- Measuring, marking, and cutting accurately
- Identifying wood species
- Working with the grain
- Using patterns
- Applying varnish
Most of our students opt for a laminated paddle, glued up from strips of different wood species they select for color and grain. After the initial glue-up, the builders use a pattern to establish blade and grip shape, using a bandsaw to remove the bulk of the stock. Several accurate guidelines are established, and each student carves the paddle down to its final shape using a few sharp hand-tools such as a spokeshave, block plane, and rasp. After some final sanding, the paddles are ready for varnish to protect and enhance the appearance of the wood.