I got this cedar paddle with a 1911 CR OT closed gunwale canoe. It was very rough when I got it but I liked the alligatored patina left on it that looked like the original varnish. So, I left it in the middle of the blade and put several coats of varnish on it followed by matte finish. It is super light and has seen many years of service. Hasent broken yet but it's pretty soft. This will be a nice one to just look at and dream of what it saw. The man that owned it second hand was a tail gunner in a bomber in the war and perished with everyone onboard over Germany. His nephew, probably around age 70, gave it to me with the sale of the canoe, and he used it in Michigan while working for the forest service.