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I Was Wrong - It Is A Rushton!

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Jul 9, 2018.

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  1. Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    This is something like my 3rd thread on this canoe... Sorry! But today while clean & stripping I discovered a '15' stamped into the front stem. Then I found this stamped into the rear stem: 20180709_154302.jpg

    So, a 15' Rushton with the correct fat stems, fat keel, front seat suspended via wood blocks screwed from the sides through the ribs. But with Penn Yan style decks, a rectangular rear seat, and ribs nailed to the rails without pockets or notches.
    20180708_133020.jpg 20180708_122002.jpg 20180708_121955.jpg 20180708_121034.jpg 20180708_122708.jpg 20180708_122330.jpg
    Dan Miller sent me this pic a while back - it sure looks like mine:
    Rushton Indian Tech Drawing From Dan Miller.jpg
    So... do I have a canvas covered Indian? Do I remember correctly that they were only made in 1901, and in 1902 they replaced it with the Indian Girl?
     
    1905Gerrish likes this.
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I think you should document this restoration for the Journal...

    Way cool!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Now that the wood has dried I can see this stamped into the front stem:
    20180710_110545.jpg 20180710_110539.jpg
    I see a very faint 84, along with a clear 15. I take this to be serial # 84, and a 15 foot designation.
     
    1905Gerrish likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Another discovery: Saw what looked like letters peeking around the brass painter ring on the front stem. Turns out there is RUSHTON label stamped.
    20180711_161938.jpg
     
    pklonowski likes this.
  5. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Please reattach the painter. I don't want to lose it when we load this on my car. I'll be by as soon as you are done stripping it.:p
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    More info: Met today with Mike (WCHA handle MGC) to look over the canoe. Mike thinks the seats & decks look to be Chestnut wood. Mike also showed me a tracing of a thwart from one of his Indian Girls, and I showed him the 'thwart' my canoe arrived with. At first glance my thwart looks to be just an ugly rectangular stick. But then Mike noticed that its wood grain matches the wood in the seats. And looking closer we saw that this thwart was indeed carved, albeit simply. We've concluded that this thwart is likely original to the canoe! But it's only 28 3/8" long! This seems way too short - information provided by Dan says the Indian was '32" at the beam'. The canoe does have holes for a 2nd thwart located just behind the front seat. Dan's info indicates that the Indian had just one thwart, so we had been assuming holes for the 2nd thwart were added later by someone. But this thwart is about the right size to comfortably fit into these holes behind the front seat... Maybe this thwart was installed there?
    20180712_155929.jpg 20180712_155809.jpg 20180712_155758.jpg
    It would sure help if someone provided me pics on their Indian! Then again if this is ind eed serial #84 maybe changes were made to the Indian during the production run. If so maybe it won't match up with other pics...
     
  7. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I was hoping that it could remain a secret, but Howie let me rub his stem today.
    There is absolutely no question about the stem number. The number 84 is clearly stamped on both stems. I had expected to find another digit between the 8 and the 4 as they seemed pretty far apart.
    The stems are elm and the typical wide style that we are used to seeing in these boats. What is different is that the end of the stem is not squared off as they typically are, the corners are chamfered. It look like they were carved with sharp blade, a crooked knife...it's a very different finish than you expect to see. The tops of the stems are treated as are the ones on later boats, the inside rails rest on a mitered step just past the deck ends. The stem face is as narrow as the ones in later canoes...so when the planking is shaped into position the entry is very fine..
    The inside rails were secured in place with a pass through nail.
    I had been very skeptical about the seats and decks. If you look at the pictures that Howie originally posted they simply looked wrong. Actually they are absolutely original. The decks, seat frames and the lone thwart are all nice old American chestnut. The odd appearance of the seats and thwarts is due to the previous owners refinishing work. It looks like the wood was all finished with a urethane varnish. The urethane picked up the yellowish color of the chestnut and highlights the darker grain.
    The decks that I had thought looked like replacements are original to the boat and as noted, match up to the seats and thwart.
    I brought along a few things that I thought Howie might be interested in...including an IG thwart template and an original IG rib. The thwart is from a 16 footer and as Howie notes, his carved stick is the correct thwart style for the boat.
    The rib...the one I brought literally fit into the hull and could have been tacked in and never been noticed. Except for a slight difference in the round over the ribs on #84 and the one from 5XXX could have been made by the same person. Anyone that has worked on these will understand that these Rushton ribs are distinctive so seeing the parallels was quite interesting.
    Inside rails are oak and as noted they are installed exactly as they were in the later Inc. boats.
    The gores are a bit different than the IG's I own but unmistakable as Rushton style as is the wide board sheer plank.
    It's an interesting boat...if anyone has pictures of an all wood or canvased Indian it would be really helpful to share them. That would help get Howie headed down the right path as he starts to restore this old bird.
    What a really cool find!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The previous owner tells me that he used Owatrol Deks Olje on the seats and thwart - a penetrating oil with varnish component.
     
