View Full Version : Oars, Octagonal Spoon Blade, Hollow Core
07-08-2007, 07:19 PM
:D Been pushing hard to get the boat in the water, but not easy to do without oars.
Just laminated 4 spoon blades and epoxied two of them to the oar shafts.
These oars are 10' long. Made of 8 tapered sections of Hackberry, a native wood here in Iowa. They seem quite light. Will weigh them later on.
Here is a link, that will show you most of the steps to get from beginning to finished oar.
I want to thank Joel Herzel, it was only because of his kindness that I was able to do these. His article, is very clear and concise on how to make these. I am sure I will get better as I make another set or two.
07-11-2007, 05:30 PM
We have hackberry down here in Texas and I always considered it a large weed/tree. What qualities does the wood have that make it suitable for oars? It may be fine, but I've never heard of anyone using it to build anything.
07-11-2007, 07:40 PM
The chief features that I have found are: It is a member of the Elm family, and if you have ever tried to split elm, it is almost impossible. It has twisting interlocking grain and will not be split by a maul and wedge.
When in thin pieces, it is very easy to bend in shapes. It has a lot of "Whip" for want of a better word. Much like ash, it will bend and flex and not break.
I also like it because of the very light color that it comes in. It is also very light in weight.
I will agree, it probably should be classified a noxious weed. But up here I have a saw mill where I can get it and the lengths of nice clear boards are really nice. Price is very good too.
In working it, it is very raggedy and coarse. You have to very careful of getting slivers in your hands.
Once milled and into rough shape, you sand it down w/80 grit and they you start getting it under control.
From that point on it finishes beautifully.:)
07-12-2007, 02:01 AM
Looks beautiful, Tom!
07-12-2007, 06:20 PM
Don't know how well they will hold up or not. But the price was right. All 4 oars came out of one 5/4 X 10"X9' Hackberry board. The blades came out of another about the same size. Cost of the wood. Approx. $10.00.
I can always make more when the need arises or the inclination hits.
I will probably try some more out of other woods in the future.
07-12-2007, 07:08 PM
The oars look fine.
As to hackberry suitability, if they work, it's all good isn't it?
Interlocking grain may be a good thing where splitting can be a problem.
I am mystified as to how a tree can be a noxious weed however.
07-12-2007, 07:29 PM
Well, They seem to come up where ever a good old bird makes a deposit after eating the berrys. They are actually a pretty nice shade tree here in Iowa. Many people go out into the fields and pastures and dig up the seedlings and transplant them into the yard and they thrive.
I have had many in my house yards. No nuts to rake up and the leaves disintegrate in the fall when you mow over them. They are fast growing, but also seem long lived. At least most of the ones I have planted will out live me I am sure.
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