Note the pivoting crosssbar. That helps hold rounded pieces better. The height of the riser is important. It should allow the workpiece to angle upwards to a point midway between your chest and belly button.
Roy Underhill ,of the Woodwright's Shop, has a great line about the ease of using a shaving horse. "A good shaving horse and a few pieces of nice wood..............you can sit down, start talking to a friend and make a chair by accident."
If you make it about chair seat height, you'll be amazed how many other uses you can find for this bench doing other things around the shop.
Thanks for the link and tips. I like those plans better than the others I have seen. Three things I learned making these paddles that works best; straight knot free wood, sharp sharp tools, and the work piece needs to be stationary. Clamping to a table works, but does not allow for the best angle of work, and the clamps tend to be in the way.
I finished these with epoxy and varnish, but I understand now an oil finish would be easier on the hands when paddling. I don't plan on paddling hard enough for that to be an issue :roll:
JD, if you choose to scrape off the varnish finish, I've heard that using edges of a broken piece of glass works well. Obvious safety comments aren't included here, but should be observed, nonetheless. Splotchy, nasty, old, blood stains probably don't decorate a paddle very well. :wink:
Now, a question. Are cypress paddles heavy? White ash is often used, and cedar of various breeds. I was wondering about relative weights? (Maybe, you can find a Kevlar tree in your neighborhood?) I fully recognize that my current skills just don't include making paddles. I also recognize those skills are learnable (no one is born knowing how to make nice paddles, I'd guess). I also recognize that my inclinations don't include whatever is necessary (probably, ambition) to learn those skills. So, I swap plastic for a finished paddle. Works for this geezer.
No plans to remove the varnish. Too much time and work putting it on. Most of the time, I use a plastic double paddle . The single gets used more as a push pole, or in tight waters.
Looked on a chart and the cypress is 32lbs. per cu. ft. White ash is 42lbs. per cu. ft. The "practice" paddles I made from scrap cedar fence boards are very light. Cedar is only 24lbs. per cu. ft. Each wood could offer other advantages more important than light weight. Availability probably being the first consideration. That is why paddles in Louisiana were made from cypress.
Plastic and kevlar may make a "better"? paddle, but I don't think I can shape it with my spokeshave or block plane. :roll: