Sunday, August 30, 2009

Making Canoe Paddles!

Grant and I went to St. Cloud State a few weeks ago and Evan Parkhouse showed us how to make bent-shaft canoe paddles! We still have more work to do to finish them but here's our progress so far!

The first day of paddle making we glued together six pieces of wood.

Here's the end of the paddle where the handle will eventually be. You can see the six layers of wood.

Then once we had the glue on all the pieces we clamped them into the form you see on the left. We're making bent shaft paddles and that's how you get the bend in

This is the bend in the paddle after it dried. The layers of wood vary in sizes so it tapers down to the blade. The bend needs to be the strongest part of the paddle so it needs the most wood there.

Here's mine after it's all dry and bent ;)

After the glueing and bending we used the band saw to even off the edges of the wood.

We had to saw off both sides so they were even and then made it angle a little at the end of the handle so it was skinnier there.

The paddle after evening off the edges.

Next we put pieces together and glued them on for the blade. Then we clamped it down to this form (there was an outline on it so we roughly knew the shape it should be). We also glued pieces on for the handle.

After glueing the blade and handle pieces on we clamped it overnight to let it dry. That is Grant's paddle above. Mine had a space in it that didn't get clamped well enough the first day so we re-glued it and let it sit again. I still have to put the blade pieces on mine :)Here's a slideshow with captions that show our progress so far:


  1. Now that is cool! Some day you will be paddling with paddles you made yourself! Another art being developed for the two of you! Nicely done!


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