Beaver tail canoe paddle

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Project by Gibsonman posted 04-07-2017 01:46 AM 1462 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second paddle i have built with the first being out of a solid piece of cherry. I built this because i recently picked up a canoe and didn’t have a paddle that fit me right. I was really excited to get this canoe as it has been several years since i have been on the water. I was a professional canoe guide for 8 years until i switched to teaching a few years ago. I really enjoyed paddling but didn’t own a canoe so i haven’t been on the water since i switched jobs. Now that i have the paddle and canoe ready i hopefully can get out on some of our local waterways. The paddle was built out of walnut, cherry, and sassafras. I wanted to try my hand at a laminated paddle and i think this one turned out really well. I shaped most of the paddle using planes, rasps, and scrapers then finished with hand sanding. I was on spring break from school so i was able to knock this thing out in about 2 days. The finish took another 4 days. I used spar urethane to help keep the water and mud out. Thanks for looking.

7 comments so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4649 days

#1 posted 04-07-2017 02:39 AM

Whip me, beat me, paddl…......Uh oh, different kind of paddle. Very nice job on the paddle, you must be a fairly tall Guy!

View firefighterontheside's profile


21517 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 04-07-2017 02:55 AM

That’s a pretty paddle. How’s the weight?
Where did you guide?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Gibsonman's profile


50 posts in 2868 days

#3 posted 04-07-2017 03:07 AM

Yeah my preferred length of paddle does look a little long to most people. This one hits me in the chin. I like the longer paddles because with my long arms I can get nice long stroke.

I haven’t weighed the paddle but it’s not a featherweight. In hindsight I could have thinned the blade more, maybe on the next one. I didn’t guide anywhere exciting just around the area in southern Indiana. I worked for a small nature center and the canoe trips were used to get people out and educate them on the habitats and wildlife around them. A very enjoyable job just didn’t pay enough to support a family. I do miss it.

View firefighterontheside's profile


21517 posts in 3137 days

#4 posted 04-07-2017 03:14 AM

I’ve thought of making one. Maybe now I will after seeing yours. I used to work in the boundary waters and quetico park, not as a guide but for a canoe outfitter. I need to get back up there. I miss it. There was a Canadian guy up there that made awesome bent shaft paddles out of cedar. I asked him to make me a straight one and he said no because he said he didn’t believe in them.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View SchotterWoodworking's profile


113 posts in 4310 days

#5 posted 04-07-2017 11:37 AM

We will give it a test soon enough! Smallmouth are biting really well.

View bushmaster's profile


4147 posts in 3563 days

#6 posted 04-07-2017 03:03 PM

Many happy moments are coming soon and years to come. have a great time paddling.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4147 days

#7 posted 04-07-2017 06:37 PM

You have done a beautiful job on this paddle.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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