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Bored, so I made a paddle

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Standing in my barn the other day, I was looking for a fun project so I gathered a few pieces of cast-off wood and glued up a paddle blank. Paddles made from lots of different materials/pieces don't really appeal to me, but I wanted to try out a new (to me) paddle blade shape, so I put together two types of wood to make a paddle.

I had a long rip of black walnut that I had saved; approximately 8' long x 1 1/8" wide x 3/16" thick. My thought was to sandwich this between two long strips of tiger maple salvaged from an old four-poster bed canopy frame, with this glue-up as the shaft/spine of the paddle. The blade was made by ripping a 5" x 3/4" plank- also tiger maple- down the middle and glueing these to the 'spine'. Finally, two small blocks glued to the spine to form a grip blank completed the glue-up.

When fully glued and cured, I traced the blade from a Turtle Paddle Works paddle onto the blank and also used a grip pattern of my own design to rough out the grip.

Here is the result.

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I tend to keep all kinds of left over materials. For most, the materials would have been destined for the dumpster so it’s gratifying to make something useful and pleasing out of what would otherwise be junk. Once the boiled linseed oil treatment cures somewhat I will see how i like it on the water.

I do not own a scale, but it ‘feels’ reasonably light compared to my other paddles. I keep making paddles with thinner shafts & blades- looking for that point where light weight and fragility finally clash!
 
Looks great, Patrick!

I keep making paddles with thinner shafts & blades- looking for that point where light weight and fragility finally clash!

If I had your woodworking (and hence reproductive) skills, I wouldn't worry about the clash and go for light weight and proper balance.
 
Very nice with an appealing contrast of wood. Great Result! Patrick, just the other day while ordering George Kirby paint I actually came across one of the testimonials on their website which of course was your testimonial. This is where I learned that I ordered the same "Grayling Gray" paint that you ordered and applied on one of your canoes. Small world.
 
I actually came across one of the testimonials on their website which of course was your testimonial. This is where I learned that I ordered the same "Grayling Gray" paint that you ordered and applied on one of your canoes. Small world.
I hope you will be similarly pleased with the color! It's interesting how the light affects the color 'value' of this paint. In my barn, shaded from direct sunlight, it appears to be a putty or buff color similar to the almond of my original w/c canoe. Outside in daylight, it's muted gray/green color comes out. Unfortunately I don't think Kirby's has posted the picture of my finished canoe in Grayling Grey. The photos on their site of the painted canoe upside down on horses in the barn don't do it justice. For my current Chestnut Chum restoration I'm using a Kirby custom mixed color to mimic Chestnut Grey... or at least my interpretation of it.
 
I hope you will be similarly pleased with the color! It's interesting how the light affects the color 'value' of this paint. In my barn, shaded from direct sunlight, it appears to be a putty or buff color similar to the almond of my original w/c canoe. Outside in daylight, it's muted gray/green color comes out. Unfortunately I don't think Kirby's has posted the picture of my finished canoe in Grayling Grey. The photos on their site of the painted canoe upside down on horses in the barn don't do it justice. For my current Chestnut Chum restoration I'm using a Kirby custom mixed color to mimic Chestnut Grey... or at least my interpretation of it.
Two coats of the primer are on the chestnut and awaiting the paint. Very excited to see the result of the Grayling Grey. The color choice just seemed to pop out at me so the decision was rather easy. I will post a photo eventually when the canoe is finished.
 
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