Summer Update #3

Professional Results from Oarmaking at WoodenBoat School

I teach a lot during the course of the year. Over the years it has been a thrill to combine my boatbuilding and design training with my training as an educator. A big chunk of my teaching is at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, ME. This year saw me up there three times. The first two weeks were Computer Design and Family Week. This past week was Traditional & Modern Oarmaking.

The students made beautiful oars this week. 

The course begins with a thorough discussion of the design of oars, looking at examples of finished oars and ones in progress. We overview the process of making a good oar and begin parsing through the patterns.

Tracing the patterns on rough-sawn, air-dried Eastern White SPruce

Sleeping oars at the 4-sided, tapered phase after class on day 2.

Sleeping oars at the 4-sided, tapered phase after class on day 2.

The modern part of the course involved vacuum bagged, Carbon Fiber blades.

Every students gets their own pattern that meets meets their needs. Throughout the week students whittle down the 2x6 Spruce to something that looks like an oar. Ultimately, they come away with a great set of oars that have the features I have learned are important as a rower and professional oarmaker. More than that, I feel, they leave with an understanding of the process and some enhanced hand-tool skills, as well.

Lookout for next year's Workshops and Classes schedule to learn more about the offerings for 2017.