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Chestnut- odd decks and ferrous nails?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Wrothgar, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes


    Hi, this is my first post. I found this chestnut on garbage day. I took it home for the thrill of portaging in the city. Now I'm restoring it to paddle around the mouth of 16 Mile Creek in Oakville, Ontario, with my daughter....and possible for solo trips or as a second canoe on a trip. There is a canoe club there that is really good with kids.

    Anyway: is this deck the result of a previous repair? The inwales don't reach the end?

    The stems are white oak, front one might need rebuilding. About half the fasteners at the stems are steel....all but one fastener for the ribs were steel. All tacks are brass. Gunwales screws are bronze. Keel is while oak. Undersides of thwart and seats were left unfinished.

    Also: any hints on how to get planks off without splitting them? The iron nails are hard to get to...but I guess I'd better get them all.

    IMG_20200606_180035.jpg IMG_20200606_175931.jpg
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Oh, it's also about 15' (a few inches shorter than) and 36" wide.
     
  3. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac

    Your canoe appears to be in good shape, and certainly restoreable and usable. That style of deck joinery is more typical of Huron canoes I have seen, and there is nothing wrong with it when properly done, but I suspect it was done during an earlier restoration by cutting off rotten inwale tips, then filling that space with a new oak deck ( and a reproduction Chestnut decal). If the canoe is as old as WW2, a lot of steel nails were used, and if rusted into place, difficult to remove. Don't remove any more than necessary, as a lot of collateral damage to wood will occur. I worked on one where I touched a soldering iron to the steel nail head to create a small burn around the nail, which allowed it to come out, but I'm not saying this is a great idea. Keep us informed about your progress, and we like photos. TM..
     
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I have a Peterborough River Model (Prospector) with a deck like that. It was a previous repair.
    Not sure what to say about steel fasteners in a Chestnut. Word on the street says that steel was used during WW2 because brass was going to the war effort. Old Town used steel, albeit galvanized, to fasten the ribs to the inwales, until they went to the long @#$&## staples. They are generally no problem. Unplated steel screws are a problem normally. Hard to remove, but should be replaced with brass or bronze IMHO.
    I’m working on a 1945 Old Town with steel clinch tacks. They are hard to remove as well. They don’t “unclinch” when you pull them out, so they normally pull a good size chunk of plank and rib with them. For the most part, I leave them if possible. if there are steel tacks and planking is to be replaced, I will break up the planking, leaving the tack stand proud.
    Then use an angle grinder with a 36 grit wheel to grind the tack flush with the rib, leaving the clinched portion buried in the rib.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I might leave the steel in the stem, but replace all the rib fasteners. I was going to steam bend a front stem, but could only find kiln dried white oak. Air dried ash was only available as 22 foot boards....yikes. I will replace white cedar planks with red cedar....just because I have some clear grained cedar rescued from thrown out fence posts which are 2.5" x 5.5 "....and I can't find white cedar that easily. A lot of the planks have knots....some planks have really nice grain. I might have to rebuild the decks as is....tips are a bit black. Stem to deck joinery is hard to make out.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    So I may laminate a front stem....
     
  7. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    Wrothgar,

    Welcome to the WCHA! And this forum.
    You'll find an awful lot of knowledgeable and helpful folks here, as you've already seen.

    If you'd like to make your repairs using ash and white cedar planking, there are a couple of sources pretty close at hand.
    Noahs just off Kipling Avenue in TO has lots of builder/repair supplies. Even closer to you is Peter Code at Tendercraft Boat Shop in Mississauga. He has ready cut planking and gunwales available.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing another Chestnut resurrected and paddled again! Can never have too many Chestnuts!

    Bruce Lac La Biche resized.jpg
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I know Noah's....last I checked tendercraft is closed.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I look the rope in the gunwale...do you have a photo of how that works?
     
  10. Pook

    Pook Chestnut Canoe fan

    IMG_1907.jpg IMG_1908.jpg Wrothgar,

    Are you saying Tendercraft is "closed" closed? Peter always had an unusual schedule, but calling him and making an appointment worked in the past. Its been about a year and a half since I spoke with Peter, however...

    I trip with all my canoes and needed some way to securely attach water bottle, camera, drybag, etc. Our large Voyageur canoes all had attachment points for individual paddlers and I thought something similar would be useful. All I did was feed some thin cord in and out of the gunwales between rib tops, secured at each end by a knot. I do a section at the centre thwart and two other sections at bow and stern seats. With knots its easy enough to adjust till you get it exactly right- ie close enough to reach but not in your way when paddling.

    Bruce
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Wrothgar

    Wrothgar Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Cool, thanks. I emailed him about 2 weeks ago....he may be just closed for covid.
     

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