One Sunday morning a few weeks ago my wife and I were wandering around the local shopping centre. She puts up with my frequent trips to the hardware store without much complaint so I try to be patient when we visit homeware stores. This particular trip we were just looking around and spotted a wooden paddle for serving cheese and nibbles. The store wanted $40 for what was really nothing more than a bit of flat wood so she turned to me and said “You could make that couldn’t you?”
It’s not that often that she wants something made, so I leapt at the opportunity.
That afternoon I got some time to play in the workshop so went looking for a suitable board. There just happened to be one just the right size and length that I’d not found a use for yet so I got to work on it.
First we worked out how long she wanted the paddle and a rough shape for the handle and I sketched them onto the board. I think it’s Douglas Fir but I could be wrong, but I’ve got a feeling this is a leftover piece of the sides from when I built my step stool and that was what it was made from.
A few minute work with a jigsaw and it was roughly cut to shape. My wife had a look and noted where she wanted it adjusted a little during the final shaping.
I shaped it with files and course sandpaper. I suggested running a roundover bit on the edges but she was happy with just the sandpaper being used to break the sharp edges
A few minutes with a random orbital sander and quite a nice surface was revealed. There’s still a few spots on the edges that weren’t smooth at this point so it will need some more work. My wife asked for a hanging hole in the handle so I drilled that in too, and softened the edges of the hole with a countersink bit.
I sanded the edges and the face with 1200 grit sandpaper, making sure to go in the same direction from the handle to the end of the paddle to avoid scratch marks accross the grain.
A few coats of orange oil and a light buff with a clean rag and it was done. The colour in the grain really came out nicely, especially the wider lines on one side and my wife is very happy with the result as was I. The wood was scrap and I already had the tools and oil so the total cost was minimal, except for around an hour’s work…if you can call something you enjoyed doing work!