I woke up yesterday morning and felt like making a canoe paddle, so I went out the my shop and prepared the pieces. I had an extra cedar / ash shaft made up from the last bunch of paddles I made so I used that and laminated walnut pieces on for the blade and top grip. I left it to cure over night. The following day (today) I did the shaping. Everything went well, I haven't played in my shop very much since I started back to school so I took my time and really enjoyed the carving process. For this paddle I choose what I call my Trapper blade design with a modified northwoods top grip. The cedar/ash shafts are very light and with the addition of the walnut blade I was concerned that the paddle would unbalanced so I decided to add the northwoods grip because it would provide more weight on the shaft and thereby balancing the paddle. I'm happy to say, it worked! The finish is oil.
I cut two strips of wood off of a larger 8/4 piece of walnut that I had. I book matched the grain patterns but as I carved away the material the lighter grain pattern on the one side became less and less. I ended up with a paddle with an asymmetric grain pattern.