Paddle building

 I am building a chesapeake 14 and would like to build paddles as well. What wood would be a good choice for the shaft and blades? I will try ro use the left over fiberglass fabric over the blades. any help or suggestions. 

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RE: Paddle building

Yacko --

What type of paddle are you making?  Greenland (sometimes called eskimo) paddles are easy to make and can be made from just about any light, clear (no knots) straight-grained wood.  I've made them from cheap pine from a Home Depot, and from good quality cypress.  A 2x6 of the desired length gives you all the wood you need.  They're pretty easy to make -- I used just a saw, a draw knife, and sandpaper.  Use Google to search the web and you'll find a lot of information about building your own.

     -- Jim


RE: Paddle building

This clarifies the entire paddlemaking process.  Try to use vertical grained (aka quartersawn) western red cedar. It costs 20 bux for a 2x4, but considering what you'll put in in terms of time it is welll worth it... and it smells so much better than whitewood.

RE: Paddle building

Whiskeyjack does nice stuff with wood. This interview gives a couple glimpses into what he does to turn out his paddles.

RE: Paddle building

thanks i was able to find just what i wanted on line

RE: Paddle building

Care to share?

RE: Paddle building

search on kayak paddle then goto Oars and Paddles Free Woodworking Plans and Projects

very nice plans for paddles both for canoes and kayaks. douglas fir shaft

and plywood blades

RE: Paddle building

thanks for this post...

...i've spent some time researching

and have a pine blank i've used in the past.

i was inspired to make a greenland style paddle

with a few leftover red and white cedar strips

from our petrel project.

the paddle is 92 inches long

is very light and feels great in the grip!

...can't wait to try it out.

i used the same pattern as on the deck

and although it looks very homemade

i think it will paddle well

and it looks like it belongs with the boat!

thanks for the inspiration...


RE: Paddle building

I love the Greenland paddle I ordered on Ebay (sorry to confess I did not make one--didn;t have time).  It is western red cedar with a long length of ash about two inches wide inlaid along both sides of the shaft.  The result is a paddle strengthened by the ash in the middle third where you grip it, but mostly cedar so very light.  One addition I would recommend which the Micmac and Innuit were wise enough to put on original Greenland paddles had, and which contemporary makers leave out:  a hard edge on the blades.  The ends tend to encounter stones and sand and get bitten and worn down if they are soft cedar.  They used bone;  were I to make a paddle, and I hope to do so soon, I would cap the blade ends with locust.  A 'refractory' wood, but if you work with it green like a fresh cut branch, it is actually quite soft.  Once dry locust is hard as a rock, and virtually invulnerable. Here in Virginia there are locust fenceposts that have survived direct contact with dirt and water, untreated and unpainted, for 150 years.  Locust is a beautiful golden yellow. I used some as a stempost on my Wood Duck  and on the stern where it tends to get scrapd when I upend it to dump out water, or drag it onto the car top.  When the rest of my Wood Duck is matchsticks, the locust stem and stern will remain.         

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