Shaw & Tenney is a facility in Orono that makes oars and paddles. Not just any oars and paddles, though, their dedication to perfection is truly uncommon.
If, in the process of crafting the implement, a single knot or pitch pocket is found; the oar will be tossed to the side and sold as a second. Every cut is overseen by a human eye and guided by a human hand. Many customers choose to hang the paddles on their walls rather than dip them in the water.
They are, in short, prize possessions. The steer the gondolas in Las Vegas. And the shop itself produces little waste: one bag of trash a week. And that bag typically just has leftovers from the workers' lunches. Wooden scraps are turned into other projects or kindling and sawdust is used at the University of Maine for bedding for their baby cows.
The business goes back to 1858 and some of the equipment they use was first put in place back in the 1800s.
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