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Rushton I.G. rails

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by wanderlustjake, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. OP

    wanderlustjake Beginner Canoeist


    Glad it is coming apart easily for you. Very interesting observation on how lax the building method was. Do you think they may have used a mortising machine? Rushton really pushed his all wood boats so it stands to reason that they would possibly cut corners and not fit every piece to produce the "rag boats" in a hurry.

    The full length rabbet does sound like the most stress free method of recreating the rails. I haven't gotten a chance to work on ours much. What I thought were cut outs in the tops of the inner rails just seem to be very evenly spaced areas were the rail has split out.

    Not sure I'll need to cut the top plank to remove fastenings. So far there is so little of the rails left I may be able to just push what is there in the line of fastenings back out, then again, who knows.

    I'll be looking forward to hearing more as you make progress and post pictures if you can please. I guess I need to get going on ours so we can compare notes.
  2. fred capenos

    fred capenos Canoe Pilot

    Rushton IG rails

    If a may, lets go back to the muddy waters. Are all IG rails that are pocketed, "Double Gunnels"? Did Rushton make a true "Closed Gunnel" canoe? Thanks,

  3. fred capenos

    fred capenos Canoe Pilot

    Disregard the "Closed Gunnel" question. I see the answer in your last post.
  4. jdm6593

    jdm6593 Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Here are some pictures of our Indian Girl with the end top planks off. The nail heads through the rib tops appear to be bronze ring nails, but I haven't checked yet. The planking tacks are copper. Most of the rib ends are much smaller than their pockets in the inwale. The last half ribs are actually wider and are tapered a bit to fit.

    11-15-2011 (2).jpg 11-15-2011 (7).jpg 11-15-2011 (10).jpg 11-15-2011 (12).JPG
  5. jhepp

    jhepp new owner of old Rushton

    Yes, open gunwales were introduced in 1913, but Rushton only built about 5500 Indian Girls - there should not be any with a 5 digit serial number (if someone knows of one I would like to hear about it!). The lowest serial number I have recorded so far for an IG with open gunwales is just over 5100.

    i have a 17' indian girl SN 5182 looks to have had open gunwales. not that far along yet on mine
  6. jdm6593

    jdm6593 Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes


    I followed your lead and tried pulling the inwales without removing the tacks. With careful rotating and wiggling of the rail as I pushed on each rib, I was able to work my way along and release the entire rail. I don’t think this would have worked with a complete rail, but I had a broken or at least cracked spot to start from in several places. The tacks are copper and do not resist very hard at all in this rotten wood.

    Now the question is whether to try to get the tacks out of the ribs, or just clip them off and leave them. There is not a lot of space beside the tack heads for new tacks to go through. I tried pulling the top tacks in the planking to provide enough gap to slide the tacks out, but the compound bend in the brittle planking doesn’t allow more than about 1/8 inch gap. I might be able to snip off the heads or hacksaw them off, but I don’t want those heads caught in the gap behind the ribs.

    The following is the data I recorded when dismantling the rails. Any comments on dimension comparisons and new information would be appreciated, especially info on the outwale taper and original thwart dimensions. I’m also attaching a photo of the inner rail cross section and tossing in the shot of the inner rail that you have seen.

    16 foot Rushton Indian Girl S/N 2261:

    All tacks through planking are copper ~ 11/16 inch long.

    Planks are white cedar .162 inch thick (.006 inch over 5/32”).

    45 ribs total.

    Ribs are white cedar and .330 inch thick (.018” over 5/16”) except the last 6 on each end are .270 inch. All measurements were taken at gunwale.

    Replacement bow seat lies on runners tacked to ribs 12-15 (numbering from bow) or 31-34 (from stern).

    Replacement stern seat screwed directly to inwale from ribs 6-8 (numbering from aft) with no spacer.

    Forward thwart is between ribs 19-20 (from bow). Not original-no dimensions

    Aft thwart is between ribs 25-26 (from bow). Not original-no dimensions

    Inwales and outwales are cherry.

    Inwale measures ~ .9 inch vertically, tapered over 2 feet to ~ .65 inch. Inwale measures ~ .9 inch horizontally tapered over 2 feet to ~ .5 inch.

    Outwale measures a proud ¾ inch vertically by a shy 1 inch horizontally. No info on the end tapers.

    Inwale section.jpg Outwale section (1).jpg
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

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