Making Canoe Paddles at the Duluth Folk School
October 3, 2019

Canoe Paddle Making

  • Make Your Own Canoe Paddle - Day 1 of 2
     November 29, 2019
     5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Make Your Own Canoe Paddle - Day 2 of 2
     November 30, 2019
     10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Black Friday is typically a day for people to go shopping. Here are the folk school, we’re putting our paddle in the sand, and saying NO to a day of shopping! Instead, we’re giving people an opportunity to create something beautiful!

The warmth and beauty of a hand-made canoe paddle is hard to beat, and this is a wonderful time of the year to create one!

In this class, you’ll make your own straight-shaft canoe paddle, and you can select which type of wood you will be working with:

  • Basswood (with accents of western cedar; excellent for creating almost any paddle shape or style).
  • Cherry (a rich reddish-colored wood; excellent for making traditional beavertail or ottertail-shaped paddles)

Note: Basswood is significantly easier to work with than cherry.

On our first evening, we’ll start building your paddle by gluing the blade and the grip onto a prepared shaft. We will discuss characteristics of various types of paddles, materials, and how to size a paddle to an individual person. The following session will be spent shaping your paddle, using hand and power tools.

Registration Includes

Instruction and all materials. By the end of class, you will have completed your new canoe paddle. Your paddle will need to be varnished before dipping it in the water.

You should bring…

We’ll have all the tools and materials you’ll need. However, some people prefer working with their own tools. If you’d like to bring your own tools, bring along:

  • For Day 1: Two pipe clamps (up to 36″ long), two C-clamps
  • For Day 2: Block plane or smoothing plane, spoke shave, rasp, jig saw, belt sander and/or spindle sander, pipe clamps, etc.

Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Some folks prefer to wear an apron.

Skill Level

No prior experience needed

Best for Ages…

18 and older.

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1917 W Superior St, Duluth, Minnesota, 55806, United States


Located on street level. Handicapped accessible.

Main Floor Space

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1917 W Superior St
Duluth, MN 55806

Duluth Folk School
Office: 218-216-6929 or
Office Hours: Monday-Friday (9 am – 1 pm)

Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace
Cafe: (218) 481-7888 or
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday (8 am – 8 pm); Monday & Tuesday (8 am – 3 pm)

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Duluth Folk School is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.


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