  9. ticonderoga

    ticonderoga "Just one more"

    Hey Howie, I have a canvas covered Indian that I am restoring now. It is at the stage where it will get varnish and canvas soon, so it is all complete as far as woodworking goes with original decks, single thwart and gunwales ( no original seats ). I was told its an Indian by a number of people on this forum who know more about it than I do. I can get you pics of any part of you like to help identify it. Let me know if I can help, Joe
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Ticonderoga - thanks! Yes please - all the pics you can take. Here's where I have specific questions:
    1) Shape of the thwart. I'll need to make one, so top & side views of yours please. A sketch would be good too for dimensions - especially a sketch showing a cut-away side view. And I need to know how long it is. I have a buddy (MGC) who will provide me specs for the Indian Girl's thwart, but I've no idea if it was shaped the same as yours/mine.
    2) A pic of your decks would be great.
    3) A view showing the outer rails - I'm not sure how they were milled on the inner surface that meets the ribs. Nor how the rail caps were made, nor how they fit with the outer rails.
    4) Does yours have any c-bored screw holes on the inside of the rails going through a few of the ribs to (presumably) the outer rails? If so pics of that please.
    5) Was your keel shoe painted? I believe mine was - though maybe not.
    6) I assume you have copper stem bands like mine. Does yours have 'RUSHTON' stamped on them? Mine does not.
    7) And a pic of your seats. We believe my seats are original - and they are both rectangular.

    And we believe that silly little thwart behind the front seat is original as well. We're thinking Rushton tinkered with the design - after all, with serial #84 it would likely be a very early one. He might well have made changes in the canoe.

    By the way - what your Indian's serial #?
     
  11. ticonderoga

    ticonderoga "Just one more"

    Howie, here are some photos of my Indian and some info I have gathered about my canoe.
    The key measurement that differentiates an Indian from and Indian Girl is the " depth at ends" from the 1903 catalog which is 24" for the indian and only 21" for the IG. The planking on mine is a consisant 2 1/2" with a unique pattern as shown and fastened with all copper tacks. The top row of planking is bevelled in to accept the canvas by about 1/8". The decks are heart shaped and are 15" long and 7 7/8" wide. The seats are cherry and are not original but are in the original holes in the inner gunwales. The thwart is original, cherry and is 28 1/2" from hole to hole. It is located 60" from the center of the thwart to the tip of the stern stem. The radius of the bow side of the thwart is longer than the stern side, so it was made to fit only in one direction. The end of the stem is wide and is bevelled on three edges for a finished look. All ribs are installed in square pockets in the inner gunwale similar to my Morris, but with tighter fit. Closed gunwales are screwed from the inside except for the last 6 screws on both ends/sides. All Indians known to exist have the stem that protrudes past the decks as in other early Rushton boats. And finally mine does not have a serial number nor does it have "Rushton" stamped in the copper stem bands. I hope this helps and if there is anything else you need, please ask, Joe
     

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  12. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Great pics Ticonderoga - thank you much.
    Your canoe is a 15 footer, yes? And the thwart isn't centered on the canoe? Mine is.
    And my stems have a tenon 'finger' extending through & captured by the deck.
    And your ribs fit into pockets in the rails - mine don't.
    And your decks are heart shaped - mine are Penn Yan shaped.
    And while our seats look similar my front seat screws into blocks attached to the sides of the canoe while yours is suspended.
    Still... I do have the JH RUSHTON / CANTON NY stamp on the stems... Very curious.
     
  13. ticonderoga

    ticonderoga "Just one more"

    Howie, I'm glad the pics helped. Yes mine is a 15 footer, which is the only size Indians were made and they had only one thwart which was not centered as shown in the 1903 catalog. The seats in mine are not original, I just made them to match up to the existing original holes in the gunwale. mine has a shoe keel that was painted and attached from the outside, but it is not thought to be original. Again measure the depth at the end, that will tell you if you have an Indian or IG. Either way you have a very unique canoe! Good luck with the restoration!
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Ticonderoga - how are your outer rails attached? I count only 6 screws at the front right outer rail. The rest must be coming from inside the inner rail, right? I only have a few c-sunk holes pointing 'out' from the inner rails - not enough to hold the outwale in place. I'm wondering if maybe the canoe had thin outer rails held in by copper tacks much like my 1906 OT HW.

    O - and the tip of the deck to the bottom of the canoe measures about... 24"!

    Wait - you say your shoe keel is attached from the outside? Mine has screws starting from the inside of the canoe down into the keel. The screw is through every other rib like all canoes I've seen, except the screws are staggered from center; ie 1/2" to the left of center, 1/2" to the right of center, etc...

    Can you send along a pic of this 1903 catalogue you cite? Dan Miller sent me one dated 1900 showing what looks to be my decks, and I have another pic with no date that shows heart shaped decks and three thwarts and no seats.
     
  15. ticonderoga

    ticonderoga "Just one more"

    Howie, My outer rails are attached from the inside every 8" between ribs. Also my stems and inner and outer rails are oak, and decks, thwarts and seats are cherry. The first three pictures of catalogs are from the 1903 catalog that is available from the WCHA store and the last pic is from a 1901 catalog. Good luck with your project!! IMG_1449.JPG IMG_1450.JPG [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  16. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Ticonderoga... It's so confusing... The 1st pic you show, which you say is from a 1903 catalogue, has a date of "Aug 30, 1900" on the drawing if I read it correctly. This pic most closely matches the canoe I have. The last pic you say is from the 1901 catalogue yet it shows the style decks everyone thinks of being used on IGs and Indians.

    I'm wondering if the fella who put the book together made a mistake (I assume you're posting pics from a book and not an actual catalogue). Seems to me the pic with the date of Aug 30, 1900 is actually from a 1901 catalogue. After all, it closely matches my canoe which has serial #84 - the number is so low it has to be from the first year. I bet the design quickly evolved in the next year or so into what's shown in your last pic.

    Ah well... guess we'll never know unless someone comes up with an actual catalogue.
     

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