Charles Schelin
  • Male
  • Onalaska WI
  • United States
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I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
39 Replies

I have made several sets of oars using fir. Usually they are heavier than I would like. Once I used basswood which is marginally lighter. Has anyone tried cedar?  Usually I split a 2x4 and laminate…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Don Tyson Dec 22, 2019.

 

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Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Ken, I've been an arborist most of my life and it seems like your the one having fun. I met a guy outside of LA a few years back and he does the same thing you do. I cut some logs here and there from residential arborists that would rather see…"
Dec 22, 2019
Ken Chaytor replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Hi Don, I have two bandsaws. The vertical one shown in the pic is actually home made with 36 inch wheels and a tilting table. My other is a horizontal , 'push' bandsaw which I use for truing somewhat square timbers. My business is teak…"
Dec 22, 2019
Ken Chaytor replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Hi.....agreed. Cedar is only for canoe paddles ! That is where lightness and finesse is required. As for oars....I have been in some lumpy water with a current not favorable, I would choose a stronger/slightly heavier wood which I can rely on to…"
Dec 22, 2019
Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Ken, I've thought that your conclusions are basically correct, that we worry too much about weight, not enough about balance. I've been to numerous museums and have noticed how heavily built workboat oars are. In the case of drift boats…"
Dec 22, 2019
Ken Chaytor replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Hi, there was a time when I was cash poor and teak plentiful. Still cash poor... I needed oars for a traditional lapstrake I built and could not afford Sitka spruce so I built teak oars. Spoon blades , of course and just shy a couple of inches of 7…"
Dec 22, 2019
Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Charles, have you looked into quartersawn old growth White Spruce or White Cedar? For strength and contrast you might add lams of Walnut, cherry or Ash. Walnut is actually pretty durable, strong and easy to work."
Dec 21, 2019
JC Smith replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Don, I use a shuttle service, Bill Cross, 607.237.3078. Recommended to me by a fly shop and friends. Same plan worked great when I took the boat out west last summer for 3 weeks. I text the shuttle service when I am preparing to launch, and need to…"
Dec 21, 2019
Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"JC, I see you're carrying a canine co-pilot. Mine is always aboard as well. I think I have plenty of Tulip in the yard stickered to airdry. I know I have sassafras somewhere as well. I'll check around. How do you handle it on the…"
Dec 21, 2019
JC Smith replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Don, if my experience is correct, you are not missing much. The throat on my oars took shape simply as a function of what it took to transition from the final diameter of the oar shaft into the flat shape of the blade. I think you will automatically…"
Dec 21, 2019
Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Are most of the wooden oars used with drift boats tapered down to 1 5/16 or so at the shoulders? seems pretty light. What am I missing?"
Dec 21, 2019
Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Shawn that is a bit above my pathetic budget but I imagine it would be a big help. I didn't see it coming that I would need special oars. When I began my build in June Drift boats were brand new to me. I could never have imagined that store…"
Dec 21, 2019
Shawn Baker replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Consider more taper perpendicular to the oar blades. You don’t need much more strength in that axis than to lift the blade from the water. I cheat and don’t use a spar gauge or spokeshave: a big 1” roundover bit in my router table…"
Dec 21, 2019
JC Smith replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"To answer your question, I started with two planks each planed down to 1 1/8 inch so when I glue them togeher I will have at least 2 1/4 inches in one dimension for the square tops of the oar looms. I draw my oar profile out on the "blank"…"
Dec 20, 2019
Shawn Baker replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Don, $100 for a used copy and it's out of print. I called the Mystic Seaport Museum and the fellow I spoke to said they get a request a week.  He always passes it on to Publications.  Nothing yet.  I'm this week's…"
Dec 20, 2019
Don Tyson replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Liriodendron, I get caught by common names all the time. I had the opportunity to climb a couple virgin poplar at Winterthur back in the late 70's. They were huge.  JC how do you control the consistency of the taper? Shawn, That book…"
Dec 20, 2019
JC Smith replied to Charles Schelin's discussion I am looking for a light wood to make oars.
"Shawn, Tulip poplar is not related to the cottonwood/aspen/poplars. Its closest relative is magnolia. My forestry and field biology courses said tulip poplar is pretty much all alone as a species in North America, without other family or genus…"
Dec 20, 2019

Profile Information

Hometown:
Onalaska
About Me:
After retirement I built 4 wooden boats.
Boats I own:
4 canoes, 2 wooden that I built.

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