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Why copper tacks?

Discussion in 'Research and History' started by davelanthier, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I am restoring a 12.5 ft. wood/canvas canoe [ possibly a Chestnut Teddy ] that has been clinched with copper tacks , most of which are loose and proud . Since all these tacks will have to be either replaced or reclinched this question comes to mind . Why would any manufacturer use copper tacks over brass ? Since all Huron canoes had them can one conclude that copper tacks were used mostly in Quebec ? Were copper tacks used on the earlier w/c canoes to be replaced with brass later in the history of w/c canoe building ? When one finds a canoe with copper clinched tacks what , if any , assumptions can be made ?
  2. I seem to remember reading somewhere (Stelmok/Thurlow?) that copper tacks will not corrode if the canoe is used in salt water...

  3. OP

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Not so

    I had to replace almost 3000 copper clinched nails in a lapstrake wood canoe that was used in the salt water . In part they had turned into a green powder.
  4. Mark Reuten

    Mark Reuten Wood Butcher

    Corrosion in salt water happens with all metals of course but brass would have faired even worse. Perhapse there was just a greater or cheaper supply of copper tacks available to the builder.
    There is an old credo that often over-rides intellectual decisions "It was time to build, and that's what I had on hand"

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