Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ottertail - Walnut

Sorry for the delay, i hurt my arm and because of it the next post may take a bit as well.

I finally got a day off and decided to take a crack at the Ottertail walnut. I posted before about the importance of proper set up on tools and knowing how to sharpen your tools. I bought a Japanese combo water stone and touch up my tool only to find out they were super blunt. Using them now makes for easy work that is much more enjoyable. I also bought a new blade (better steel) for my spokeshave.

When i was canoeing a feel weekend ago i notice my normal paddle was a bit short when in the canoe alone. So  I focused on creating the perfect solo paddle; light, oiled, and a long paddle.

I also created a different grip, i don't know what kind of grip it just something i came up with. I also spent a lot more time on thinning out the blade. I found the last one i made, to heavy for long trips.

When i was thinning out the blade i found an old knot that was right in the center of the blade. Since i had planned to oil this one i wasn't sure what i was going to do. I decided that i would use the two part epoxy i bought for a future project and would fill the hole. I added some of the sawdust from the paddle into the mix and it made it look almost natural ( take a look at it in the final picture).

After some the regular sanding ( 60 grit, 90 grit, 120 grit), i cleaned up my workspace of shaving and dust and started the oiling process. Look great to me, i will have to try that new paddle oil that Murat posted about when i run out of the Tung oil that i bought.

If you ever want me to expanded on anything in my posts, throw me a quick comment and i will tell you what i know. I'm no expert but i have learned a few things along the way. 


  1. Hi Paul,

    Walnut is one of my favorite woods to work with, it's like carving in chocolate.

    A balanced paddle is equally important as a light one. The balance point should be at the shoulder, where the blade meets the shaft. An unbalanced paddle will feel awkward in the hand.

    Looking good

  2. Hi Mark,

    Couldn't agree with you more on both comments. Chocolate, both look and feel when caving are a perfect comparison. Funny you mention balance, cause all my other paddle balance at the neck. However this one is a bit off balance but it still feel super nice in the hand.Bout and 2 inches above the shoulder. Nice paddle on your site too ! The ones your make are pieces of art ! how do you put your logo on ?

  3. Logos are painted on by hand using a stencil.

  4. What diameter are you making the shafts? I make mine one inch.

  5. Hey Mark,

    Sorry i meant to send this along time ago. The shafts are an inch and as large as and inch and 1/2

    generally an inch and 1/4