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 strips of cherry and maple for a nice colorful blade.  The leathers would protect cedar from the oarlocks.  Any ideas?

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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 lean back with my pull and no matter the obstacle, know the wood will stand up. We are so much stronger when scared. ;-) Always bring spare oarlocks.

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 wood, importing and making boat parts. Semi retired, but going strong 4 hours a day ;-)  

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 me get them than to dump them. The guy that does my larger logs just got a 108" Lucas and is able to cut more of the giants from historic properties locally.
Western Red Cedar was new to me until I started selling in the Sierras around CA. I've since been given a small amount and used some for the gunnels on my boat. While I love it it dents simply by looking at it.
Would your teak oil be a stable replacement for varnish on Oars?

Hey Charles, any updates?


We use soft maple here. It has a lot of flexability and you can thin this down the loom to about 1 1/4". Weight per oar is about 3 1/2 lbs. Not super light but the water helps when in use. Never used these for drift boats but imagine it would work fine with minor modifications.

"Soft maple..." ? You are a North country - Adirondack guy for sure!  :)


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