Jimmy Diresta Makes Canoe Paddles Using TotalBoat Epoxy & Varnish

YouTube superstar, Jimmy DiResta, is no stranger to “making” things by hand. He would never order a pair of paddles for the canoe he’s building when he can order some fancy, spalted maple, and walnut to carve, plane and sand into submission. DiResta is a legend when it comes to being a ‘Maker.” In fact, most makers would concede that Jimmy is in fact, King of the Makers. So when he asked about our epoxies and finishes for the project, we were more than happy to give him a hand. 

Jimmy’s expert videos always show all of the tools and processes involved with making whatever he’s building. For his canoe paddles, he used our 2:1 High-Performance Epoxy with Medium Hardener to adhere the strips of wood together. After clamping them in his desired pattern, Jimmy shaped them using a bunch of different tools, many of which he confesses to never having used before – like the Spokeshave!

With the paddles nicely shaped at the blade, shaft, and handle, Jimmy reaches for TotalBoat Penetrating Epoxy to seal the wood at the very first layer. This thinned epoxy will penetrate into the grain and protect the wood against water damage forever! He then finishes the paddles off with about 6 coats of TotalBoat Gleam Varnish. Gleam is easy to apply, can be overcoated without sanding after an hour (or when tack free), and inside of a 48-hour window. This makes it a great choice for building coats, as you can apply several coats inside of a day, scuff it with ScotchBrite or sandpaper and then apply a topcoat. With excellent UV inhibitors, Gleam will keep Jimmy’s canoe paddles looking great for years.

We love all of Jimmy’s videos and hope to make you a fan, too. His shop in upstate NY is being expanded with a new, massive purpose built shop where he will likely first see him working to complete the canoe. We can’t wait to see the canoe video and hope you’ll subscribe to Jimmy’s channel to be alerted to all of his great builds and videos.

As a community of boatbuilders and makers, it’s exciting to see guys who are normally building tables and cabinets take on building a boat. For sure, the bends and curves, layups, and layers of boat building are unlike many other builds. And watching pros like DiResta tackle a boat build is exciting stuff. Let’s see if we can impart any wisdom on Jimmy in the comments that he might find useful for his first crack at boatbuilding.

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