my first one I did with wrc. what else works nice other than cedar?
Not as pretty as cedar and not usually as light, but strong and readily available. If you haven’t seen this yet, check it out:
I will use poplar for my next one. My woodshop mentor’s got a good, 8’ piece to use.
WRC Best All All Around…
Redwood actually is close though it splinters a tad more easily. Can’t push Redwood though in good “green” conscience…
And having been to British Columbia
I can’t really push WRC with a clear conscience, either. The difference being that cedar is a lot more common than redwood.
The toughest paddle I’ve ever made was a white pine and aspen laminate. It’s seen a lot of years, a lot of miles and quite a bit of abuse, and still looks fine. It was definitely harder to carve than cedar, but I’ll have it a good long time.
But my favorite paddle is a laminate of sitka spruce, white cedar and red cedar in 5 layers in two different dimensions that gives a striped pattern:
I made two of them. One for me, and one for my better half. The colors are reversed on hers, and the white cedar and sitka were replaced with white pine and poplar.
Spruce will also make a nice
greenland paddle. It is stronger than WRC and can be almost as light. I get my spruce from a small local lumber mill and the guy wants to just give me the boards.
my local lumber yard sells ‘lumberyard spruce’ boards, they’re cheap. i glued up a blank from a 1x6 i found that had few knots and got a nice 34 oz paddle out of it. i paid about $4 for the board.
Poplar, pine and ash
worked well for one I made. The shaft was poplar surrounded in pine fading to all poplar blades with ash tips. The poplar heartwood gave it a nice purple color.
I’d avoid it for paddle/boat making. Someone else can probably comment on it’s other properties - as I suspect these also may make it unfavorable for paddles.
Thanks for the heads up
The board is free, so maybe I’ll get better at basic woodworking even if the paddle doesn’t last. MJE mentioned that a boatbuilder named Rob White uses it on his boats, so I did a Google search and turned up this discussion:
Which tends to support your statement, still, it’ll be interesting to work with a different type of wood.
I’ve still got that huge wrc plank I bought last year, but it’s got some knots and weird grain directions.