Standup Paddleboard Paddles #6: Paddles #3 and 4 and I finally get to use my Dowelmax

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Blog entry by Bob Babcock posted 12-01-2007 03:29 AM 5428 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Time for the water. Part 6 of Standup Paddleboard Paddles series no next part

I’ve decided I really like making paddles. Very creative outlet and not only is it artistically challenging but the dynamics of the blade design are really interesting as well.

I’ve got 5 paddles in the works at the moment but #3 is different from my earlier ones. Straight shaft, teardrop, no laminations, dovetail. I added some geometric woodburning, somewhat primitive looking. It also has a channel, kind of the reverse of a dihedral feeding into the dovetail.

Paddle #3

I put in 8 3/8” dowels for strength along the blades.
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The Dowelmax is awesome. This is just the most basic of uses for it but it made perfect indexing easy. I can’t wait to test it out on some more complex geometry.
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Glued and clamped with mahogany banding.
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Handle glued up
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Primitive shaft grip
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Blade graphic
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Channel and dovetail
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I need to shape the handle and I plan on glassing the shaft. The blade will just get epoxy. Then the whole thing a marine varnish for UV protection..

Paddle # 4

Paddle #4 is a 5 strip cedar and 1 strip mahogany laminated shaft with a 12 deg bend at the blade. The teardrop blade is poplar. I’ve removed a lot more material from this one and it’s the lightest by far. This one is intended to be my surfing paddle. I’ve built in a slight concave to the face of the blade to catch the water more (at least that’s the idea). I’m testing a lot of blade face shapes. I want this light, fast and able to accelerate the board quickly for catching waves.

It has a nice flex but is still plenty strong. I pulled and pushed on it very hard to see how it will stand up. Well beyond what it normally be pushed to on the waves. I figured it would be better to know how tough it is before I bother doing any epoxy and glassing.

I still have the handle to do and the finishing work but I think I’m really going to like this one. Not only the performance but looks as well. I haven’t decided on any woodburning yet.

It would be even lighter done all in cedar. That’s the plan for my wifes which will be #6

Slightly concave blade face
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I put a coat of epoxy on the back of the blade since I had some left over from gluing the handle.
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-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

10 comments so far

View YooperCasey's profile


58 posts in 3798 days

#1 posted 12-01-2007 04:00 AM

Very nice Bob! I really like how the laminations work with the grain popping out next to the burnt in art. Wall hangers or to be used?

-- Casey, Engineer, Escanaba, MI

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4001 days

#2 posted 12-01-2007 04:06 AM

Great, Don! I’m glad you got to use Dowelmax!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3987 days

#3 posted 12-01-2007 04:18 AM

Bob , you’ve got a knack for these products. Stay with it, I enjoy your prespective on decoratiing them too.
Very inspirational.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3948 days

#4 posted 12-01-2007 04:54 AM

Very nice work. Looks like a fun way to make sawdust ! do you use a stationary belt sander to form the contours?

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3927 days

#5 posted 12-01-2007 05:01 AM

These are really unique, Bob. I especially like the way you are using the wood burning to accent your work. I know a little about canoe paddles but not a thing about these except you are making some very good ones.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4051 days

#6 posted 12-01-2007 07:14 AM

Thanks all.

I use my drawknife to do the rough shaping and a spokeshave to get it closer. I then use a hand held belt sander and rasps to get the final shape and smooth it with a ROS to 120. I leave it a liitle rough to give the epoxy something to grab. It soaks in about 1/64th. I usually do 3 coats epoxy and then 2 of a good marine spar varnish. A very tough finish. These are likely to get banged around on the rocks occasionally.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4104 days

#7 posted 12-01-2007 08:57 AM

Bob -

Excellent entry. Very interesting. I think you have found a niche! I suspect these are going to be very popular and highly sought after among the stand up paddling community.



View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#8 posted 12-01-2007 12:34 PM

awesome.. and yes, it’s fun to “hear” you light up about this new venture.

and the DowelMax—I was wondering when we were going to hear about your prize!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Andy's profile


1691 posts in 3873 days

#9 posted 12-03-2007 07:28 PM

I love these and will have to try it out.First I need to make a set of oars for my boat,I am still using an old set.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4264 days

#10 posted 12-12-2007 06:53 PM

I feel kind of ashamed of myself.

I finally took some time, & went through your whole paddle series.

I really like the end products. They keep getting nicer, & well designed.

You have a keen eye for designing.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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