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Clinching tacks in the middle of the canoe

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by martin ferwerda, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. martin ferwerda

    martin ferwerda LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Has anyone thought up any ingenious way to clinch those tacks in the middle of a canoe, when you are just one person, other than just doing the big arm stretch and hoping you hit the tack head you can barely see with the hammer ? Just looking for ideas.
     
  2. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I'll be interested to find out. I've established that having my wife sit under the canoe with the clinching iron is not a great option. She's not very thrilled with the process. Natural selection might determine the next generation of builders...guys with long arms like Jerry are the template. Folks like me with short arms are goners.
    Maybe try building half size models?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    martin ferwerda

    martin ferwerda LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My current thoughts are a small chunk of 10lb railroad rail (which I do not have), but even though my canoe is flat bottom (still slight curve) , I have doubts that will work as it will be too flat. The other idea is a 10 lb sand bag (which I can probably make out of canvas scraps) and just lay that over the clinching iron. 10 lb may not be enough, that little hammer whack is surprisingly strong.
     
  4. Denise MsWdnBoat

    Denise MsWdnBoat Breaker of tradition

    On a new build, leave a trimmed & fitted plank out, just above the turn of the bilge, on a restoration, leave out sections of planking that need to be replaced anyhow clenching the bottom first should always be in mind, not an after thought,a heavy weight is good, but not good enough because you will need something like a stick from the ceiling down to hold it in place, it would be very time-consuming. The helper is the fastest and easiest. With care and support the boat can be upright the helper can sit inside and complain less
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    Just1moredave likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    martin ferwerda

    martin ferwerda LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Never thought about leaving planks out for access, too late for this canoe. Maybe something like this, the cross bar would need to be made adjustable, and it is tedious, but it is only for the portion in the middle of the canoe, and the whole clinching process is tedious, least favorite part of the whole process
     

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  6. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I've have a short (heavy) piece of rail that I've tried to use.. I've not been successful with it...it's never quite tight enough to the rib and it jumps. I use it for a weight on my sighting bench.
    I've tried using a stick to the ceiling. You can get one tack in and then you end up repositioning...and that takes quite a bit of time. The rig you are showing should work for a few tacks at a time...but the best and fastest way is to have someone help you. It goes pretty quickly that way and someone inside the boat can see if the tack has turned properly and adjust the iron as you hammer...that makes a big difference in the finished result.
     
  7. Denise MsWdnBoat

    Denise MsWdnBoat Breaker of tradition

    Had help with this one! 1955 18ft HW, one end was missing,.
     

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  8. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Penn Yan boats present the biggest challenge for me. For the standard cartop boats, I place a piece of wood in the clinching iron slot to keep it from moving too far off the rib. I crawl under the boat and clinch the tack. I can usually clinch one tack without much of a problem. It only takes a half dozen or so tacks to get to where I can reach far enough to hold the backing iron by hand. For swifts or Trailboats, I make a tripod with three 2x4's and put a 2x4 flat on the top of the tripod. On top of that I place a flat piece of galvanized steel. The tripod assembly is slightly taller than the horses the boat is resting on. It takes a lot of jockeying around to clinch the tacks, especially since the ribs are oak. Occasionally, I will suspend a swift from one rail so that it is in a vertical position and have my wife hold the backing iron. This will cost at least one new dress. Since I clinch all ribs on my knees, I can reach the center of almost all canoes--without long arms.
     
  9. Paul Scheuer

    Paul Scheuer LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I don't have tons of experience, but I've tried a few methods for single handed clinching. The first key is to suspend the boat so that it can be rocked to the optimum position including height. Everything I've done was done with pilot holes drilled as perpendicular as possible. I found that I could position the tacks, which do have a preferred bending direction, so that my plan agreed with the direction that they wanted to go. I could gently drive the tacks so that the points were slightly protruding. I could identify the operative tack by feeling first with my hand then with the bucking iron. Scraping the iron over a sharp point makes a distinctive sound and feel. If I held the block correctly, I could get tacks to turn where and how I wanted them. An idea occurred to me this process, that I haven't tried yet. That would be to use a beep type continuity tester connected between the bucking iron and hammer, to find the right tack. I might have been overthinking the problem.
     
  10. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have a 6” length of rail that works great face down using finger tips of one hand too balance it while clinching with the other hand.
     
  11. Gary Willoughby

    Gary Willoughby Boat Builder

    This is how we do it in my shop
     

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  12. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Weight Bench, The ones on the left are old tractor weights that slide on the bar for plowing. Their only an inch thick and very heavy. They cover two ribs at a time . They don't jump around. Since their so flat and heavy I can put one on top of a rib just out of the steam box , centered of course, bend one side and run around and bend the other by myself. IMG_4088.JPG
     
  13. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Yep... My wife looks forward to that little move.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    martin ferwerda

    martin ferwerda LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Well, this canoe is clinched, but for the next one, I think I will try this, adjustable cross member made out to some scrap pine and a 2 x 1 x 10 " chunk of steel I have ground a radius into to approximate the curve of the bottom of the canoe, which for these canoes is pretty flat.
     

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  15. Gary Willoughby

    Gary Willoughby Boat Builder

     

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