Private Class: Make Your Own Canoe Paddle

Make a Canoe Paddle at the Duluth Folk School

COVID-19 Restrictions

Private classes are available to be scheduled privately for your family, educational pod, or small group (up to six people). Face masks must be worn at all times.

Classes will take place at socially distanced work stations. Instructors will be wearing masks, and sanitizer will be available.

Price per person:

3-4 people:  $180 (basswood); $200 (cherry) per person
2 people: $255 (basswood); $265 (cherry) per person
Private, one-on-one class: $485 (basswood); $495 (cherry)

Includes nine hours of instruction and all materials.

If you would like to schedule a private class, please email


Erika LeMay

Class Description

The warmth and beauty of a hand-made canoe paddle is hard to beat! Sign up for this class to create your own one-of-a-kind paddle.

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 lighter and 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, nine hours of instruction, tool use, and basswood or cherry wood 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.

Cost of registration includes 9 hours of instruction and $25 (basswood) or $35 (cherry) fee for materials.

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.
  • [This class can also be arranged as a three-session, three-hour-each-session class]

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.


Duluth Folk School
1917 W Superior St
Duluth, MN 55806
(218) 481-7888


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