I might mix a batch of a thin, slow
setting epoxy, like West 105/206, and try to get it between the laminations. If the lamination breaks are small, I would try to squirt the mixed epoxy in between with a syringe. (Unfortunately, legal syringes are less effective than medical syringes.) After it is in as deep as possible, you will need to “work” the layers to spread the epoxy inside.

If the delamination is deeper, you can drill very small holes near the inner border of the delamination, and squirt the epoxy in through those holes. When you think the inside spread is as good as you can get it, clamp the layers together. Obviously vinyl gloves and masking are a good idea.

I don’t know if this will work for very long. I guess you love the paddle, but it might be time to look at some others.

repairing laminated canoe paddle
I second g2d’s suggestion of using a syringe and thin epoxy.

Some paint stores sell a “wall paper” syringe that is used to squirt glue under wall paper to reglue spots that are pulling away, It has a metal tip that I find more useful than the plastic tips on the disposable syringes. Clean with vinegar before the epoxy sets and the syringe is reusable many times.

When using epoxy don’t clamp too hard as you don’t want to squeeze out too much epoxy. Clamp with enough pressure to bring the two surfaces together and stop there.

Epoxy used in repairing paddle breaks and splits frequently doesn’t flow absolutely throughout the break/split/delamination. After the epoxy dries I use superglue on the narrowest portion of the breakk/split/delamination where it is too narrow for the epoxy to reach. Last, I varnish the surface for additional sealing to keep future water out and to protect from UV rays. Wood paddles are well served if the paddle edge is inspected frequently and touched up as needed with varnish to keep water out of the end grain.


The 1st two suggestions are good
Another option for a stronger repair (stronger than the paddle originally was) is to apply a layer of fiberglass cloth (4-6 oz.) on each side of the blade. This would be done using the same epoxy described for the repair. The glass would not need to cover the entire blade, only from the tip to the top of the split(s). If you need further instructions for how to go about this, email me at .

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom Paddles and Woodstrip Canoes

many times it’s possible to spread …

– Last Updated: Jun-01-10 4:13 PM EST –

....... a crack (or de-lam) just a little with a good hardwood shim or two , very sharp on one end . A couple of shims like this may aid you in openning the split some to make it easier to get a good epoxy fill in the split . Just be careful not to make the crack open too much so as to not have the split grow too much (unless you want it to) . Usually this is a very controlable thing because the wood gives some and can take the pressure before spliting much more .

Sometimes I'll use the shims to completely open a crack until it splits all the way off and seperates ... then reglue .
Doubtful you would want to do that for a minor seperation of a laminate joint in the blade though .

Setting up a simple plywood jig to carry the paddle so you can use a table saw and run the jig and paddle against the fence is a way cut out a section wider than the laminated seam (or a crack) ... and fill in with a new piece of wood (which after epoxying in needs to be sanded back down to the existing blade surface) .

The jig is made by simply keeping the center line of the paddle an equal measurement from one side of the plywood (making sure that plywood edge extends a little wider (1-1/2"-2") than the blade edge - this allows for the blocks on the fence side and the ply to run against the fence) ... expoxing little blocks around the blades perimeter (and a few up the shaft) , hold the paddle in place on the plywood . 5 minute epoxy gets those blocks stuck in place fast (only expoxy to the ply not the paddle - the paddle floats inside the block pattern) . Then just shim under the blade to keep it flat (level) , and glue those shims in place too . Neither the blocks nor the shims have to be glued with any perfection (just a little expoxy on them and stick them down on the ply while holding the paddle still .

When you cut , just run the ply and the paddle together into the table saw blade as far as you want to go .