Thomas Paddles philosophy and Paddle Care Guide:
Thanks for purchasing a Thomas Paddle! Please spend a little time reading this guide to learn how to care for your new paddle, and to understand its intent.
The overall philosophy behind Thomas Paddles is performance and practicality. Every choice I make when building your paddle is guided by these goals.
After you unpack your paddle, you may be struck by its beauty, and therefore be hesitant to use it for fear of scratching it. Please, use your paddle! It WILL get scratched and dented, and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you can enjoy the paddle. Thomas paddles are not wall ornaments; although the finish is quite nice, it is not display quality. If you want a beautiful paddle to hang above the fireplace, contact me and we’ll work something out. I see no reason to pay for an ultra fine finish on a paddle that will immediately acquire “character” from use.
The finish on your paddle is a traditional mixture informally called “boat soup” in the marine trades. It is simple, renewable, and non-toxic. I mix tung oil, turpentine, and pine tar together, then slather it on your paddle. I wipe off the excess with a rag before it dries, then repeat 4 or 5 times. To keep your paddle looking nice, sand lightly, then refinish with any rubbing oil: Danish oil, boat soup, boiled linseed oil, pure tung oil, etc.
Please visit this post in my blog for detailed information on how I make and apply the original finish.
If you have a paddle with locust tips, its especially important to maintain the finish of your paddle before storing it for a long time. This is especially important if your winters are long, cold, and dry. Also, make it a habit to notice the condition of the finish as the season wears on, and replenish if you think it needs it. Make sure the paddle is dry when you do this. It should only take about an hour.
Although its possible to break your paddle, its highly unlikely. The most common type of paddle failure involves using a plain cedar paddle to push off a rocky shore. If done just right, it can split the tip. That scenario was the inspiration for my locust armored tips and edges. I do not guarantee against breakage, but if it does happen, I want to know about it. Tell me the circumstances, there may be something I can do about it.
If you are new to the Greenland paddle, and need guidance in its use, please visit this link:
Enjoy your time on the water!