My teaching season has ended and I am delighted with how well it went. Boats, bronze, and oars. And a bunch of new folks now hopelessly infected with arcane and useless skills.

Here’s a shot of one of the oars I made in the first oar course, resting in a new design oarlock we are developing for a friend.

In our final oar course we reshaped over a dozen oars, made nearly a dozen new ones from scratch, and put laser-tips, leathers, and counterweight slugs in a majority of them. 

Here is an ancient Smoker being unearthed from decades of paint jobs.

Tim cutting out blanks for a set of oars for the McKenzie he is building.

West battening in the neck curves for a pair of Sitka spruce oars.

Tim clamping on Tzalam (pronounced za-LAAM) laminates to his ash oars.

Marieke cutting the blanks into shape on Big Jim, our mighty carbide-bladed band saw.

Greg Loehr, master shaper and epoxy guru arrives to coach, participate, and distract with tales of yore. Coop, RJ, and Andy are easily distracted.

Marieke cutting the next dimension of her oars, laminated in African Paduak (pronounced puh-DOOK). Man that stuff is stinky.

Grinders galore in the outside arena.

Greg re-shaping a blade.

West shaping the transition from shaft to blade with a spokeshave.

From square to octagonal, then on to sixteen-atonal and thirty-two-agonal. We use chalk to see where we’ve just carved.

Marieke planing her Paduak. Crazy colored stuff.

Old six-eyes stitching on his leathers.

Coop leathering his reshaped Smokers.

Tim cutting his grips.

Coop tooling his oar stops.

Bryan and Bill pouring more lead slugs for counterbalance.

Jon doing the scariest move of all–drilling the grips for the lead slugs.

Bill and Tim carving the transition from grip to shaft.

Marieke oiling the ash/paduak oars. They are insanely cool looking.

I hoped to have a day of rest yesterday, but instead got to remove about fourteen inches of heavy snow from the premises before collapsing into my chair for the remainder of the day. And today Janek and I rebuilt the shop and began finishing off loose ends–a few more oars to shape and detail.