Friday, March 19, 2010

Feel of the Paddle

Get ready for some stunning paddle photos. After coming across this thread at the Song of the Paddle forums and the full set of pics on Flickr, I knew I had to post them on the site. These ash beauties were made by Tim over in the UK.

Tim is in the process of setting up as a wooden canoe builder & paddle maker and should have a website soon. Judging by the looks of his paddles and gorgeous BN Morris replica he'll be in high demand. If anyone is interested in contacting or purchasing some of his work, you can get in touch through the Song of the Paddle thread mentioned earlier or by email.

I think I speak for everyone when we say more photos PLEASE!


BADGER® Paddles said...

Oh my what BEAUTIFUL pictures! Gorgeous ash paddles too. I think ash is just as beautiful as cherry as I have seen many spectacular grain patterns on ash. But cherry seems to be more popular for the most part. I wonder if it is a weight issue..... thoughts??
Anyway, that first picture of the paddles in the giant hands is so enchanting!!!

Murat said...

They are stunning, aren't they? You're right about cherry being more popluar in paddles today. Funny thing is that cherry seems to have been rarely used by First Nations as a paddle wood. Much more common were ash, maple, even basswood. The majority of surviving Eastern canoe paddles in museums seem to be maple. I think people are drawn to the natural darker tone of cherry wood even though interesting grain patterns are much more obvious in ash. Have to mention though that the grain really stands out in your funky watercoloured paddles...also very eye-catching.

Personally, I've never favoured ash because I find the open grain on the grips uncomfortable in the long run, even when well sanded. Plus it isn't really the nicest wood for pyrography work, but that's just a personal choice. Tim's pics make me want to re-consider.

Tim said...

Thanks for your comments, I find wood canoes/paddles and cameras go very well together.

I've been favouring ash for making paddles because it is strong, hard wearing, has a nice amount of flex and a prominent and often very attractive grain pattern.

I think the comfort of the grip is a very important feature in a paddle. How it feels in your hand is one of the main deciding factors in how you feel about your paddle and shouldn't be under estimated. The open grain of ash can make the grip harder to shape but its something I spend time over to get right. Oiling the paddle regularly should ensure it remains a pleasure to hold.

Ash, maple, cherry and walnut are all good choices and I'm happy to use which ever a client prefers.

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