I remember having with stem bands on the first canoe I ever restored. This was back in the early 80s. I know I ordered the bands from OldTown and they were predrilled. I had terrible luck with them - I think I broke each twice trying to install them. Ended up going with aluminum - also available from Old Town at the time. Anyway, I remember distinctly that the metal made a crinkley noise while being bent. I thought at the time that they had been annealed - or needed to be annealed - but not being a materials guy I didn't know. This was long before the internet so I couldn't get the help from this Forum. I wonder now if the stem bands were made of another material. Bronze perhaps? Did Old Town use ever use materials for stem bands other than brass or copper or aluminum?