Friday, November 9, 2012

MHS Voyageur Paddle Replica: Part 2

Been slowly working on my replica of the Minnesota Historical Society paddle (dated to 1839) supposedly belonging to a voyageur...




The blade was pretty much done (see Part 1 here) but some final shaping of the grip and shaft was necessary...

Partially completed paddle on the shave horse

The grip area was shaped with a knife to form the rounded top similar, but not identical, to the lipped top of the original. The whole paddle was left a bit rougher since I'm trying to get better relying on just a carving technique so many of the knife marks are still there - something that I can accept with this paddle replica. Here's a pic of the paddle wetted to raise the grain


Wetting to raise grain - classic cherry colour


The only decoration on the original paddle is the incised grip area. Took a pencil and sketched out my own version of the decoration with a few subtle differences in the pattern. Instead of adding the initials "W.D." which appear in the middle of the grip, I've left this section blank and may add in some initials later. The pencil graphite reflected a lot flash if a straight-on picture was taken, so the following pic is set a bit on an angle...

Pencil sketch of decoration pattern on grip


About 45 minutes of basic burning and the paddle was ready for its first coat of oil. Took advantage of the first bit of afternoon sun we've seen in over 10 days to get some pics. Here's the completed paddle below but it'll have to wait until next season to be used.

Completed c1839 Minnesota Voyageur Paddle Replica




3 comments:

John G said...

Beautiful work!

Murat said...

Thanks John!

Matt Forster said...

I am curious how some of these older style paddles compare performance-wise with the beaver tails and otter tails that folks use today...

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