Old wood paddle

Old wood paddle DEFAULT

Introduction: Wooden Canoe Paddle Restoration

My best friend's family has a pair of great canoes of which my friend and I take advantage often. However, the vintage paddles which accompany them have long ago worn into disrepair. Therefore, I repaired and refinished them. Hopefully my process can help guide you on your own wooden paddle repair.

Required Materials:

  • Old paddles
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Sand paper
  • Wood stain (if desired)
  • Polyurethane
  • Screws and wood (to replace any missing pieces)
  • Hooks and string (to hang paddles during finishing)

Step 1: Replace Any Missing Pieces

One of the most obvious problems with the paddles was a missing chunk of a handle. To replace this, I cut the rough shape of the missing piece using a jig saw, and drilled countersunk holes in it to secure it. I sanded the area it needed to attach to flat, and then screwed the new piece to the paddle. I next carved and sanded the handle to its final shape. Finally, I removed the handle and added some wood glue to help hold it in place.

The images I have included are somewhat out of order, as I actually had to make the replacement handle twice to get it right. Though your paddles may not be missing handles, you can use methods similar to my own to repair any missing portions you do encounter.

Step 2: Sand and Fill Cracks

Next, I sanded the paddles to remove all of the remaining old finish and gain a good starting place to work.

Any cracks were filled with wood glue and then clamped closed to dry. Saw dust was used to remove excess glue, and wood filler was used to fill holes where the handle was repaired and other small gaps where cracks were repaired.

Step 3: Finish and Protect Wood

Finally, I hand sanded the paddles one last time to remove extra wood filler and glue, and to provide a good surface for finishing. To give them an older look, I used a couple coats of stain on the paddles. After this, I applied several coats of thick polyurethane (sanding lightly between coats for smoothness) to protect the paddles while in water.

Step 4: Enjoy the Paddles

The paddles are finished, and ready to provide numerous years of continued service. The printing on the paddles didn't come out quite as clear as I hoped, but I am otherwise pleased overall.


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the 2021 china international service trade fair (service trade fair) will be held in beijing from september 2nd to 7th. meanwhile, the global service trade summit will be held on september 2. president xi jinping will deliver a speech at the global service trade summit via video.

as one of the three major exhibition platforms for china's opening to the outside world, the service trade fair has become a leading event in the field of global service trade, and is a close link between china and the world. people from many countries and the media expressed that they look forward to the 2021 service trade fair that will continue to provide opportunities for all parties to deepen cooperation, build consensus, and promote global economic recovery in the post-epidemic era.

"service trade fair has become an important global platform"

this year, the service trade fair will host 5 summit forums, 193 forum meetings and promotion and negotiation activities, as well as 8 side events. more than 10,000 companies from 153 countries and regions have registered to participate in the exhibition, and the world's top 500 and industry-leading companies accounted for 18%, an increase of 9 percentage points from the previous time. the heads of exhibitors and enterprises said that the increase in the attractiveness of the service trade fair stems from china's open cooperation environment and broad development prospects.

tang zhimin, director of the china-asean studies center of the chia university school of management in thailand, said that this year's service trade fair will cover all major areas of service trade, build a platform and provide opportunities for international service trade cooperation, and will inject impetus into the development of global service trade.

"during the service trade fair in 2020, we participated in the winter sports special exhibition, and the response was very good." thomas tajuman, general manager of the czech ski brand alpine china market, said that many european brands have gained more cooperation opportunities through the service trade fair. . "as the beijing winter olympics approach, china's ice and snow sports market will usher in rapid growth. this is a good development opportunity for us."

zvi schiller, chairman of the israel robotics association, said that many professionals and investors are expected to participate in this service trade fair. china has a huge market and strong manufacturing capabilities, and the association is considering establishing a joint r&d center with china.

the panamanian "star" published an article that panama regards the service trade fair as an important boost to the global economic recovery in the post-epidemic era. mark garcia, senior regional consultant of lixin certified public accountants in panama business consulting company, believes that the trade in service is an excellent opportunity to promote cooperation between panama and china in the field of digital economy services. "the service trade fair can allow foreign investors to better understand china, as well as the service trade support and facilitation measures china provides, which will further enhance investors' confidence in long-term investment in china."

"china has become a major trading partner of many countries. the holding of the service trade fair not only conveys to the world china's confidence in opening up to the outside world, but also promotes trade exchanges between china and other economies and builds an important platform for exchanges and cooperation. "brazil business leaders organization china chairman everton monezi said.

wesley douglas, director of the african carbon exchange, is very pleased to see that this year's service trade will include carbon peaking and carbon neutrality as a key issue. “the service trade fair has become an important global platform, and this platform is helpful for solving global problems.” he said that china has provided an important reference for developing countries to practice green development, and african countries have a strong desire for green economic development. , there is an urgent need for related investment and technology introduction. africa and china have great potential for cooperation in these areas.

