Making oars for a light boat

IveofIone

Active Member
#1
I built my own oars for the last boat I made and will probably do it again soon. The cost was minimal as I bought a couple of hardwood closet dowels for the shafts and I think I used some spruce for the business end. I cut flats exactly opposite each other on the table saw then used Gorilla urethane glue to put the 3 pieces together. Once they were dry it was a simple matter to cut them to shape on the band saw and shape them with a plane, some chisels and a sander. The handles I carved out by hand till they reached a comfortable shape. Three coats of marine varnish for a finish.

I had doubted that they would be large enough because the cross section was so small but they pushed the boat along quite nicely and I never saw any need for bigger oars. Here are some pics of how they started and what they looked like when finished. Cheap thrills-I probably didn't have $25 in the pair. This is an easy and fun job and will produce an oar that is certainly adequate for a lake or pond boat. For moving water I would definitely use something more robust.

Ive
 

Rob Ast

Active Member
#3
Nice work Ive. Any particular reason you went with the wedge shape? Seems like you could have increased the surface area without much difficulty by simply making a more rectangular blade (or go even fancier and make it asymmetric).