Boat Hook

It’s too cold to paint the Toto and I had a quiet afternoon, so I decided it was time for a shop project. I’ve been wanting a boat hook, so I thought it would be a good time to make one. I found a nice branch in the white oak tree out front and cut it out. Then I peeled all the bark off with a chisel and a pocket knife. I gave it a rough sanding, but it’s obviously very wet still. I’m hoping to slow dry it so it doesn’t check too badly. I coated the ends with candle wax and have it sitting in a plastic bag to dry at a controlled pace.

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This will be head of the hook and will be scarfed to a long pole. I have some 5/4 atlantic white cedar boards about 3″ wide and 6′ long. I cut a pair of 1″ wide sections from one of them. I made an 8:1 scarf joint with my jack plane and epoxied the two pieces together to make a 10′ pole. Once the epoxy dries I’ll soften the corners with a round over bit. I’m not sure how long it will take to dry the white oak. I’ve never worked with wood I cut off a tree before. The atlantic white cedar is also sometimes called juniper and was traditionally used in boat building on Harkers Island. It’s light weight and rot resistant. Hopefully the combination of a light pole and a tough white oak head will make for a good boat hook.

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