A Pair of Hickory Mash Paddles

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Project by KnotCurser posted 04-21-2014 08:28 PM 3730 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These were created for a terrific customer living in Arizona.

I was asked if I could use Sweet Gum and while we DO have these trees on the east coast of the U.S., they are usually just ground up by tree trimmers or sold as firewood. I couldn’t locate a single plank locally so I suggested we use hickory instead as it is VERY dense and has a similar grain pattern to sweet gum.

The customer also wanted a specific hops flower pattern cut into the paddle area – very detailed and really nice. It was a huge chore using my scrollsaw to cut these as thick hickory is REALLY hard stuff!

Due to a width restraint in the lumber I selected, the only way for me to get two paddles out of the piece was to lay the paddles side by side and overlapping in opposite directions – and to chop the handles straight. Doh! I asked the customer if it were OK to get a free upgrade to walnut edge hand grips and was told “COOL”.

At 48 inches long, the paddles are a tad longer than my usual offerings. They are 1 inch thick.

The customer also requested no treatments at all – just bare wood.

I have to say that while these were some of the most difficult paddles to make because of the hardness of the hickory, they were also very fun and to see them finished was a treat!



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

4 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4733 days

#1 posted 04-22-2014 12:03 AM

Nice work Bob.
That is a really nice hops design, I can see why they liked it.

Hickory is tough stuff, I guess it will last. I have a sweet gum in my yard but have never seen any timber of it. Seems like it would be soft to me – it grows pretty fast and self destructs after 20 years.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4681 days

#2 posted 04-22-2014 04:38 AM

Very nice Bob! I have worked with hickory so I know how difficult it is to work with. We’ll worth the effort. Kooks like you are developing a niche market for these. Keep it going!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View scrollingmom's profile


1202 posts in 3315 days

#3 posted 04-23-2014 01:53 AM

Very nice and you sure went the extra mile for your customer, way to go.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3655 days

#4 posted 05-17-2014 10:57 AM

Those are way cool.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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