The Turning Oars collection features a series of photographs depicting the process of creating oars for Cape Kiwanda Wood Products of Pacific City. The collection is being published in stages.
In the early 1960s, dorymen Paul Hanneman and Terry Learned purchased a basic homemade lathe for turning oars. When the partners went to pick it up from the farmer in Tillamook who built it in the 1930s, they found a basic shell and a number of loose parts in boxes. They brought the lathe back to Paul’s shop and reassembled it. The machine consists of a number of Model T Ford gears, wood pulleys, and leather belts that create forty-four speeds for the lathe. For nearly six decades Pacific City dory fishers and others have used the oars crafted by these two men.
On May 12, 2012, Ty Marshall photographed the process of turning the oars. This was the last time Paul and Terry manufactured them. The oar-making machine was dismantled and sold in the summer of 2017.
To look at the process chronologically, view the images in numerical order (Turning Oars 001 – Turning Oars 072). Terry Learned provided the descriptions for images numbered 005-068. Special thanks go to Mary Beth Jones and Brenda DeVore Marshall, who served as transcriber and editor for Terry Learned’s recorded descriptions.