The weather has been very cooperative, so I've been able to get a lot of work done on the oars.
Today I finished removing the excess wood from the blades and shaped the handle. I then sanded the whole thing to get rid of any bumps or rough spots. There are some knots on the blade that made it difficult to reduce it correctly, so that edge is still a little bit lumpy. These oars are my prototype oars to see how I like sculling the boats and figure out what works and what doesn't.
My plan is to use these oars to learn how to scull the boats. If any changes are needed to the shape, I will discover it with these oars and make the necessary improvements on the next set. If I like them the way they are, I will use them until they die!
Since these oars might not be permanent fixtures on the boat, I used wood from Home Depot. Not the best grade of lumber for boat building, but the price was right. The 2"x12"x16' douglas fir only cost around $18. I looked through all the lumber they had to find a board with vertical grain and relatively few knots. The sections of the oar that are clear of knots are a dream to plane and work, the knots take extra attention.