Just thought I would share my latest project. I did not have a mash paddle and thought after looking at a few ready made paddles and prices from various homebrew supply shops I was determined that I could build one myself. Now I do not claim to be a great wood worker and managed to construct this paddle in about three hours.
What I did was locate a piece of hard maple 1x4x48 inches and proceeded to draw out the design I had in mind. The final measurements of the paddle are 35 ½ inches long 3 ½ inches wide at the paddle end and the holes were ¾ inch.
The hardest part of the entire project was cutting the handle portion out; my jig saw basically was on its last leg so the long cuts were not exact. After the base shape was cut I then used a router and preceded to router all the edges to make them nice and round. The holes were also routed as well. Once the final cutting, shaping and router work was completed the entire thing was sanded with 320 grit sandpaper followed by a red scotch brite pad and is now extremely smooth and easy to handle.
The paddle will work with both five and ten gallon batches, specifically a 10 and 7 ¾ gallon keggles, or even converted cooler mash tuns. The last thing I am going to do is mark graduations on the side of the paddle so you call tell how much water you have in the HLT and mash tun. This will be done by using a wood burner (soldering iron) and actually burn in the numbers and graduations. This might come in handy if you do not have a sight glass.
All-in-All I have under $8.00 dollars in this paddle since I already had the tools. Anyway let me know what you think just thought some of you might be interested. See attached links below for pictures.