Wooden Canoe Paddle Repair isn’t as difficult as you may think, but it does require a few special tools. The main point of consideration is how much will the repair cost vs. how much would a new paddle set you back? I guess whether this particular paddle is your “best canoe paddle” will also be a factor in making the decision.
I’ve prepared this short video to demonstrate how I repair a split blade on a wooden canoe paddle.
Wooden Canoe Paddle Repair
Wooden Canoe Paddle Repair Materials List
- Broken Canoe Paddle (obviously)
- Epoxy Resin and Hardener
- Wood Flour
- Masking Tape
- Pipe Clamps
- Rotary Palm Sander
- 80 to 120 grit Sand Paper
- Marine Varnish
- Paint Brush
Wooden Canoe Paddle Repair How To
The process for repairing a wooden canoe paddle blade is pretty straight forward.
In the video, I use thickened West System epoxy as the adhesive for joining together the two sides of the broken canoe blade. Other types of epoxies will do the trick as will other types of waterproof glues. I chose using epoxy thickened with wood flour because I know the bond will be extremely strong and water proof.
Before mixing the epoxy I use some two inch masking tape to mask off the edge of the paddle (at the break). This masking tape will act as a barrier and prevent the epoxy from messing other parts of the canoe paddle as I work.
After mixing up my batch of thickened epoxy I simply apply a thin amount to the edge of the break and after laying the paddle down on the pipe clamps, I carefully press the two sides of the broken blade together and tighten the clamps.
With the clamps tightened I wipe any excess epoxy from the blade and then allow the paddle to sit for at least 24 hours to allow the epoxy resin to cure to its hardened state.
With the epoxy cured we can continue with the wooden canoe paddle repair.
The next step is to remove the masking tape and then sand both sides of the canoe paddle blade, including the shoulder of the paddle and up to the throat. There’s no real need to sand the shaft or the grip. (If you’re not sure, you can find the “Parts of a Canoe Paddle” here).
The last step in your wooden canoe paddle repair is to apply a couple coats of good quality marine varnish.