One week to the day of starting my new paddle, I finally gave it its first coats of tung oil and epoxy. I did some initial sanding on Saturday night so that I could take it on a paddle on Sunday. Sunday's paddle gave me a chance to feel it out and to allow the water to raise the grain of the wood prior to the final finishing.
Tonight (Monday) after letting the paddle dry overnight, I went back to the sanding and removed some more wood from the lower edges and the tips. It's funny how a little sanding can make a difference in weight. I managed to drop almost 1.5 oz just by doing the final sanding alone. The paddle now sits at 30.9. Damn - so close to that sub 30 threshold. But I really should be pleased. This a full 90" paddle with solid maple tips and edges. I really can't expect it weigh less than a full cedar unit. I'm happy!!
As per all my latter paddles, I've applied the distinctive reflective black strip. Hence my designation as this being paddle BBP (Black Band Paddle) #7.
The Naked Paddle (No finish whatsoever)
First coat of Tung Oil
Slight coat of epoxy applied to the tips.
I'm not really that keen on the glossy epoxy so I'll tone it down a bit with some steel wool to take off some of the shine.