Reclaimed Wood Canoe Paddle Hat Rack

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Introduction: Reclaimed Wood Canoe Paddle Hat Rack

About: Professional Educator for over 25 years. Avid DIYer! Why pay somebody to do what you can do yourself? Active in web design and development for over 20 years. After discovering Instructables.com have starte...

This Instructable will show how to reclaim an old and tired wood canoe paddle and re-purpose it into a beautiful piece of home decor. An amazing Wood Canoe Paddle Hat Rack.

Please vote RECLAIMED WOOD contest.

Purchased 4 paddles at a garage sale for $1 each. The varnish finish was pretty much gone, and a couple paddles were cracked, but I figured I could get some use from them.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • The paddle is just a standard wood paddle. When I first got the paddles there was some mold and mildew starting to take them over from being stored in a damp place, so I hit them with some anti mold and mildew solution and a little sandpaper.
  • Propane Torch: Used to slightly burn the surface of the paddle to give it an older antique look.
  • Wood Burning Iron: used to personalize the paddle
  • Sandpaper: Use a 150-200 grit paper to sand out the torch marks.
  • Tack Cloth: Use to get the sanding dust off before finish coating.
  • Polycrylic Protective Finish: Clear satin finish coat.
  • Decorative Hooks

Step 2: Torch the Wood

Before going right at your paddle with the torch, I recommend practicing on a scrap piece of wood to experiment with the effect of torching your wood.
  • Torch your wood paddle by running the torch past the wood creating a random pattern that appeals to you.
  • For a lighter effect, keep the torch 4-6 inches away from the wood.
  • For a darker effect, 2-4 inches away from wood.
  • Don't let the paddle catch fire! You just want to scorch the wood to give it some aged character.
  • Use a 150-200 grit sandpaper to soften the torch patches.
  • Repeat the process with torch and sand paper as you desire until you get the style you want.
  • Give the entire paddle a good sanding.
  • Use a combination of air compressor and tack cloth to remove sanding dust.

Step 3: Personalize the Hat Rack

Plan your hook placement with any wood burned artwork.

If you have a wood burning iron handy, now would be a good time to personalize your paddle. I've pixelated our family name from the image. See the top right where there is space for any wood burned artwork.

Step 4: Finish Coat

Use your favorite stain and/or clear coat on the paddle to give the finish you desire. After torching and scorching, I thought a satin clear coat would be just fine.

I applied 4 coats to this paddle, as I am still not sure if it will be used indoors or outdoors.

Step 5: Add Your Hooks

Found these hooks on Ebay maybe 10 years ago and had a few laying around. Needed more to do a paddle for a friend. They were hard to find, but finally found them at a Menard's about an hour from my home.

Wildlife Hooks at Menard's

Step 6: Complete!

Now just need to figure out where to mount it.

Strong enough to hold a 7 year old boy! Ha Ha!

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