Wooden Paddle Repair

I have an old canoe paddle that was starting to fall apart. Using tools at Tech Shop, I was able to restore this paddle for many more years of use.

Check out TechShop at techshop.ws

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Sand Down Paddle

First, I sanded down the paddle with 150 and then 300 grit sandpaper using an orbital sander. This removed the existing finish and prepared the wood for gluing and the next step.

I left the finish around the logo to not damage that.

Step 2: Rough Cut and Glue

To replace the piece of the handle that broke off, I roughly cut out a block on the bandsaw and glued it on. I also glued together the split in the bottom section.

I used titebond III wood glue which worked pretty well.

Step 3: Shape Handle

I then refined the handle shape, first on the bandsaw, then on the belt sander, and then finished with the orbital sander.

Using the orbital sander to smooth out the glue joints, after the glue dried, loosened up other joints and caused other pieces to break off. I suggest hand sanding after the first pass.

Once it was all smooth, I applied 4 coats of a glossy marine finish.

Be the First to Share


    • Furniture Contest

      Furniture Contest
    • Reuse Contest

      Reuse Contest
    • Hot Glue Speed Challenge

      Hot Glue Speed Challenge

    3 Discussions

    I Love your instruction on this . I have been working on an old paddle, we think was the 60's or 70's (my Husband has a lot of years of boating ).. It has been painted.. Stupid . I can get the loose paint off the handle but not the blade ..Under the paint on the blade there is a faint, oval ring, with writing inside .. Do you have any idea of the company that made this ? I I would love to recreate the logo before I Varnish it !


    5 years ago on Introduction

    It appears that the paddle split along the glue line. Ideally, you should sand the split to remove broken wood fibers as well as to remove any remaining adhesive. This is pretty common on laminated paddle blades because the expansion and contraction of wood that gets wet is different for dissimilar species. Sealing the paddle really well is the trick to longevity there.

    Awesome repair job, it came out looking really beautiful and definitely functional. You should think about entering this into our Fix it contest. Thanks for sharing!