Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Copper for outwale cap

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Stmcglynn, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone know the ideal thickness for a copper outwale cap?

    Thank you in advance,
  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Curious - what’s an outwale cap?
  3. patrick corry

    patrick corry Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Like the cap on the outwales of this 20' Island Falls canoe I presume?
    Stmcglynn likes this.
  4. OP

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    That’s correct Patrick, the copper nose.
  5. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Oh, I see. More commonly (at least to my ears and eyes), a “cap” refers to either the wooden top and outside caps of closed-gunwale canoes, or short decorative wooden caps that cover the tops of inwales and outwales alongside the decks (perhaps best known from Kennebec and Morris). What you’re referring to is just a piece of sheet copper, sometimes brass, cut to shape and bent around the ends of the outwales. Thickness about 0.5 to 0.75 mm or so? I’ve never measured it but I could try to measure one on an old EM White tomorrow.

    This is not a common feature among canoe manufacturers. Most builders left the ends of the outwales just as they were, but this is one of the unusual features of EM White canoes (in his earliest ones, back in the late 1800s, he used leather). Today Jerry Stelmok, proprietor of the Island Falls Canoe Company, builds canoes from original EM White forms, and he finishes the canoes up with this feature.

    Attached is an image of one of my Whites, showing this and another piece of brass (brass in this canoe) that extends a bit onto the deck. The wrap-around piece is hammered into a lip over the outwales. I mention this because on other Whites it is narrower and not formed up over the top edges. Different styles at different times or maybe by different workmen?


    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  6. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    dont fret the terminology, i would think something around 20 ga in copper would be workable.
  7. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Rollin Thurlow also finishes some of his canoes with this feature. Take a look at one of his Travelers. Follow Andres lead. If you need a complete fold pattern I have one at home on a sketch pad. I'll be back to NYS on the weekend. PM me with an Email if you need it and I'll shoot it across to you.
    It's a nice feature. I never sweat turning the Traveler on it's tips because of it and when I hear that bugger bouncing of a rock behind me on a carry I don't have deck damage trauma. It's a nice feature for a boat that get's used.
  8. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Yeah, don’t sweat the terminology. Just needed to know what you were referring to. Anyway, unfortunately I found that I don’t have calipers here for measuring.

    Here’s another thread with a photo showing how White did the ends. Judging by the canoe’s tag, this is from the same era as the one I posted before. Odd the the center piece appears to be iron… maybe replaced?

  9. OP

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Sounds good! Ace hardware has a great option, a piece that is about 6”x10”, which would probably serve for 1.5 canoes(?)

    either way, I’ve followed Rollins approach at joining the decks with the stem and the in and out wales, so the in and out wales extend a bit (preventing a smooth stem band transition from stem to deck).

    Thank you all!

Share This Page