Greenland paddle problem

Here’s a question for all you experienced paddler carvers and woodworkers:

A couple of days ago I inherited a beautiful red cedar 2x4 that had spent 40 years holding up someone’s ceiling. The only problem: several nail-holes.

I carved a GP blank, avoiding most of the nail-holes, but two holes still remain. Now that I have beveled the blank, these holes are still there in the narrow edge, just outside the loom, probably about 1/4" in depth.

I can think of three options at this point. Please add/comment as you see fit:

  1. Leave them and saturate them with extra tung oil when I do the finishing.

  2. File them out, making gouges in the paddle.

  3. Fill them with epoxy or some similar stuff.

    Any suggestions? Thanks very much in advance.

Fill 'em with
a thickened epoxy resin using some of your sawdust from the paddle making.

Add the sawdust to the already mixed resin carefully until you have a reasonable colour match.

Use a plastic spreader or flat spatula to remove the excess (proud) filler.

Anytime I’m filling a gap or makingg a fillet with thickened resin, I always apply a quick sealer coat of unthickened resin to the intended area. This allows good absorption into the wood and prevents any starvation when the thickened material is applied. Just let the seal coat flash so its not real tacky and then fill the holes up with your sawdust thickened material. You now have an excellent chemical bond.

Pleasant waters to ya.


Good advice

Use Masking Tape
around the holes to minimize inadvertant epoxy spread into parts of the wood where you don’t want it.

Before the epoxy is totally dry, peel off the masking tape. Easier then than when epoxy dries. Then masking tape around the hole again and sand the epoxy filler flat.

It’s not a big deal. The epoxy filled area will actually be stronger. It, off course, will be slightly off color since it wont’ absorb the oil.


I have filled some holes
with epoxy. After you sand it flush with the wood and put a finish on the paddle it will be clear and transparent and look pretty neat.

Wood filler
Is there a problem with using just a normal wood filler before putting your finish on? Why go to the trouble of making an epoxy/saw dust mix?

Good advice so far.
Here is another idea.

Drill the nail hole throug with say, a 1/4" bit. Buy or fabricate a 1/4" dowell of cedar, and glue it in place with Gorilla glue. When dry, saw it off flush and sand to level. Then finish your paddle however you wish.

This may not be the most invisible repair, but it is good if you do not have epoxy resin handy.


At The "Edge"
where it may get banged up. The void could lead to a crack or splintering of the paddle. My experience with wood filler is that it is not as structurally strong as epoxy.


use masking tape
With a hole punch put a hole in the tape the same size, or slightly larger, as the nail hole tomake very neat job.