Husband makes wood paddle board for his wife
After trying stand-up paddle boarding last summer, a paddle board was on Cherie Bowman-Lyons’ wish list.
“Both my daughter and I really loved it,” she said. “I said it was going to be my next big purchase.”
But before she got a chance to make that purchase, her husband Tom Lyons crafted her a handmade paddle board.
“It was my wife’s Christmas present, but she didn’t get it until June,” Lyons said.
Bowman-Lyons found two paddles and a paddle board ornament under the
tree on Christmas morning. Then, Lyons got to work building the board.
is an avid woodworker but never had built anything like a paddle board
before. He estimates the project took about 160 hours.
“I quit counting after about 100 hours,” Lyons said.
wooden 68-pound paddle board that Lyons built is hollow. He ordered the
internal frame online and built the rest of the board himself.
“The internal skeleton is like a fish scale,” he said.
On the outside, different types of wood make an elaborate design on the top of the board.
Lyons came up with the pattern himself and used western red cedar, redwood and Port Orfrod cedar.
“There’s a small grove out in Washington that this stuff comes from,” Lyons said.
He also made two wood paddles, one sized for himself and one for his wife to go with the board.
The board was too big for Lyons’ woodworking shop, so instead the project moved into their Great Falls garage.
“It took up our whole garage all winter,” Bowman-Lyons said.
wasn’t the first woodworking project Lyons made for his wife. When they
were dating, he built her a hope chest. Since then, he’s built kitchen
cupboards for their house, furniture and many wedding gifts.
Even after seeing everything Lyons has made, Bowman-Lyons was blown away by the board Lyons crafted.
“I couldn’t imagine him making one,” she said.
project went fairly smoothly, Lyons said, with the exception of an
accident when the board was nearly done. Lyons dropped the boar,
punching a hole in its woodwork. A careful observer might notice the
repair that doesn’t quite match the rest of the woodworking.
Bowman-Lyons ended up buying a paddle board, so she could have others join her on paddle board outings.
is the one everyone likes to use,” Bowman-Lyons said of the board her
husband made. “It’s very stable, and it’s a wonderful board.
“It’s really fun out on the water because everybody stops you to ask about it,” she added.