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Stop with the steel screws

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Rod Tait (Orca Boats), Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    I am getting a little tired of restoring perfectly good canoes that someone used steel screws on because they were either too cheap or too lazy to find bronze or even stainless.
    MGC likes this.
  2. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Hi Rod, I concur with you about using ferrous screws on a wooden canoe. I suspect that you may be working on an original, never restored Greenwood canoe. Bill Greenwood [ Greenwood Watercraft ] had a reputation. In this case he is said to have had quite a dispute with his #8 brass screw supplier who insisted that he buy in bulk. Bill refused and from that day forward used ferrous screws on the mahogany outwales. He then finished the screw holes with automotive body filler [ Bondo ] to seal the screws from moisture. Unfortunately that didn't work. Removing these screws can be a real challenge. After removing "all" of the Bondo [ with the help of a heat gun ] give the screw heads a good wack before attempting too remove them. Sometimes a careful pry on the outwale underside will help to loosen them. When all else fails [ and it pains me to do it ] I find that splitting the outwales lengthwise is the easiest way to remove them.
  3. OP
    Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    That may very well have been the case on the original, but this is not the case. According to the owners, the canoe was restored around 10 years ago with new canvas and gunwales. So the person who did it may have just copied what was on there originally without choosing the better option which would have been available. It was so poorly done in that he put a few extra screws in and completely missed ribs. Most were so rusted, there was nothing left of many of the screws. I know who that person is and so maybe this video is for them and I just needed to vent.

    As for the tear down, I feel obliged to choose the fastest method of taking it apart and/or replacing with new since they are paying an hourly shop rate to fix their canoe. So in this case, it is faster for me to make new gunwales.

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