This paddle is an experiment in progress. I trimmed the blade and then decided to put a fiberglass sleeve on the shaft. I purchased the sleeve material from Soller Composites and placed a 30″ segment above the blade. Of course I did this after that portion of the shaft was rounded and before the grip was built. Western Red Cedar is a very soft wood and it dents easily; thus my reason for putting on the sleeve (I also have a desire to make a wood whitewater canoe paddle which needs reinforcing on the shaft, especially in the area where shaft meets gunwales).
I glued on 4 walnut pieces to the square shaft to make the grip, then shaped them similar to the grip found on a ZRE paddle I own. I sanded everything and coated with two coats of West epoxy 105/207 to fill the grain on the western red cedar. Instead of taking photos, I decided to make a couple of short videos of the grip and blade while I rotated the paddle so you can see the 3D shape.
The paddle currently weighs 20oz. After the epoxy cures for a while, I’ll sand it down and put a couple coats of varnish, so the weight may go up just a bit. I like the grip and shaft. However, the blade is not stiff enough at the edges (outside of the center support). I’ll write more after I give it a test in the water.