Canoes need paddles, so Phil specializes in both woodworking crafts. While paddles made of softwood are more often purchased for economy and function, paddles of hardwood are bought for visual appeal. Several contrasting wood types are used in pattern and design work. Paddle blades are bent using steam and further shaped and smoothed with sandpaper. The grip and shaft are laminated layers of wood and may be custom built to match the shape of the buyer’s hand.