Vintage Canoe Paddle

This is my second post in honor of Father’s Day. Previously I posted a vintage tripod lamp DIY in honor of my Grandpa Al, but this week is for my Grandpa Frank.

By education Frank was a doctor, but when he retired he bought land overlooking Mt. Rainier, and spent most of his time hunting, fishing, and exploring the mountains. He was definitely an outdoorsy Grandpa. :) I caught my first “wild” fish with him, rode a pony for the first time (while crying) and enjoyed running around with my cousins on his farm. He loved spending time in nature. And whether it was hiking, fishing or just spending time on his land, he embodied that Northwest spirit that I love.

When I was in girl scouts I did two summers at canoe camp. We spent one to two weeks canoeing down local Northwest rivers, cooking and camping each night as we traveled down the river. It is one of my highlights of my childhood, and I grew to love canoeing because of it. My Grandfather also liked to canoe, and once upon a time ago he built a canoe with some buddies, and the story I heard was that he inevitably crashed it shortly after their first voyage. I inherited a beaver tail paddle from him and when I saw some painted paddles in a local boutique shop, I knew I needed to recreate something like it using his paddle.

I started by borrowing my brother-in-law’s sander, and then finished it off with my own. A Christmas gift from my family, most likely because I kept asking to borrow their tools. :) I used the sander with a few different grits of sandpaper.

  • High – for sanding off the burnt sienna paint job (and revealing another coat of gray paint underneath)
  • Medium – for working through all the groves
  • Light – for finishing it off smooth