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I was recently on a Grand trip w/ a friend who made his oars from Douglas-fir 2"x10's. If I remember correctly, he used a hatchet, plane and rasp to shape them. Anyone else made oars for their raft/cat and care to pass along advice? Thanks.

Ryan
 

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Most oars are ash I think. Kenny Kiley makes some SWEET oars, but they'll cost you a couple G's. Doug Fir is good wood, but you would probably beat the hell out of them pretty quick... It's soft.
 

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Solid or laminated?

For some serious discussions of homebuilt oars, check out the Wooden Boat Forum:

The WoodenBoat Forum

It's a friendly site: you can post a question on building oars and get lots of informed advice.

Spruce and ash are the usual woods. Douglas fir is strong enough, perhaps. For one-piece solid wood oars, the crux is to pick really good stock (close, even vertical grain, clear with no knots or swirls). Biggest problem is the thin edges of the blade tend to split off, along the grain, which is why most oars are laminated and/or tipped with plastic guards.

If you make solid oars, think about coating them with a high-grade boatbuilders epoxy, first coat very thin so it soaks into the wood. You might reinforce the blades with f-glass cloth as well, with double or triple layers around the edges and tips (use f-glass tape).

If you go to the trouble, build at least 3 (one spare) or even 4 or 5.
 

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I think Fir is a good bet. Seems like 2x6s would be wide enough.
Like Chip said, pick good wood. Find something with a tight and straight grain pattern.
Then draw or trace your pattern and go to town.
Id add a drawknife to your tool list to remove wood fast and then use a hand plane to finish the shaft and blade. Feel free to hit me up with any question; [email protected]

Thanks for the plug Randaddy, my oars arent that expensive though.
 

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hello old friend

I do not agree with you mr.blunts. I believe more of a twisted grain pattern works better. Due to the lateral stress forces inherent in twisted grain woods such as alder or nebraskan oak the snap of the oar is greatly enhanced due to inertia of the water acting as a normal force on the blade of the paddle to in turn create a dynamic moment between the forces of good and evil.










I think Fir is a good bet. Seems like 2x6s would be wide enough.
Like Chip said, pick good wood. Find something with a tight and straight grain pattern.
Then draw or trace your pattern and go to town.
Id add a drawknife to your tool list to remove wood fast and then use a hand plane to finish the shaft and blade. Feel free to hit me up with any question; [email protected]

Thanks for the plug Randaddy, my oars arent that expensive though.
 
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