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Attempting to make a couple of paddles

Love those contrasting wood colors. Looking great for a first attempt!

I'm hoping to try my hand some day, but haven't even gone so far as buying lumber yet, just a lot of reading. If only the house and yard would stop needing attention....
Personally, the one under utilized or even mentioned power tool that is simply awesome for making paddles is a hand held power planer.

In my shop I had a Ryobi power planer kicking around the shop that just never seemed to have a use. Once I started hogging off wood for paddle making,I decided to give it a try. The high rpm doesn't care if it's hardwood or soft, has minimal tear out and it is very easy to create whatever camber you want.

I don't actually any other jobs I typically use the power planer for, but I reckon it is the ideal hogging and shaping tool to use for paddle blades.

I love my power planer!
I'm still picking at the paddles, every now and then when I can. I've got my wife's 57" paddle to 29oz. IMG_20220801_202117972~2.jpgI started working on my paddle which is 60" long. I've got it down to 32 oz so far. I ordered some 4oz E-glass cloth.
I'm hoping to have them done by end of next week. Camping trip next month, and I want to use my paddles.
Finished these paddles Monday, and tried them out while camping.IMG_20220912_145136245~2.jpgMy wife says she likes her paddle. She has been using a plastic and aluminum one for past couple of years. She said that she can feel the buoyancy in it when she plunges it in.IMG_20220916_172807452__exported_697_1663371009683~2.jpgIMG_20220916_141317639~2.jpgLots of ski boats and run abouts on this lake, and 80+ degrees. We go in the morning and get off the water by noon.IMG_20220827_193434.jpg About to hot to have a fire.
I made a similar paddle from white ash, black walnut and mahogany 40 years ago. I used strips about one inch wide. The paddle is very strong and has stood up to rivers. It is very helpful to have a model paddle you really like to use as a guide. You want the shaft to fill your hand and it does not need to be round, but more oblong. The grip can be assymetrical. The blade can taper from the center to the ends.

I like to just varnish them. I have used a little epoxy on the bottom of the blade over the years.