When working on the old busted sassafras tripper, a scarf repair was attempted on the shaft so that the paddle could be salvaged into a user again.
A joint was cut and a sassafras cutoff was successfully glued up.
A new centre line was drawn on the upper portion and a squarish grip similar to a design at the Maine Hudson Museum was sketched out. After cutting out the profile, the grip was worked on vigorously with a crooked knife and rasp to get the desired "grip bumps" and angled edges.
The new grip
The blade had weathered after being exposed untreated to the elements for years. It had been positioned upside down in the garden along the east fence line. The back of the blade facing the yard hard had weathered to a light brown colour while the more exposed face weathered into a greyish black patina.
Different sides of the weathered blade
After the successful glue repair, the shoulder and shaft area of the original blade revealed that the underlying sassafras has turned its golden brown. Between the blade weathering, the darkened sassafras and the light creamy new sassafras grip, the paddle now has 3 distinct colour tones. Not sure at this stage if I'll leave the paddle as is or attempt to lightly stain the new sassafras to at least darken it a bit.
March 25, 2017 Update: Paddle shaft has been wrapped with leather and is now complete. See the final post HERE.