Looking into carving my first GP paddle - and I’m searching hard to find some good wood in the Toronto area.
I hit the big-box stores and what an adventure that is - every single piece of pine and cedar is riddled with knots. Can anyone recommend a lumber yard/store where I can get some good quality (pine/cedar/sitka spruce) knot-free wood in the GTA?
Did you check the cedar fence posts (4X4)? Often they are clear with good grain. Smaller pieces are often junk in the box stores.
I usually have to get a 4X4 and cut it down in size with a bandsaw or table-saw, orienting for the best grain.
If you are very lucky you might get two paddle blanks out of one post.
Cedar 4x4 for paddle blanks
I second what Greg said.
Look for the best straight grained 4x4. Then, bandsaw it into two blanks with proper vertical grain orientation. May have to visit a couple of quality lumber yards if you can’t find such a 4x4 at a box store.
You could go wider as well
It’s worth looking at 2X8s - 2X12s as well. You might be able to find a 3 1/2 X 84" section in there. I’ve cut strips & laminated for the couple of paddles that I’ve built.