Paddle Carving Thing-a-ma-jig

What did you guys call the support you use for holding your GP while carving? I tried searching for the thread but couldn’t find it. I thought you called it a horse . . .

I was considering a Black and Decker workmate to hold the paddle - any experience or advise appreciated. I’ll be making probably three more paddles at least, but not a lifetime of them.


"Shaving Horse"- lots of ideas.

Pete in Atlanta

Workmates work great!
They’re ideal for carving GPs, as they clamps tapered objects easily. The large surface area holds blade edges and faces securely without damaging them. I use a Workmate to hold one blade while I work on the other, which is supported by padded rest. For best results, it helps to add weight to the Workmate. I use a 5 gallon paint bucket full of sand rested on the frame underneath.

I just use a carpeted shelf
fastened to the wall at the correct height for me to work while sitting on a stool.I clamp the paddle blank to it with C clamps padded with cedar scraps.When not in use it doubles as a shelf.

The workmate might be a good investment if you’re making a lot of paddles but I’ve only made 5 with one more in the works so it’s good enough for now.


Which workmate do you have?

Which workmate do you have? I’ve seen two I’m interested in - the 225 and the 425. The 225 weighs 30 lbs. and the 425 weighs 44. I’m thinking the heavier the better. Do you know which one yours is?


I just use a C-clamp

– Last Updated: Nov-27-05 11:45 AM EST –

Did you check out my video:

The Shaving Horse is a pretty cool thingy and something you'd want if you were using a draw knife on the blades. Here's a link to an old thread about it:


Great Video!
Yet Matt, I did check out your video - I have it on my desktop. It’s very nice, and answered some questions I had since making my first paddle.

I don’t have a nice work table like you have, or I’d just be using a clamp. If I had my way, I’d be making it on the dining room table - the paddle, that is ;^) - but shavings don’t work well with carpet . . .

By the way, may I have permission to show your video to our local kayaking club at one of our meetings? We have had increased interest over the past year in GPs and several of us have made and are using them now.


Veritas Traditional Shaving Horse,46158,46165&ap=1

Very fast to use.

Also check out Sears Craftsman
I didn’t like all the bells and whistles added to the workmate - jacking up the price , so I went to Sears and found a decent Craftsman version at a better price than what Home Depot had the workmate for. Whatever you choose, go for the heavyweight one.


In a couple of weeks…
I’ll probably have some high quality DVDs. I have at least one club that would like a copy for it’s free library. If you send me an address I can mail you a copy for your club. But you may make a copy from my site for now if you’d like.

BTW I built that table in a couple of hours with 4 1/2 2x4x8s and a half sheet some kind of high-density stuff that I got for free, but of course it could be plywood. Anyway it was very inexpensive. maybe I can post some plans or pics?

I have no idea
The one I have is old and I sort of inherited it. The only thing you need for making paddles is the wood jaws, so the model isn’t critical.

Drilled a bunch of extra holes in mine
I can put the plastic dogs in whatever config I need for the paddle I’m destroyi… er, carving.

I agree that workmates work very well. Unfortunately the newer models with the particle board “jaws” don’t hold up well to the humidity in my area. You can replace the jaws with hardwood. In my case I just clamp a large plywood surface over the workmate and use plenty of “quick-grip” type of clamps (usable with only one hand) to secure the paddle.

If you don’t mind simplicity, and working on the floor, what also works surprisingly well is to support one end of the GP on a short plastic stepstool, straddle the paddle blank and then kneel on the floor while putting some downward pressure on the paddle.

Greg Stamer