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Soft Maple for Paddles?

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by Gary, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. Gary

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Hi I have a nice piece of 12/4 soft maple 6' long and 6" wide, with great colouring. I'm wanting to re-saw it to book match the two pieces making two paddles with identical grain pattern and colour. I've used figured and birds eye maple for paddles before but not soft maple. Will it be strong enough for paddle making?
    Thanks, Gary
     
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I think the grain is more important than the strength of the wood. If the grain is straight, it's probably worth finding out! If the grain runs out the sides too much, I'd save it for something else.
     
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I expect that it will be fine if the grain is good as Paul mentioned. My favorite wood for paddles is spruce. Soft maple is both harder and stronger than that.

    Benson
     
  4. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have carved many paddles from soft maple. As Benson mentioned above, it is stronger than spruce.

    One thing you can do to maximize strength is make the shaft oval, with the larger dimension perpendicular to the face of the blade.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Gary

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Thank you everyone, the grain is good which first attracted me to this piece of wood. I have also used spruce for paddles and I like the idea of the oval shaft.
    Looks like I'll give it a go!
    Gary
     
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  6. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    And post pictures... lol
     

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