Split wood paddle

I have a hand made wood paddle. I was well designed and build in terms of the shape and size, however it is made from one piece of wood and the wood is splitting. Unfortunatly I do not know what wood is.

From the throat to the base of the palm grip there is a fine, just slightly more than a hairline, crack.

The crack is even in width and almost straight up the shaft.

What is the best repair method please.



That’s a tough repair. Normally I might
inject epoxy into the crack, but it is probably too narrow in your case.

Another approach might be to widen the crack by dragging out a “V” and then put in West G-flex epoxy, or their 105/205 epoxy if you can afford the ~60 bucks, and let it harden. The 105/205 is thinner and more likely to seep into some of the deeper part of the crack. The resulting repair won’t be pretty. Say it happened fighting off a gator.

One could also epoxy cloth over the crack, but glass cloth would hurt your hands and you’d have order an alternative like polyester cloth.

Or you can use it until it breaks. Some cracks go a little ways in and stop.

Another idea. Display the paddle on your wall so as to hide the crack, and get another.

Two Options
The classic repair is a series of drilled holes on either side of the split. Then lace and pound flat copper wire from hole to hole.

Option two is to spread the split, dribble epoxy in, then clamp shut, wiping the excess off before taping over the down side split until it cures.

Either way, you’ll need a new paddle.

Darryl. Check the link inside. It won’t
help with the repair, but if you’re making your own paddles from planks, it may help.


Note that the link may not be properly clickable due to its length. Select and copy the entire link and that’ll get you there.

Makes for a good story
It was different, because it was a cracked, fiber glass paddle that I fixed. The fix wasn’t worth the effort, because it soon snapped on me. But snapping your paddle often makes for a good story, so what is their too loose in trying one of the posters fix suggestions.

I like the idea of the wire lacing fix, but don’t have any experience in the matter.


It’ll probably make…
It’ll probably make a good “wall hanger”, and it gives you a good excuse to buy a new & better paddle.

Or a new paddle would make a nice Christmas present for someone else to buy for you?

And you won’t have to worry about it breaking at an inappropriate time & place…which is probably what will happen if you fix & continue to use it.

Been there; done that.


Split it
Split it all the way in half, then glue it back together.

Yup. That’s its only hope.

I have been using G-Flex epoxy to repair broken and split ash thwarts and so far the results have been good and durable.

I would clean the cracked area as well as possible (I would use Naptha but isopropyl or denatured alcohol might work) and allow it to dry thoroughly. Support the paddle horizontally with the crack skyward and use unthickened epoxy. You can warm the epoxy a little with a hair drier or heat gun to reduce the viscosity and use a small plastic spatula to work the epoxy into the crack.

You may need a second and possibly third application to completely fill the crack. Sand off the excess and revarnish (or oil) the paddle shaft.

Paddle repair
Don’t use fast dry epoxy. You need something that will take the time to seep into the crack.

yep , split it all the way …

– Last Updated: Dec-02-11 10:10 AM EST –

....... have even done this on a paddle that had multiple cracks through the shaft , like 6 cracks that needed seperating .

What I've done is cut wedges from a hardwood and insert them into the crack one behind the other gradually spreading the crack until it seprates completely (the premade thin Cedar wedges will work OK also) . Then re-assemble the splits with epoxy , clamps (wax paper where clamp contacts glue up to keep clamp from getting stuck to epoxy) .

On the multiple cracked shaft that I fixed , it turned out really well ... but afterward I decided to completely cut the shaft out of the blade (about 12" into the blade) and built a new one from Cherry . But this paddle was purchased for the sole purpose of doing a complete redesign from it's original old fashioned 60" Fur style (long beavertail) ... I thined the blade , new durable blade tip , cloth and epoxy blade cover , and "not as originally planned" the new shaft (but reused the palm grip ears). I got some good advice here on glassing the blade , had never glassed a blade before and wanted to try it cause others seemed so keen on that ... have to say it's really good for thin blades . This paddle is very light and paddles great , it's pretty too , used a water base aniline dye on it before cut poly clear coats .

Try the wedges and see what starts to happen from there when spreading the crack , maybe you won't have to completely seperate the cracked wood to get a good glue up , you'll have to determine that while working on it , not all craks have to be completely seperated .

What kind of paddling do you do with it?
If you are flexing the shaft often, maybe a repair will not last, or a repair that lasts will inadvertently stiffen up the shaft. Maybe that doesn’t matter.

Can you post a pic?

Split wood paddle
Thanks for all of your suggestons, I think a nice coat of some kind of “fancy” stain and decorative rope for a wall hanging is the answer.

Thanks again.


Split wood paddle usage…

– Last Updated: Dec-08-11 1:52 PM EST –

With only minor repair work done to crack; a few pieces of dowel rod stuck into the paddle shaft & paddle blade, a couple of wall hangers mounted on backside of the paddle.........
You can end up with a cheap & effective hat, or paddle rack.

Ask me how I know? :^)


Split Paddle
Thanks for the info, I think a new paddle & wall hanging is on the horizon.


Split it
Split it.

Glue it with epoxy

Seal the entire shaft with epoxy