Canoe Tacks


Wood Girl #1186
My 1914 Old Town Otca has planks attached to ribs with Copper flat head tacks. What company was responsible for switching to Oval Heads? Brass? What year did this happen? Splinter
The earliest (into the 'teens) canvas canoes had copper flat head tacks - you see this in Old Towns, Chestnuts, and others. Not sure who was making the tacks way back then, but Gurney still makes the copper ones in small quantities, in addition to the brass. Contact Bill Clements if you want some, he usually manages to keep a small quantity on hand.
flat tacks

Brian Baker and his father before him have and still use flat head copper tacks. they built over an open form and set each tack with a punch. Another canoe builder from Michigan who has since gone on to his reward also used the open canoe form. i think Brian still has some tacks. he doesn't like the solid form because it takes up alot of space and isn't fexible like the open form. Brian said he can use his form to make a canoe anywhere from 12 to 18 feet long just by the way he sets it up.
Anyone else?

Still want more information on the tacks. Not the forms, the tacks. Splinter
I just checked a few Otcas to give you a direct comparison. A 1916 AA Otca has flat-headed copper tacks. Another AA Otca from later the same year has the same tacks. A 1922 CS Otca has oval-headed brass tacks. So as Dan's reply suggests, maybe the change was made at Old Town in the late teens or ealry 20s. Just out of curiosity, is your Otca in AA or CS grade? Could have been that copper was reserved for higher end canoes, though I have no basis for this notion. In any case, there is no reason to suspect that any particular company was "responsible". There are many possible reasons why an industry (and maybe many other kinds of industries) switched from copper to brass materials.
Copper Tacks

My Otca 1914 is a CS grade and has Copper tacks. This canoe is riddled with shortcuts so I wouldn't say copper was reserved for Higher grade canoes.