I built my oars more than two years ago… I used inexpensive Home Depot 1 x 6s on the theory that I didn't want to butcher expensive lumber in my first attempt at making oars. The oars made their debut - without leathers - in March of 2010.
Shaw & Tenney sell a kit for oar leathers, which I ordered in early 2011. Reading S&T's instructions and other comments on-line, I was intimidated… installing the leathers seemed to be some sort of mystic transmutation I couldn't comprehend. The examples of oar leathers I've seen on-line have all be gorgeous works of art. I was intimidated.
Over the last two days I've overcome that intimidation and installed the leathers… they are not artistic triumphs but I suspect they are functional. I will find out later this month when I take the Goat Island Skiff to Cedarville, MI for a week (or so) of sailing expeditions.
Beginning the installation:
Interesting that the stitching is different on each oar… and I thought I was doing them the same…
New varnish (after sanding) will finish off these oars.
I am reminded of a comment a friend made to me when I stated these were "practice" and "temporary" oars… "There is nothing as permanent and long-lasting as a temporary solution." I think he is right.