Finishing a Paddle

I'm refinishing an old set of canoe paddles.  I have sanded them to bare wood.  Should I put a coat of epoxy on them and then varnish, or should I apply varnish to the bare wood?  I'm planning on using Interlux Schooner Varnish, if that matters... 

 Question Two - how the heck do you support paddles while finishing them?  I'm thinking about making a bracket with nails to grap the ends so I can cover the whole surface at one time.


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RE: Finishing a Paddle

I am really going to confuse you now.  Being a woodworker, I am always asked by friends if I can redo their paddles.  Greenland style doesn't use either, they get rubbed down with a danish oil (a varnish you apply with a rag), several coats.  Factory wood paddles just have a varnish on them, and handmade paddles have a THIN coat of epoxy (weight reasons I think) and then varnish.

As far as hanging them, I use tiny little cup hooks screwed into the end and hang them off this coat rack looking jig I made.  When I am done, I just unscrew them and put a drop of epoxy or super glue to seal the hole.


RE: Finishing a Paddle


As Kevin said, there are plenty of options.  If you really want them to survive, epoxy them and then varnish them.  It's not necessary though.  I'll say I personally don't like the feel of the boiled linseed oil or danish oil finishes, but that's a personal preference.  They are both easy to apply though and it's better than nothing.

I've seen greenland and euro paddles with just about every kind of finish you can think of, right down to my own lazy brand of no finish whatsoever.  


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