Hi folks - I just bought a couple "vintage" Old Town paddles off Craigslist. The one with the guide grip has a spine not only at the top of the blade but also where the shaft meets the grip - hadn't seen that before. I'd like to use them, at least occasionally. It looks like they were mostly varnished but the tops of the grips were left oiled, and now they're a very dull grey. They're still surprisingly smooth, but I can feel how open the grain of the wood is with the wood dried out as much as it is. After reading some other posts (a couple of the most relevant ones are below), I think that the grips should either be re-oiled or varnished (with sanding as appropriate). Thoughts on restoring these beyond the above? Can the grips ever be made to match the current appearance of the rest of the paddle? For the tips, I'll sand them down and varnish them. One has about a half-inch split in the tip (1/4 in on the back side), which I will probably fill with a paste of saw dust and wood glue before sanding and varnishing (allowing dry time between steps). Relevant past posts on repairing old paddles: http://forums.wcha.org/index.php?threads/paddle-repair.16954/ http://forums.wcha.org/index.php?threads/what-to-do-with-an-old-paddle.16292/ (includes some humorous and enjoyable banter on paddle collecting - I've certainly got the bug!) PS - Anyone care to venture an age or wood type?