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Fasteners for planking to stem

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Stmcglynn, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hello all,

    The Bible says to use wire nails to connect the planking to the stem, could I use stainless finish or brad nails and a nail gun?
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    You could, but they may be more likely to split the stem.
    Always good to predrill (less depth than the length of fastener used) using a brad with the head cut off, rather than a drill bit, before putting in the bronze ring nails.
  3. Ed Moses

    Ed Moses LOVES Wooden Canoes

    On an old canoe with dry, brittle planking and stem wood I refrain from hammering with a backer iron to re- fasten planking to old stems which usually results in split wood especially western red cedar planking with more problems to cure. Instead I predrill, countersink the planking then fasten by using #3 brass 1/2 inch screws. It is a softer, less destructive re- fastening solution.
    Granted this process is much more time consuming and a tad more expensive but I end up with no split old , brittle wood and the fastening is very strong with no protruding fastener heads to show thru under canvas. Overall a much more harmonious outcome results.
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I use wire nails. You need a little bit of a head on the nail to hold the plank down. A Brad or finish nail might pull through easily.
  5. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I too went on the hunt to find the perfect fastener and I think I found it. The nail is called a Weather Strip fastener and found in many local hardware stores. They are packaged in a little box of a zillion and cost next to nothing. I couldn't take a pic but here is the size as best I could do. The little head is just enough to hold the plank at .125 " . The shank is about .052 " with many little retaining scores on the upper 1/2 of the shank. The length is 3/4 " and just the right length to accommodate the plank thickness without poking through the stem.
    The best part of the nail it it is coppa plated and should last 200 years. I predrill and have never split a stem. Just do a trial on an old piece of stem and choose your bit carefully and you will delight in the solid sound with a clinching iron.
    A little windy, I know. Have fun. Dave
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I like to use 5/8's inch #15 bronze ring nails available from Jamestown Distributors. I think Rollin has them too. I do pre-drill.
  7. OP

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I had some 5/8ths ring nails which did seem to work. I see the Weather Strip fasteners you are talking about Dave, just over $1 for 50 at the local box store. Looks like a great option, I'll be picking up a box to finish the job.

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