Paulownia for paddle wood

I just started getting into making paddles.  I used the Greenland plans I got from here.  Been able to make a decent paddle.  Problem is in getting decent wood.  I have a couple sources for cedar but trying to get a 2x4 without knots is impossible.  I do have some clear ordered.  So...I read about paulownia being light weight.  Any one heard of it before?  Of any use for paddles?

A quote from Wikipedia, "fine grained soft and warp resistant properties also make Paulownia wood exceptionally suited for making wooden surfboards. "

Weight listed as 17-21# per cf.  I've read red cedar is around 23# per cf.

Just put in an order and will have a couple pieces next week. 

 Kim


9 replies:

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RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

Hi Kim, My daughter is building a shearwater 14 hybrid and using paulownia to strip the deck. She's using it to speak to both the light weight and sustainability of the wood. It renews in 5 years as opposed to cedars 25 and mills, sands and takes glue and epoxy well. I'm carving a greenland paddle out of paulownia now and laminated ash to the edges as paulownia is quite soft. Best of luck and thanks for considering a sustainable wood. SEEYA Jack

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

I used Paulownia to strip my Shearwater 17 Hybrid and it looks great, is cheap to buy, good to work with and has a very low density.

I plan on using the same wood for a future full strip kayak.

Cheers

Paul

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

Could you tell me your sources for Paulownia?  It is costing me $30 per 2x4. 

Thanks

Kim

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

Groffs Lumber in Quarryville, Pennsylvania sell Paulownia for under 3USD per board foot, comapred to Cedar which I think was approaching 6USD per BF.

 

Cheers

Paul

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

paulownia is an excellent light wood for both paddles and boats. You may read more about paulownia at www.paulownianow.org

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

My red cedar 2x4, cut from a 4x4 fence post weighed 12 lbs. I have  a stout paddle made from this down to 46 oz.  Paddles I've weighed are 22 to 35 oz.  So I have a ways to go yet. 

I have a white cedar with knots weighing 9 lbs.

My Paulownia weighs in at 6 lbs. 4 oz. 

Very very promising. 

Unfortunately the piece I got was not any good and is being shipped back.

Just put in an order at Groffs listed above.  Is there much difference between kiln dried or air dried?  I've been told kiln has a moisture content maybe 6% compared to air at 12%.  Big factor?  Non factor?

I think I have room for another tree in the yard.  I will most likely even plant one. 

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

We have well tended Paulownia Elongata timber for sale right here in the USA (Kentucky). Email gandhstringer@newwavecomm.net for your paulownia needs.

RE: Paulownia for paddle wood

Paulownia was great to work with for the construction of our first Greenland paddles while waiting for our Shearwater kits to arrive.  It was easy to work with, very smooth, and it feels much lighter than our carbon fiber paddles.  I'll probably never buy a paddle again.

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