c1878 York Sunbury Maliseet Paddle
Without a bandsaw in the city, a board of 6/4 Yellow Birch stock was hewn with an axe to get a rough outline. My experience with with Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) has been mixed as the wood is known to reverse grain frequently and is susceptible to much tearing of the wood fibres. Fortunately, this board was manageable and a rough blank was worked on .
In the meantime, the York Sunbury Museum has since changed its name to the Frederiction Regional Museum and better resolution pics were graciously supplied by a museum visitor. So this year the paddle was re-evaluated and the symmetry worked on some more. The blade was narrowed and the grip touched up to the best it was going to be. It was tested out with other designs on a quick daytrip and functions surprisingly well even though the original was commissioned as a tourist carving. The pointed tip makes the entry quite silent
Birch Maliseet on the left
Over the last few weeks I've been burning the blade and grip using a narrow writing nib at high heat to mimic the original, complex pattern. Here are the photos before oiling...
After a few coats of oil, the thirsty wood has taken on a much more golden colour and the paddle finally complete. That took a long while!
c1878 Maliseet Replica