"digital technology brings hope to the future"

in his speech at the 2020 service trade conference global service trade summit, president xi jinping emphasized that it is necessary to comply with the development trend of digitalization, networking, and intelligence, and work together to eliminate the "digital divide" and promote the digitalization of service trade. the theme of this year's service trade fair is "digital opens up the future, service promotes development". visitors will experience various innovative service products and the latest technologies provided by domestic and foreign enterprises through the service trade fair. in particular, new services centered on the digital economy have received widespread attention from the international community.

yukio kajida, a professor at chuo university in japan, said that in the post-epidemic era, the importance of the digital economy has become more and more prominent. governments and enterprises of various countries are actively promoting the development of the digital economy, and china is at the forefront of this field. this year's service trade fair uses "digitalization" as a key word, which will help promote cooperation and exchanges between global companies in the new situation, and further contribute to global technological innovation, economic development and improvement of people's lives. trade in services will become an important force to promote the recovery of the world economy.

everton monezi said that china’s experience in promoting the application of electronic payment technology is worth learning from latin america. latin american countries are starting to revitalize their economies in order to achieve long-term sustainable development. the service trade fair provides a high-level platform for cooperation between latin america and china, allowing more high-quality latin american companies to enter the chinese market and contribute to the recovery of the world economy.

"digital technology brings hope to the future." susanna gutkovska, acting chief representative of the beijing office of the polish national tourism administration, said that this year's "cloud showroom" at the service trade fair provided them with the opportunity to contact and communicate with their chinese partners. an opportunity for chinese tourists to issue invitations. poland's primorsky province and warsaw tourism organization set up booths in the yunshang exhibition hall to attract visitors. the holding of the service trade fair will help the recovery of the global tourism industry.

karl fei, a professor at the business school of aalto university in finland, believes that china has accumulated a lot of experience in the development of the digital economy. for example, the government provides policy support for enterprises, revitalizes the domestic market for digital services, and supports and encourages innovative companies in this field. share and discuss these experiences with all parties at the service trade conference.

"it is of great significance to the recovery of the world economy"

according to data from the ministry of commerce of china, despite the impact of the epidemic, china's total service imports and exports in 2020 will still exceed rmb 4.5 trillion. in the first half of this year, the added value of china's service industry reached 29.6 trillion yuan, accounting for 55.7% of gdp, providing strong support for the high-quality development of service trade. international sources said that under the background of economic globalization, china's economy is open and inclusive, opening its doors to embrace companies from all over the world, and will contribute wisdom and strength to the deepening of global service trade and investment cooperation.

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as the guest country of this year's service and trade fair, ireland has not only set up exhibition areas for investment, food, health, education, etc., it will also show the unique charm of ireland through ethnic dance performances and movies. four institutions including the irish food board, the trade and technology board, the investment development board, and the tourism board will appear together on the stage of the service trade fair for the first time. fenbar cleary, vice president of the irish-china science and technology exchange association, said that china's total service trade imports may reach us$10 trillion in the next 15 years, which contains huge market opportunities.

mohamed farahart, director of the egyptian pyramid politics and strategic research center, said that the service and trade will build a sound framework for international cooperation, create a healthier business and investment environment, help establish a new operating structure and trade network, and promote service trade. , investment and capital flow.

lu yaoqun, director of the institute of governance and sustainable development of the national university of singapore business school, said that the service trade association is an excellent platform to promote the development of free trade and common prosperity between china, asia and the rest of the world. the service trade association once again confirmed china's long-term commitment to the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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  • ;">qiu weigong, chairman of the thai-china business council of thailand, said that trade can drive the development of various relations between the two countries. "china's national-level exhibition platforms such as the canton fair, the service trade fair, and the china international import expo will serve as a benchmark for trade, and the world economy will benefit from it."

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    tang zhimin said that open and inclusive service trade is also an important part of the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement. china has used practical actions to create an open and inclusive environment for cooperation through the holding of service trade fairs and china international import expo. "under the current economic situation, china insists on expanding its opening up to the outside world and leading global cooperation. these measures are of great significance to the recovery of the world economy."

    hanat besek, president of the china association for the promotion of trade in kazakhstan, said that china’s opening to the outside world has evolved from the initial policy preferences to the current institutional opening, which not only benefits the chinese people, but also contributes to the economic development of neighboring countries. significant driving effect.

