1913 Old Town Charles River 17 (SN 26259)

Benson, amazing information here. The Indian Old Town referenced in your post was missing the yoke, used wing nuts to attach the yoke, and had cane carry handles. The canoe I'm working on was also missing the yoke and used wing nuts to attach the seats, thwarts, and yoke. I also had carry handles at both ends that were constructed of braided steel wire, perhaps a type of wire rope available at the time. I'd be willing to bet these handles were once wrapped in cane. Thanks for the info. Chip
Replacing steel with bronze is a good idea. OT did not begin using their diamond head bolts until the early 1920's. I would simply replace the bolts where the holes are sound. For the damaged yoke holes, I would drill out, fill with a plug or dowel, and drill a new hole. If you remain concerned about strength, you might glue a hardwood dutchman (ash or oak or . . .) the width of the rail onto the bottom of the rail before redrilling the hole, maybe 1/8" or 3/16" thick and a few inches long. Stained and with beveled edges, such a reinforcement would barely be noticeable. Of course, since there are cap rails, new wood scarfed into place, with a new hole drilled, would not be much of a cosmetic issue, though would be a bit more work.

I don't know about flat-head carriage bolts, but standard-shaped ones are available pretty readily. Maybe filing the head of a regular carriage bolt flat would do the trick. As I recall, OT's bolts are 8-32 diameter, and replacements may be hard to get that size. 10-24 is only a bit larger, and is more readily available. 1/4-20 is pretty readily available, but I would not want to enlarge a gunwale hole to that size if I could avoid doing so.

Stainless steel would probably work also, and is more readily available than bronze.

I have dealt with the Bolt Depot and received good service and good prices; they have stainless steel in the 10-24 size, and bronze in 1/4-20, which requires a larger hole, of course. www.boltdepot.com

I’ve heard good things about Top Notch Fasteners. They carry fin neck flat head bronze bolts, but only 1/4-20 and up, and also bronze carriage bolts.

Many woodworking supply places sell connecting bolts for knock-down furniture that have very flat heads and would appear to be ideal, except that they are steel -- though many are finished in a bronze color, I doubt that such a finish adds any corrosion resistance.

So I'm planning to make new decks. The original decks made from birch are too far gone. Since I can't find a piece of 5/4 birch, I'm considering using a piece of ash or white oak. Which material would be best? In addition, should the new decks be cut and shaped prior to bending or after steam bending?
Work is progressing nicely but at a snails pace on the 1913 OT Charles River 17 due to career (5 years until retirement!!) and other distractions. I have a few questions for the forum:

1. Does anyone know the color formula for the dark red that OT used in 1913 or during that time period?

2. 90% of the ribs are broken and must be replaced. Everything I read discusses tapering the ribs. However, the ribs on my 1913 OT CR 17 are not tapered. I'm leaning towards not tapering but curious as to benefits of tapering. Any thoughts?

3. The original planking was red cedar and is very brittle - dangerously brittle. What is a suitable replacement and why, red or white cedar?

4. The original planks where attached with copper tacks. What are the pros and cons of using copper vs. brass tacks??