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Thread: Fixing up wooden oars?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    Default Fixing up wooden oars?

    I have some older 9 1/2' oars with a narrow, shaped blade that came with an old dory I bought. They're not in great shape, but they're not too bad, either. The rib on one side of one of the blades is skinned off for part of the distance. I'm not sure if that's a problem or not. Should I simply give them another coat of varnish and be done with it? Should I apply a light fiberglass to the blades to strengthen them a little?
    Also, the leathers are loose. Not sure how to correct that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Fixing up wooden oars?

    Quote Originally Posted by overland View Post
    I have some older 9 1/2' oars with a narrow, shaped blade that came with an old dory I bought. They're not in great shape, but they're not too bad, either. The rib on one side of one of the blades is skinned off for part of the distance. I'm not sure if that's a problem or not. Should I simply give them another coat of varnish and be done with it? Should I apply a light fiberglass to the blades to strengthen them a little?
    Also, the leathers are loose. Not sure how to correct that.
    Give them a coat of sand paper and revarnish them.
    Are the blade tips in good order?
    How are the leathers attached? You should remove them and varnish all the loom. Pictures would be helpful.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fixing up wooden oars?

    Leathers get loose because of wear: the wood has gradually compressed under the leathers. If you don't want to take them off and refit them you may be able to slip them down the oar, put some carpenters waterproof glue under them ,then slip them back up. But better to resize them.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  4. #4
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    Apr 2020
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    Chicago, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Fixing up wooden oars?

    One of the tips has a 3" crack.
    Thanks for the advice about the leathers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Re: Fixing up wooden oars?

    Quote Originally Posted by overland View Post
    One of the tips has a 3" crack.
    Thanks for the advice about the leathers.
    Clean the crack back to sound wood, fill with thickened epoxy. Then wrap glass tape or Dynel set in epoxy round both oar tips.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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