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How to Build a Simple Canoe Paddle

There are many different methods of building paddles, and each have their use.  Here I am going to post a very simple method that I use for building prototypes.  I use this method just to build the prototypes, then after thorough testing, if I decide to proceed with production, I use a more advanced and thorough building method.  For the do-it-yourself person, this method will give you a very quick and easy method to build your own paddle prototypes. 
Strait From the Dog's Mouth


"Occasionally stop at the portages to climb the hills and take in the view. "
A hardwood dowel trimmed at the end to provide a flat surface to glue the blade will make the shaft. 
The blade halves are cut from 1 inch birch, 65 cm long. 
Mark and trim to shape on a table saw. 

Trim the blade halves to 11 cm wide, with a 26 cm long throat. 
Sand the glue edge on a belt sander to ensure a square edge and a solid fit. 
Line up the blade halves with the shaft.  Wet all surface areas to be glued. 
Spread on a thin layer of gorilla glue and clamp tightly in a vice.  Let it cure for 24 hours. 
Plane the blade to the desired thickness, I prefer around 1cm for an all wood paddle.  I do thin more for a glass coated paddle. 
I did not take any pictures of the cutting and gluing on the grip, but it is the same process as with the blade. 
The paddle should be well sanded, and should start looking close to the finished product. 
A few coats of polyurethane gloss will give good protection.  Be certain to keep wiping up all the drips on the paddle or it will not look very good.  Let each layer of the polyurethane dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. 
The finished product looks like this. 












There is nothing quite so satisfying as building your own paddle. 

Give it a try and send me a picture of your finished paddle. 
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