Songbird Oars is a small oar-making shop located in the sinuous canyon country of the Colorado River basin. Within the shop artisan style wood oars are handcrafted for whitewater rafts, dories, and drift boats. Contact the oarshop for more information about a pair of custom-made wood oars or the refurbishment of older wood oars or paddles.
About The Shop
Oars built in the shop are handcrafted from scratch using traditional methods and various antique hand tools. Oars are constructed utilizing solid ash oar-bodies laminated on the inboard side with unique hardwoods to add balance, strength, and flair. This coupling of an ash oar-body with various “companion” wood types allows for elegant combinations of color and character in each oar while maintaining the feel and durability of a solid wooden oar.
Oars are crafted in the shop utilizing a range of designs — from the conventional to the antiquated. Oars are designed with focus on the balance, function, and aesthetics of each oar. Artisan wanderings into shell and stone inlays, painting, or woodwork artistry are sometimes practiced to further individualize oars.
To protect from the elements, oars are finished with bright and durable spar varnishes or permeating and easy to refinish oil mixtures. Oars are furnished with nylon rope wraps, or more traditional hand-sewn leather wraps, to protect from the slow wearing of the oarlocks, and are fitted with adjustable or fixed buttons (aka oar-stops).
In addition to building new custom oars, old wooden oars and paddles are also repaired and/or refurbished in the shop. Refurbishment services include: refinishing, repairs, rewrapping, counterbalancing, and reshaping.
Within each wooden oar exists the story of the craftsmen, boatmen, and landscapes that have shaped them. It is the intention that the bespoke oars created within the Songbird Oars shop will have an inherent meaningfulness to them, that they will symbolize the venerable life of an oarsman and help tell the stories of those that row them.
11′ oars of ash & koa with square inboard looms & inlaid turquoise motifs
11′ ash & walnut oars with octagonal inboard looms
10′ ash & walnut oars with octagonal inboard looms & inlaid shell motifs
Waxed burgundy leather wraps
Ash & sapele 11′ oars
10′ 6″ ash & walnut oars with square inboard looms, wild boar shell inlays, & thumb-indexed grips
Laminated ash & mahogany blades
Long-handled 10′ ash & walnut oars
10′ 3″ oars with square inboard looms of ash, walnut & oak, & turquoise wave inlays
10′ ash & walnut oars with abalone inlays
10′ 6″ ash & walnut oars
Ash blades with chevron blade protection in white
Chevron blade protection in turqouise
10′ ash & purpleheart oars
9′ 6″ oars of fire-scarred oak & ash
Ash blades with purpleheart blade protection
Oiled 10′ ash & walnut oars
10′ ash & walnut oars with turquoise wave motifs
10′ ash & oak oars with inlaid turquoise motifs
Contact the shop
Songbird Oars LLC | Levi Jamison
“…Forever you’ll want to drift downstream, but upon the end you’ll find the feeling still follows you; away from the banks, back to your home, and into your dreams. It doesn’t end at the sea, for soon enough you’ll return to the headwaters to float in conversation once again…”