I decided to make some Pete Culler style 8′ oars for Moga. I started off by making a pattern out of thin plywood, and then cutting some 3/4″ spruce to size. The looms will be thick, so I’ll have 4 laminations up there.
Next I epoxied everything together with thickened epoxy.
Then I cut out the shape of the oars with a bandsaw. I started with the handles so the step wouldn’t get hung up on the bandsaw’s table. Once the shape was correct, I turned them on their side and tapered them from 2.5″ at the handles to 5/8″ at the tips.
I made a quick eight siding gauge and marked out some lines to help me make the looms round.
An angle grinder and a 36 grit flap disk make quick work of spruce.
One finished oar next to the rough cut blank.
I epoxied on some Cumuru tips to protect the end grain and make them a little more durable.
Starting to varnish the oars. I eventually put on about 8 coats of spar varnish.
Soaking some leather in warm water so I can leather the looms in the area of the oarlocks.
Sewing up the leather with waxed nylon thread and a baseball stitch. I found it easiest to lace up 3-4 inches and then tighten the stitches up. Otherwise the leather will pull everything open again.
Cutting out the second leather and punching the holes.
All stitched up. I made sure to orient the stitches so they won’t be against the oarlock when in use. I also later greased the leather with beef tallow to help preserve it.