Loon Island Boatworks

The Paddle Project

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This is a group project with our Scout troop, maybe some day I'll learn to say "No", but projects like this tend to be enough fun to make the work worthwhile.

We started the project off by having the Scouts mark out their paddles in early March. We then scheduled ourselves a month to get the 18 paddles rough cut before picking up again starting in April. The goal is to complete the paddles before our year end canoe trip in June. We're only planning on 4 meetings of work on the paddles, but we wanted to give ourselves lots of padding in the schedule in case it doesn't go as quickly as we think it will.

For wood, we've chosen to work with Pine. While Pine certainly isn't the hardest wood to make a paddle out of, it is both relatively easy to work with and fairly inexpensive. Given the age (11 - 14) of the Scouts and the average woodworking experience of the group, we decided that Pine would be a good choice.

We're starting with rough cut Pine from a local mill. Most of the boards are 2"X6" X 10', with a couple of pieces that are 2" X 8" X 10'. Ideally we'll be able to get 2 paddles out of each board. However, we are working with a knotty pine, so we'll have to work around some knots as we layout the paddles.

The Paddle Project is laid out in the following sections:

Part 1 - Laying Out the Paddles

Part 2 - Planing and Shaping the Paddle's Blade, Shaft, and Grip

Part 3 - Sanding and Finishing the Paddles

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