Making a Greenland Paddle with Hand Tools

Next, make a sea kayak or canoe from plans. That should keep you busy for 5 years.


That’s our Paul!

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Uhhh… Yes and no.

The “yes” part is that this winter I hope to start and finish my first skin on frame, a Cape Falcon F1, after that a Cape Falcon West Greenland!

As for the rate of my progress? I’m happy with it and I’m not interested in other people’s opinions of it.

This has been an incredible journey and I’ve touched many people with it, but speed was never my goal. There were entire season lost to life issues. Lets look at the last few episodes:

Part 18 - August 2021
19, 20 - Feb 2022
21 - June 2022
22 - July 2022
23, 24 - August 2022

Moving, travel and building a workshop have really taken a toll on the rate of the build. When you couple that with learning woodworking I’m exceptionally happy with the time it took.

It is on my schedule, not anybody else’s.

Will I building the kayaks with hand tools? No, after just briefly looking at the tools list, months ago, I know I’ll need to learn to use a table saw, which I have, but I’ll at least need to buy a plunge router and probably more.

Will I finish a boat before Spring? Who knows? Who cares? I’ve got some cousins who took their RV to Florida for a few weeks last winter, they stayed 4 or 5 months. Might just do that also.

Paul, take a breath, will ya? People are just teasing you a bit, not being critical. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Prospective paddle builders will learn a lot from your paddle-building journey and you should be justifiably proud of the progress you’ve made, and the skills you’ve learned. You obviously had a lot of fun with it, even when things weren’t going your way, and that’s what really matters. Well, that and the fact that your wife gets a nice paddle out of the deal!

Building an SOF is typically a week-long endeavor, with perhaps a bit of extra time after construction for the varnishing stage. I’ve build three - plus a partial rebuild on the first one - and all of them were great learning experiences. Mine were mostly-traditional Greenland-style builds, but the F1 is somewhat easier and simpler from what I gather. If nothing else, you’re building to a plan, as opposed to winging it based on body measurements, a basic process, and intuition (or lack thereof). The fact that all three of my boats actually floated and went more or less where I pointed them is a minor miracle! I’m sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy the boat building process too and can’t wait for the videos.

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This is the 25th and final episode in my series on making a Greenland kayak paddle entirely with hand tools, but really, start with #11.

In this episode I paddle with the paddle, thank all sorts of people, and hand off the paddle to the new owner!

Thanks everybody for your help and support along the way!


It was fun joining you on this journey and I’m happy that you found my book helpful. The point of writing it was to help people take the plunge and get into paddle making, which is a lot of fun. It’s truly gratifying to hit the water with a paddle you made yourself and is unique to you. You also pick up woodworking skills and build DIY confidence that will benefit you for a lifetime.

Congrats Paul!

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This Euro paddle gal really, really loves her new GP.

Sorry @Marshall. I might be a permanent convert. :wink:
Nah, still love my Lendal Storm. But the new paddle that @NotThePainter made for me is that “siren song” that I’m going to listen to.

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Thank you!

Head down to the QajaqUSA Greenland skills Delmarva camp in October near Rehoboth Beach and you can test paddle a range of SOF’s and GP’s. I just got back from the QTC in northern Michigan and this will be some of the same coaches and the organization’s gear fleet.

Speaking of hand tools, this year I spent one full day of camp in a workshop building a traditional Greenland target harpoon and norsaq (throwing board, like an atlatl). Tapered an 8’ long wooden closet pole using a block plane and drawknife and lots and lots of sandpaper. Went on to come in 3rd in the “seal hunt” floating bullseye competition! Now I have to final sand the “weapon” and put several coats of tung oil on it.

Would love to someday! I’m still a bit COVID-squeamish so don’t want to get that close to many people, even outdoors. Plus, I’ve never rolled and want some pool sessions first, and that isn’t going to happen soon.

What fun, I need to build me some and get my “seal.”

understandandable concern (covid.) We were asked to self- test before showing up, which I did, and I presumed other attendees complied. But the day after the event we all got an email from the organizers notifying us that several people felt ill when they left and tested positive. Even if all of us who registered tested negative before arriving, people traveled by various conveyances including flying, to get there and the camp staff prepared and served all the meals and who knows if they took any precautions.

I’ve tested negative twice since returning. I brought masks, and used them while traveling (like for the frequent stops at rural gas station convenience stores that I made on the 1000 mile roundtrip) but saw no masks at all at camp, and I was probably within 2 feet of every attendee at some point over the 4 days, though mostly outdoors.

I’m possibly one of the rare naturally immune people, though I have 4 vaccines by now and plan to get the new one when it is available. I still mask in many places I frequent since our city still has “”moderate” infection levels. I admit I was still queasy at times about the close proximity at QTC but by now I have resigned myself to preferring to interact with other people in a more “pre covid normal” manner and accept the risk I take.

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