Star Trek-themed tasting paddle

Star Trek, the Original Series.

One of the shows I watched as a kid growing up and still find appealing for many reasons. It dealt with difficult issues of the day that still are present and kept the plot both believable and contemplative.

I thought what better way of commemorating the series than thinking about designing a Star Trek-themed tasting paddle.

To those ends, the first step was to identify an iconic symbol that would be both recognizable and practical for a paddle design.

After thinking of a few ideas, the uniform insignia seemed to be the best blending of both needs.

Pictures: Click on the pictures below to see the picture in higher resolution.


In addition, each service branch had a distinct uniform color and logo. I’m hoping to in corporate those design elements as well to make three “variants”.

First step, aspect-ratio a size that will fit 4 tasting glasses using an expanded image of the logo.


I liked the border element and initially thought of routing a trough 1/2 inch from the edge. This would create an interior border. I would then mask and spray paint the interior of the paddle face one of three colors (“Command Gold”, “Science Blue” or “Engineering Red”).


A six foot piece of red oak, with the patterns nested (to save wood) allows for six paddles.


Once I used a jig saw to cut out the boards, I moved to the band saw to do the more detailed exterior cuts.


Test fitting four tasting glasses showed both nice spacing and room for details.


Wanted to select the appropriate service colors and see how they looked applied to the oak boards. (Star Trek Trivia: NBC had just moved from black and white broadcasting into color. To those ends, they discussed with Gene Roddenberry about how to best display this “newfangled aspect of TV” called Color. Picking three primary colors for the service branches was intentional, to highlight the new Color options (there’s another story about Green/Gold how how it appears on TV, but that’s for another time).


Also wanted to pick a nice deep stain to both highlight the wood grain, and also compliment the color. Selected my “Old Standby” Provincial.


Next came the routing of the edges. The purpose to create a border, both to keep true to the initial design and also to have a border for the interior paint design element and the stained edge and back. The concave arch in the lower part of the design required a bit of “Engineering” to determine how to maintain distance from the router bit and the edge. I created a “point fence” with some scrap wood and affixed it to my router. This allowed freedom of movement around the interior arch and also kept the distance from the edge true.


Cut the holes for the 5.5oz tasting glasses.


Started applying the stain….. and then made a design change…..

Once I saw how nice the grain looked, I was hesitate to cover that up with painting the interior Gold, Blue or Red.

Hmmmm, what to do… what to do….

I decided to reverse the design. Rather than paint the interior and keep the edges and back stained, I would stain the edges and keep the back and top stained.

This required additional routing on the back side, to mimic the border created on the top side. A bit more work, but I think it would turn out well.


Now to mask the top and bottom to allow for the edges to be sprayed.


Since the stain was applied first, I cut the mask as close to the painted edge as possible.


On to the painting!


Once the masking was removed, I realized that “mid-course correction” was the right thing to do.


Remember these logos? I wanted to incorporate this element into the design, but in a small subtle way. So I painstakingly created some vinyl masks and then hand painted the logo, using a latex black satin



“Galaxy spiral” for “Engineering Red”


“Starburst for “Command Gold”


“Elemental Circle” for “Science Blue”….

which I haven’t done yet.

This is proving to be a difficult mask to make, as it is the only one containing an internal (three actually) cut components. Gonna have to think about how to do this…

Hope you liked seeing this process! If you are interested in ordering one (or more) here are the details:

Dimensions (at widest points): 16in x 10.5in 

Number of glasses: 4 (included with paddle. 5.5oz Libby thick-walled tasting glasses).

Wood type: Oak (other types available upon request, pricing will vary).

Wood stain: Provincial (others available upon request).

Sealant: Spar Urethane (Danish oil available upon request).

Price: $45 (plus shipping).

Click this link to take you to the “how to order” page.

Click here to return to the main tasting paddles page.

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