Another type of paddle wood.

Dave Wermuth

Who hid my paddle?
while waiting for paint er, uh filler to dry I decided to make some paddles. So I visited the wood miser sawyer.

He uses cottonwood to make paddles. I worked some cottonwood recently and it had a nice grain and not too heavy. I may try it.

Also I picked up some suspected sassafrass and look forward to trying it.

But what I really liked was the Butternut. Beatiful grain. He referred to it as poor man's walnut. I think it is between ash and walnut. I have roughed out two blanks. It works like ash or cherry. Anyone use butternut? Maybe worth a try.
Yup, I have carved quite a few of butternut. It's a little lighter weight than walnut, also lighter colour. I suspect it's also lower strength, so make allowances for that ie. a bit thicker all round.
I have also carved a few in Sassafras, which gives off a wonderful "menthol" like smell. I recall someone from Shaw & Tenney saying this was the best paddle wood.
thanks Rob

The board I got is suspected to be s'frass. So i know now to see if it smells of menthol and I'll know for sure. Good to know.
I used butternut for the decks on my 1st 2 strippers, looks great and light.

I used scrap for pieces on a batch of paddles I made a while back, again looks good.

I did have a thing where I got a rash after working with the butternut, it looks and felt just like poison ivy. Where it was from the butternut or something else I'm not sure, but I'm convinced it was something on or in the wood I was working. Also felt a bit lightheaded when working the butternut.

Paddle Woods

Caution on the Butternut !!! VERY low decay resistance. If you choose to use it, submerge in wood preservative and then finish with marine varnish. Sassafrass on the otherhand is very decay resistant and looks alot like ash with it's more controlled grain and it also oxidizes more golden like ash does. It is lighter weight at 31 lbs per cubic foot as opposed to Ash at 42 pounds per cubic foot. It makes a great paddle; I have 2 of them. Working this wood is really nice as the raw wood smells like Root Beer and will make your workshop smell delicious. Let me know how it goes. Splinter
Butternut irritaion

Butternut (Juglans cinerea) and Walnut (Juglans nigra) are in the same family and both are poisoneous to animals and some other plants. Lots of other plants will not grow under walnut trees and farmers will not take the sawdust for animal bedding as it can make the animals sick or even kill them. The Butternut is lighterweight than Walnut and machines easily if using very sharp tools. Walnut is known for it's dimensional stability and is used for gunstocks because of it. If you are struggeling with plants, keep them 30 feet away from the trunk of the tree. Two plants that succeed under Walnut trees are Dodecathia media and Hemerocallis. If you are working with Walnut ot Butternut and feel irritation on your skin or in your lungs or mouth, STOP.

Cottonwood is very prone to decay, so I am told. But it looks nice. It smells like i did when the manure spreader broke and I had to unload by hand. well i did use a pitchfork, but you get the idea. I also want to try someday cypress, or is it cyprus. And cedar too. i don't want to try apple. At least based on the log I had. heavy and not stable.
Splinter said:
Working this wood is really nice as the raw wood smells like Root Beer and will make your workshop smell delicious. Let me know how it goes. Splinter

Okay, I'm willing to try any wood that smells like root beer!:D