tools for paddle making


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have recently become interested in making paddles. I have experience in other types of woodworking, (decoy carving) and would like to try something new. I am wondering what tools would be truly necessary. So far my list contains a spokeshave, maybe a hand planer, rasp, and sandpaper. Are there any other types of tools that are needed.
Godd afternoon. Concerning paddles, I use a drawknife and the tools that you mentioned, Bye for now. Sandpiper
One of those carving disks that fit on a 4 in. electric grinder.Amazing how fast they can reduce a wooden paddle blank.
A microplane is a great tool for shaping. Better than wood rasps. I also cheat and use a power plane for rough shaping. It takes off a lot of wood in a hurry. Beyond that I found a good book on paddlemaking a huge help.

I have tried to find a microplane but have had no luck. Could someone describe a microplane for me. I believe it is a very fine rasp but am not sure. I also am wondering where to find one
For a description of their products, see:

You can get them from Lee Valley/Veritas (my favorite for outstanding quality in tools), and many other woodworking supply companies:

Microplanes work great, but don't apply too much downward force on the tool, compressing it flat against the workpiece, because this will flatten down the many sharp spurs and make the tool ineffective fairly quickly. Put your effort behind the length of the tool and it will stay functional longer.
Micro Planes

I use them exclusively and they are great! They come in a fine and course grades, are made from stainless steel and should not be confused with the Sureform tools out there. Anyway you can get them at a Rockler or Woodcraft retail store if you have one near you or you can order from and

Good luck,

Ric Altfather
Those hand tools are good if you're doing just a couple of paddles and it doesn't really matter how much time you put into it.

For me, however, I've gotten it down to: bandsaw, thickness planer, jointer, electric handplane, grinder with 5" discs 24 grit and 100 grit, router with 1/2" roundover bit, PC random orbital sander, and a few licks with a handplane here and there to clean up a line.

The essentials for me are the grinder and sander!