Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

How Old is my Paddle???

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by mug21, Aug 31, 2021.

  1. mug21

    mug21 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I have 2 paddles from my 1934 OTCA canoe. I suspect one is original and one is not. Is there a way to date/age paddles?? Thanks for any info.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  3. burton levenson

    burton levenson New Member

    Benson Gray: I am trying to date my Old Town paddle. It is a beaver tail made from cedar (I believe) and has the logo exactly like the first one in your attachment. Help would be appreciated. Judging from the condition of the wood and other aging indicators, I would guess 50-70 yrs. Is there a date range that first logo was used? In the process of refinishing/restoring it. Thanks. Burton Levenson
  4. burton levenson

    burton levenson New Member

    Benson Gray: Further to my previous post, the logo was on the blade at the junction of the blade and shaft of the paddle, oriented horizontal and about 1.5 inches wide. I can send a pic if that would help.

    Attached Files:

  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    That style of logo was first used in the early 1970s and that type of paddle was last made in the mid-1980s. More precise dating is not available (unless you want to carbon date the wood).

  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Old Town offered ash and spruce paddles. Yours is spruce. Spruce is a great choice for a paddle because it has a high strength to weight ratio. Strong and light….perfection.
  7. burton levenson

    burton levenson New Member

    Benson Gray: Thanks for the prompt and accurate information. I am waiting for an Old Town logo to put back on the paddle then will put several (3-4) coats of epoxy and finish with Imron MS1 polyurethane coating. Will post pic when done. I lost my Omar Stringer paddle he helped me make as a camper at Tamakwa when I was 10 and several paddles since. This paddle is old and beat up, but maybe I can breathe some new life insto it.
  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    You may want to reconsider using epoxy and polyurethane since these can make things exceptionally difficult later when you want to refinish it again. A good spar varnish will be much easier to replace or repair in the future. Good luck,

  9. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I have one of those spruce Old Towns, purchased from LL Bean in the 1969-1970 period. I will agree with Benson, the best thing to preserve it is most likely the same basic thing that got it this far. There is enough flex in them that three to four coats of epoxy may be brittle enough to crack in use. Plus, epoxy coating looks like crap unless it is allowed to cure for about a week and then is sanded smooth - because it won't be. Then it needs a strong UV filtering top coat just to protect the epoxy. I have on occasion dabbed the tips of this sort of paddle with epoxy to control or prevent splitting, but that's about as far as I'll go with it. Two or three coats of a good, marine-grade spar varnish is awfully hard to beat and is what is supposed to be there.

    Dan Lindberg and Rob Stevens like this.
  10. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    In case you need yet another opinion, forget the epoxy and polyurethane. Both are death to the paddle. just good old fashioned spar varnish. Nothing with poly in the name.
    Rob Stevens likes this.

Share This Page