Read recently at sawdustfactory.net that the first paddle is nothing more than a prototype. How about the second and third? Hopefully not the fourth or the fifth.
Seems like most of the amateur made paddles I've read about were made of cedar. Pish-posh, I don't need no stinkin' cedar. Too weak. Too light. Too unmanly. My first was made of laminated ash. I fear weighing it and have contented myself with using it to lever boulders and drive garden posts. Not a dent in the blade or anywhere. Yah, she's a club even though she's pretty.
The two I'm now carving are a combination of douglas fir, white cedar, ash and yellow poplar. Altogether lighter than just ash but still more work and weight than I'd like. When will I learn? Gluing and trimming the blank was no problem (truth is, everything's a problem when I set to doing something). Now comes the shaping and thinning to size. Had the loom (that's a fancy word for the shaft. Hadn't heard of it till I read the above website. Thought I'd throw it in to make me sound like I know what I'm doing) been made of cedar I'd of pulled out the old spoke shave (after ordering one on line) and shaved 'er to shape. Instead, I did what I always do, grab a tool I do have, in this case a random orbital sander, slap on a forty grit disc and grind away. It works. More or less. Woulda been a whole lot easier if the loom had not been laminated douglas fir. Sawdust up the hose and in the ears. Life is good and my snot, varying shades of white, red and brown.