Preview: How to Make A Flat Blade Oar, with Wesley Reddick of Rower’s Oars

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At his shop at Rower’s Oars, Wesley Reddick shows us how to make a flat blade oar from a few pieces of spruce.

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18 Responses So Far to “How to Make A Flat Blade Oar, with Wesley Reddick of Rower’s Oars

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    John Brame says:

    A good straight edge is essential as the those 4 straight lines are essential for a nice pair of oars. I just bought a nice piece of aluminium 2.5m x 70 x 25.

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    John Brame says:

    Beautiful work. I’ve almost finished a pair of oars made from old second hand douglas fir. I ended up using a belt sander to finish up on the paddle end.

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    Andrew Selmes says:

    Just viewed this video in relation to possibly creating a pair of oars for my soon to be completed Goat Island Skiff. Whether I buy a pair or make my own, it is wonderful to see such a craftsman at work. Not enough true craftsmen in the world today. Wes must have a very satisfying career, creating such beautiful oars.

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    Jim Brinkley says:

    Thanks Mr Reddrick for sharing your wonderful making video. I have made several pairs and a few paddles. I enjoy working on the oars and improving each time. I work with firm, popular and ashe. Very hard to fine good clear source in the southeast. Where would I purchase a cove blade like yours?Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again

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    Robert Von zuben says:

    loved this video, felt I was in his shop working beside a craftsman and teacher- thanks for sharing. I think I need to go for one more row.

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    Arturo Kutscher says:

    Great work. It looks easy until you start on your own.

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    Stephen Weld says:

    I like to leave the looms square inboard of the leathers. It improves the balance, keeps the oar from sliding out of the lock if you want to drop it, and provides a secure base for lashing the oar to the thwarts for travel. Pete Culler often made his looms 8-sided, which looks cool, but takes attention to produce.

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      Wes Reddick says:

      Stephen, thanks for your reply. I agree that the square inboard looms can aid in helping to balance the oar. Culler’s oar designs may tend to need the extra material inboard due to the hefty neck and web that runs through the blade. One ounce of wood shaved off the blade however, will equal 2.5 ounces saved inboard on a standard 7:18 ratio oar. Oars in general, in my humble opinion, tend to be unnecessarily heavy and can feel clunky and stiff. Adding material to the inboard loom can help with balance, but will consequently add overall weight to an oar. Finding that sweet spot of strength, flexibility and good balance is the challenge for me. But it’s good to look good too, and you’re right, those 8 sided looms do look cool. So many of these things we do demand attention to detail and can be challenging, but then, if we didn’t like a little challenge now and then, we probably wouldn’t be rowers. Row well Stephen!

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    Daren Lindley says:

    I loved the video. Amazing work. Just the sound of the tools makes my heart warm.

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    Jeff Fongemie says:

    Fantastic. Wondering where you found such good Spruce?

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    Stephen Horseley says:

    A wonderful video, thanks for sharing. Inspiring me to get out to the shed and make a pair.

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    chris jesson says:

    I would love to see how you make spoon bladed oars.thank you for your video

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    Robert Walker says:

    Great to see crafts such as this to be carried on for many years and the the younger craftsmen coming through to continue the craft . Brilliant

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    Ken Weinstein says:

    Another detailed and inspiring video. So glad to be a life member and watch this artful work.

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    Chris Noto says:

    Thanks, Mr. Reddick, for allowing me to sit quietly in the corner of your shop while you showed me your art. I had a lovely time, and hope to stop in again.

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    James Cornwell says:

    This is an inspiring display of craftsmanship! What a great way to start the morning!


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