How To Make Wooden Kayak Paddles

Are you wondering how to make wooden kayak paddles? Kayak paddles can be made feathered (straight) or unfeathered for nominal cost. Lumber suppliers, yards or sawmills will have the wood needed to make kayak paddles. Hardwood, such as ash, can be substituted but will be heavier to work with.

Things you'll need:

  • Spruce
  • Jigsaw or band saw
  • Sander
  • Sand paper
  • Varnish or paint
  • Safety goggles
  • Block plane
  1. Look for spruce at the lumber supplier. Look for unwarped, knot free, straight grain spruce about 24-inches long for the blades. For the shaft, look for spruce that is eight-feet long with a thickness of up to 1 3/4-inches.
  2. Draw the paddle design on to the spruce. Use a pencil or marker to create your paddle design. For the rounded edges consider using a circular margarine or yogurt container lid to trace your design.
  3. Cut the form using your saw. Put on safety goggles before using the saw. Cut the form out using a jigsaw or band saw. Follow with a hand saw if needed. This will trim away edges you cannot remove using an electric saw.
  4. Draw a center line. Using a pencil, draw the center line to begin using the block plane. Remember, the center of the blade should be the thickest point.
  5. Use the block plane to plane the shaft (handle). Cut eight sides using the block plane. Follow with sandpaper to finish shaping the shaft into a rounded shape.
  6. Paint or varnish the paddle. Finishing the paddle will also add a layer of protection. Allow to dry completely.
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