control who sees it and who does not. When I used to travel for my work, one of the hotels I used to stay at was right next to a liquor outlet. They sold bags of the 'Crown Royal' bags. I had purchased a number of these bags as they work great for protecting microphones in my studio. The bag turned out to be perfect for the purse paddle.
I also constructed two wooden handled straps and will feature them in a subsequent post. As for now, I have been issued another 'Notice of Discipline' and must report of a spanking/paddling shortly.