Here's my attempt at replicating the circa 1900 Painted Penobscot paddle with its curvy, slender grip. The blank was sawn out of large 8/4 Sassafras board which I first ripped into a thinner board on the bandsaw and then shaped the blank. Unfortunately the blade broke when cutting this out I couldn't seem to cut properly with the replacement...too much wander. I have to figure out how to tweak this hand-me-down tool but power tools are bugging me lately. I'm feeling much more comfortable with hand tools anyway and so this paddle was again worked down with an axe and spokeshave. A crooked knife and a rasp were used to reshape the grip and correct the mistakes when cutting out the blank.
The hacked out blank
Sassafras really is a nice wood to work it. It carves so nicely and gives off a wonderful root beer like aroma, which is great if you love that smell.
Clamped to a work table to do some edge work
Here are some quick shots when the grain was wetted to reveal the muted colour of the wood.
I dabbled with the idea of making my own homemade paint with red ochre powder and linseed oil but remembered that we had some reddish paint leftover from the move into the new house. Below is a shot with a fresh coat which goes on very bright but eventually dries and fades to a more muted tone. Also shown is the original paddle along with a closeup up my replica's simple grip burnings and the final piece.
Original Paddles; Replica; Grip Closeup