Monday, October 5, 2015

I Need More Canoes

     Seems I've got seven paddles in the works.  Not sure how that happened.  Guess idle hands are the devil's workshop.  Throw in a vacant brain and you've got yourself a dangerous combination.  Like my writing I'm squeezing the paddle work into my spare hours.  Never spend more than an hour or two a day.
     Carving paddles is a cheap, if pointless, hobby.  Wood, glue, and varnish totals about fifteen bucks a blade.  Some of the wood comes from the garage rafters.  A few sticks came from my friend's workshop pile.  Greg's gone but his wood lives on.  Each time I prep a piece of walnut for an accent board I think of him.  Probably'll do the same each time I dip a paddle up north.  The ash that's gone in a few also came my way through Greg's work.  He felled the trees and hauled the logs to the sawmill.  Once dry I used his planer to surface the boards.  In the house and cabin they're found here and there.  Mantels, floors, walls, furniture, cabinets, shelves and picture frames.  Twenty-two hundred board feet of lumber goes a long way.
     A second accent wood, aromatic cedar, came from a plank I bought down in Alabama.  Planed, sanded and varnished, the cedar is a brilliance of red.  The remainder of the material is store bought.  Gives me a guilty feeling 'cause none of the wood bears my sweat from the gathering.  But, sure enough, it's still wood and looks as good as the rest.
     My machines manage to do the job so long as I pay close attention and take my time.  The hand tools are power.  Two random orbital sanders and a planer.  Band saw came from Sears Surplus sometime in the '80s.  Does the job but it's nothing like a fourteen inch industrial job.  On the other hand it might.  Never used a five hundred pound saw (I've heard they sleep wherever they want) but from what I've seen on the internet they sure look nice.  Probably could slice a finger so slick it would't bleed.  'Spose I shouldn't complain about the quality of my machines seeing as how the first paddle in the first canoe wasn't but a stick.  And the second, a stick tipped with a shard of rock to cut down on abrasion.
     So what shall I do with seven additional paddles?  Good question.  I suspect there'll be more.

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