End Caps

John Greer

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Anyone know of a sourse for either brass or copper end caps? I've been debating whether I wanted to cap each end of one of my old canoes and was wondering if anyone made these or just hammered them out from a piece of copper?
You can try the "END CAPS - BRASS" with part number 01.1331.2161 for $59.95 as listed at http://oldtown.wcha.org/parts.html from Old Town. I believe that this is the same type of cap that was shown on their catalog cover at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-town/covers/large-85.gif in 1985.

Most older canoes did not use an end cap like this. The more common style looked more like the one at http://www.dragonflycanoe.com/id/images/pennyan_deck1.jpg with the stem band or bang plate extended over the tip and on to the deck. Good luck,

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Thanks Benson. Haven't really decided to put any on. This is for the old Mullins I've restored. Just about finished. Another coat of varnish on the gunwhales then I'll put the last couple of coats of paint on. Decided not to use the old half round stems bands as they don't fit too well and were pretty beat up. Probably just stick with the ends of the gunwhales cut at an angle and beveled in. Have to figure just what I'm going to do about the keel as the original had a deep keel - deeper than I like. Since this old canoe is pretty brittle even with a good coating of linseed oil I'm feeling I need to replace with a new keel to help stiffen her up - may go with a flat shoe but this all adds more weight and she's heavy enough as it is.
Hello John
A shoe keel doesnt have to be made heavy.Ive a Chestnut Prospector with a home done keel on it that is spruce the previous owner put it on.Did one in Douglas Fir Both serve the purpose very well same as an oak one without the weight.Found out that they bed fine without having to router a groove for bedding compound and no need for offsettings the screws to catch enough wood because of the groove.
Howdy Dan. Yeah I have a shoe keel on my Chestnut too. Have had it on and off for years. This last one I made out of poplar well sealed ahead of time. I like the keel here on the Missouri as the river is pretty wide and often you get a good wind. My Travelers work fine without the keel particulary if they're loaded. The Mullins is pretty flat bottom and as I said in my earlier message it's pretty brittle. Thought I'd probably put a shoe keel on it to help stiffen it up as well as help to track it on the river. Headed over to the Missoula area this week-end and will go out on the Clark Fork.
I've been searching old threads and other places for a source for "end caps" or "stem covers" or whatever they may be called. Perhaps my terminology is the problem. Does anyone know of someone who could fabricate a custom pair provided I would supply them with an accurate template? None of the ones available from O.T. have quite the right shape and I don't know where else to look. I am not using stem bands on this canoe, but do want a plate to protect the stem ends when I am rolling her over to throw on my shoulders. (And to hide the fact that my inner and outer stems don't mesh as well as I would have liked at the ends) Also, what is the preffered material? Copper? Brass or other? I metal worker I am not.
Is this the sort of thing that you are referring to?


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End Cap Photo

Attached is a photo similar in style to what I am looking for. This one is off a plastic Old Town with Square non tapered outwales and is much too big and boxy for my canoe. I have tapered rails and need a finer entry. It covers the stems and a bit of the deck and attaches on the sides through the outwales.


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G-Flex and Brass

After weeks of unsucessfully trying to find someone to fabricate a pair of end caps for me, and I having no metal working skills, I decided to try and do what I know and it worked great!
I cut the top of the cap from a .015" sheet of brass, and the sides from .025". I then taped them together and laid a heavy fillet on the inside edge with West System G-Flex and High Density Filler. After curing I laid 6oz. cloth on the inside, and more G-Flex.
Time will tell, but they won't break apart in my hands and have stood up to the torture of grinding and installation. (I had to bend them a bit while installing to get the fit just right.)
I'll be sure and post if they ever break apart, but I think they are just as strong, if not stronger, than a professional brazing job.
Pictures attached


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