Canoe Paddle

A single length of framing lumber will help you hone your skills with a spokeshave, a drawknife and a block plane.
By John Wilson
Pages: 32-40

From the August 2004 issue #142
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It was a bright summer’s day in 1993 at historic Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, N.H. My wife, Sally, and I were unexpectedly in town and noticed a craft show and demonstrations on the green. The area is famous for such crafts as coopering and building Windsor chairs and wooden boats. I’ve always been fascinated to watch skilled demonstrators, and this demonstration by boatbuilder Geoff Burke would not be a disappointment.

Burke captivated onlookers while he made a canoe paddle. Here was a familiar object being made with a few hand tools. The material was a straight-grained 2×6 plank of spruce commonly used for residential framing. The time it took him to carve the paddle: less than one hour.

From the August 2004 issue #142
Buy this issue now