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Basswood or Cedar for Greenland Paddle

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Forum topic by Letorix posted 1038 days ago 1835 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Letorix

119 posts in 1109 days


1038 days ago

I’d like to make my Dad some Greenland paddles for Christmas, at the rate I move I need to get started.

Is it light enough? The ones I’ve seen are made of cedar.

Anyone have any really clear cedar or basswood for making nice paddles?


6 replies so far

View Arminius's profile

Arminius

304 posts in 2409 days


#1 posted 1038 days ago

Cedar is widely recommended, but basswood paddles are very well liked for the feel they develop – including for a Greenland.

By weight, red cedar will be a little lighter than basswood, white cedar will be a little heavier.

My preference is for beefier species like maple and ash for canoe and kayak paddles, but I have never made a Greenland, my use is primarily rivers.

View Letorix's profile

Letorix

119 posts in 1109 days


#2 posted 1036 days ago

Any other woods? My Dad showed me 2 paddles one was cedar and almost twice the weight of the other. He is trying to find out what type of wood it is.

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Arminius

304 posts in 2409 days


#3 posted 1035 days ago

Take a look at this blog, and some of the ones it links to…Paddlemaking

just on this page alone he has canoe paddles from cherry, birch, poplar, and walnut, including some multi-species laminates, and mentions a basswood kayak paddle. From softwoods, pine, spruce, and redwood have all been used. It all comes to balancing weight versus strength. Typically, Greenland paddles are made with lighter species because they take relatively little load, which is the case for most sea kayak paddles. If you use a lighter wood, you just need to look a clear straight grain board for the blank.

I have only ever made paddles meant for fast-moving rivers, where the paddle will sometimes have to take as much of your weight as possible plus momentum, as you reach into an eddy to pull the canoe across the eddy line. That can snap a lighter paddle, but unless you use a sea kayak in heavy tidal/wave conditions, you just won’t see those forces.

View Den's profile

Den

91 posts in 1795 days


#4 posted 1022 days ago

I have used cedar (red) and Redwood, and I think Redwood is lighter than Cedar. That’s just my opinion

View Letorix's profile

Letorix

119 posts in 1109 days


#5 posted 1019 days ago

Hi Den, Where did you get the red cedar?

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6123 posts in 1406 days


#6 posted 1019 days ago

I always use 2X6s for all my Greenland Paddle needs…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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