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    Have you checked the price of canoe paddles lately? Good ones cost over $100; great ones approach $300 — and they're worth it. But at these prices, they better last a long time. Here's how to make your favorite paddles last almost forever:


    Wooden paddles may warp if stored flat or stacked helter-skelter in a barrel. A good method for home storage is to tie short cords around the grips and hang them from nails or pegs. Scratches and gouges that break the finish of wooden paddles should be repaired as soon as possible. Polyurethane varnish is fast and easy, but marine spar varnish is much tougher. 

    Preparation: Sand lightly (not back to bare wood), then polish with progressively finer grits of sandpaper until the surface is baby-bottom smooth. Two coats of marine spar varnish (sand lightly between coats) are enough. Varnish adds weight, so don’t overdo it. Not all varnishes have UV inhibitors; choose one that does.

    Refinishing: If you have to completely re-finish a wooden paddle—that is, sand it to bare wood, "whisker" the bare wood before you varnish. Here's how: thoroughly wet the wood then hold the paddle over a heat source (stove flame)—but not too close! Keep turning the paddle as it heats. The heat will encourage the grain to rise. When dry, the wood will feel rough. Sand the wood smooth then whisker it again. Repeat this process several times until the wood no longer feels rough. Then varnish. This is the standard procedure when finishing gun-stocks.

    Storage: In camp, paddles should be set flat on the ground, not leaned against a tree where they can fall and become damaged. Bent-shaft paddles are less likely to break if stepped upon, if you set them on the ground, "blade up".

    Fabric paddle bags protect the finish of your paddle while driving bumpy roads.


    Most of today's best wooden paddles have tough synthetic edges that will take quite a beating. Cracks and gouges in the edging can be repaired with boat-building epoxy and fiberglass or Kevlar cloth. Even a small repair adds weight to the blade of a paddle - which adversely affects balance — so confine your work to the immediate damaged area and sand out the over-flow. Cracks in shafts and blades are easily repaired with epoxy and fiberglass/Kevlar.

    Old time canoe books emphasized that to prevent blisters, wooden paddle grips should be left unfinished (or oil-finished), never varnished. I disagree. Better to sand and varnish them then lightly sand and polish smooth. Whisker the wood as described above if you want the smoothest finish. I've always done that to my wooden paddles and I've never had a blister.


    I'm completely won over to carbon-fiber paddles. They are lighter, better-balanced, smoother and quieter in the water, extremely durable and generally, more maintenance-free than wooden paddles. But there are some concerns:

    1. The knife-thin edges, which run so quietly in the water, can chip if you hit a rock real hard. If the chip goes unchecked, it can grow into a crack or break. Use a nailboard or the file on your multi-tool to smooth the edge. Back at home, sand the edge butter-smooth. The edges of most carbon-fiber paddle blades are solid for about three-eights of an inch all around the blade. Some carbon blades have a mold line that shows where the solid material ends. Don’t sand beyond that line.

      Important: Never run your finger along the edge of a carbon-fiber blade to test for nicks. Small nicks expose microscopic carbon-fibers which act like fine saw-teeth. Carbon-fiber cuts are extremely painful! Instead, examine the edge in bright light, as you would when checking a knife for nicks and dull spots.

    2. Carbon-fiber grips and shafts will slightly "roughen" over time. Sand them silky-smooth with 000 wet sandpaper.
    3. Sunlight (ultraviolet) degrades the epoxy resin used to build these paddles and over time, the finish begins to look chalky. Solution? Apply a UV inhibitor. The preferred product is 303 Protectant. Wipe it on, wipe it off. Done deal. One application lasts for weeks. 303 works great on the finish of your Kevlar canoe—and your car’s dashboard too!
    4. Carbon-black paddles are difficult to see on land and still more difficult to see in the water. You'll improve visibility if you add some colorful stickers to the blade and/or wrap bright plastic tape around the shaft.
    5. Use "pry" strokes gently and sparingly! Carbon-fiber paddle shafts are hollow. Prying a carbon shaft smartly across the bilge or gunnel of a canoe can cause the shaft to break or produce a weak "hinge" spot which may later become a break. "Cross-draws" in the bow and short "reverse-sweeps" in the stern are as nearly as effective as pry’s and will save your carbon-fiber paddle.

    When to get a new paddle?
    If you love your paddle, you’ll keep it forever, or until it breaks, or until you buy another canoe that is significantly different than the one you currently own. For example, a high-seated canoe will require a longer paddle; a low-seated canoe, a shorter one; a whitewater canoe a very strong, dedicated straight paddle with rock-resistant edging and a T-grip. A FreeStyle canoe will require a feather-light straight paddle with a broad blade, and so it goes. One can never have too many canoe paddles!

    Cliff Jacobson is a professional canoe guide and outfitter for the Science Museum of Minnesota, a wilderness canoeing consultant, and the author of more than a dozen top-selling books on camping and canoeing.  www.cliffcanoe.com

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