Closed Gunnels - Fastening


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I will be replacing the in and outwales to my 1906 OT CR Closed gunnel. Does anyone know how they are attached? From the way mine looks, it appears as if there was never a cap on the gunnels (no holes on top). The outwale is dadoed over the ribs and fastened to the inwale. Can someone acknowledge if this is true or not for this year canoe? Also, how does the in/outwales attach? Are they screwed together from inside the inwale or are they fastened both from the inside of the inwale and the outside of the outwale? Mine has brass screws from the inside but someone added phillips head screws from outside the outwale in. If I confused you then your in the same boat as me. (No pun intented). Should the screws go through the ribs?
Thanks, Bob

It sounds like you have an Old Town "double gunwale" canoe- inwale extended above rib tops, and outwale was rabbeted to fit over and cover the canvas and rib tops. This made for an extremely elegant gunwale configuration! I've heard other people give this method different names, but Old Town called it double gunwale construction. I don't have one of these, or ready access to my photos of double gunwale canoes I've seen. But given your description, it sounds like the inner screws were original; outer screws were not. There should not be two sets, and the phillips heads were almost certainly not original. I have a "special oval gunwale" model, and it has the outwale screwed on from the inside except along the decks where the last 4 or 5 screws go from the outside to the inside. My Old Town catalog CD is at my office, or I'd post a picture. Dan? Someone? Hope this helps.

Actually, an image is already here!- see the post by Benson in the thread "Old Town Hand Caning", started by Fitz. Benson posted an image from Old Town showing the double gunwale configuration (though it shows top only). This picture seems to show a narrow gap between inwale and outwale, but the ones I've seen in original form were done very well- no gap (I think the apparent gap in Benson's attachment is an artifact of the image).

Michael good catch, that picture is exactly like what I have. The only thing I'm missing is how these are attached. From which side the screws are attached from and now how are the dowels applied.

Thanks, Bob