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Fastening the Canvas

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by slk, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I know that using canoe tacks is the traditional method of canvas fastening but was wondering how many just call it good with monel staples. Will they hold just as well as the tacks? They will not be scene under the gunwale. Just thinking this would save some on the cost of those "gold tacks"..

  2. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Many folks use staples -- they hold just fine -- generally easier to use than tacks -- and monel is a very good material -- unless you are doing a museum quality restoration attempting to absolutely duplicate original construction materials, there is no particular reason to use tacks.
  3. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    For years, I have used Stainless steel staples with an Arrow T50 stapler. Staples don't split the stems as 1/2" or larger canoe tacks tend to do. Stainless staples are available at Home Depot or Ace Hardware by special order.
  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I've found that I curse less while using staples. Goes by a lot faster too.
  5. Tony Muer

    Tony Muer Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I watched Gill Cramer demonstrate the canvassing of a canoe at the quite water symposium in Lansing Michigan last weekend and I’m convinced that staples are the way to go. It was so reassuring to observe the process and ask questions about the minor situations they encountered in the project. I was very impressed with the way you might use a tack to help along the stems especially. I forgot to ask one question though. What size do you need to use 1/4” or 3/8”? Thanks for helping me feel confident with my project canoe.
    Tony Muer
  6. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Here's another opinion/experience. I like Monel staples, and used them for both fastening at the rib tops and at the stems. However, I got very frustrated with running into staples when trying to drill for stem band screws - staples damage or break drill bits, and they cause stem band screws to dive off center. Because of this I've gone back solely to copper tacks to close up the ends. I still use staples (3/8" or 1/2", I think...) along the sheer, though.
  7. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Tony, I do not use staples...I prefer tacks...probably because my cheap stapler has an unpredictable release..I'll squeeze like crazy to get it to feed a staple and when it finally does my hand has moved.. I can always get the tacks exactly where I want them. As an amatuer restorer and a bit of a traditionalist...I'm in no hurry.
    For the stems I use 5/16th or 3/8th. 1/4 are a bit short and might pop back out if you have a lot of tension on the canvas.
    If you have stubby fingers you may consider using a pair of needle nosed pliers to hold them while you set them.....the 1/4's....boy are they tying flies with #28 hooks.

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