View Full Version : decorative fasteners

Joe Sengl
03-11-2002, 06:14 PM
All of you boat builders that live near water have it made. I mean real water, big water, not like the Great Gravy River near my home. You just walk down to your local chandlery and simply browse and pick out the fittings you need to finish your crafts. I feel like an apprentice to an old magician who has ordered me to fetch
a magic wand. The wand can come from a tree branch, but the branch must be cut with a new (can I say virgin) sword. The sword must not be a purchased sword, but fashioned anew, requiring knowledge of metallurgy and digging of ore to smelt. The simple task of fetching the wand falls into the realm of SWMBO's Rule #2, "All you have to do is..." Easy for her to say, bless her. It went like this. She said, "All you have to do is put some pretty screws on it." What can she possibly know about the art of putting screws in?

Iain Oughtred's "Wee Rob" is a 12 foot lapstrake canoe. I have built one of these to plan with 4mm Ocoume plywood and nearly 100% old mahogany for backbone, stems and trim. Even while new, this thing looks like an antique classic, baby whale boat, kind of like Greg H's "Whilly Boat" only smaller, with twice as many planks and no big hole in the bottom. In the canoe's open configuration, there are two thwarts fastened under cleats that are googed to the
inwale, the forward thwart being the mast partner. To maintain the elegance of this small canoe, I would like to use decorative head copper rivets or roves to fasten the thwarts, as these would be the only visible fasteners on the entire craft. I would like to use a slightly greater head diameter fastener on the forward thwart than the aft. I suppose all you have to do is shave material off the larger ones to get what you want so forget that. Anybody know where I can get a few nice copper rivets, or do I have to wave my wand and make these myself?

Steve Paskey
03-11-2002, 07:03 PM
Hello Joe: Jamestown Distributors sells something called a "rose head boat nail." They're imported from the U.K. and are intended for use with a matching copper rove.

Go to http://www.jamestowndistributors.com , and look under "fasteners" at the left.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the head does appear to be decorative. Would this do the trick?

Steve Paskey

P.S. In the "restoration supplies" section of his site, Wm. Clements sells some lovely bronze "diamond head" carriage bolts (12-24 x 4 inches long), though I haven't a clue as to how they'd be used. See:

03-12-2002, 07:35 AM
The diamond head carriage bolts were traditionally used on Old Town Canoes as seat hangers and thwart fastners. I think they would look great on your Wee Rob! Saves mining and forging time too.

03-12-2002, 12:20 PM
I too was thinking of the diamond head carrage bolts that Oldtown uses. They may still supply them for restoration projects(?).

Joe Sengl
03-13-2002, 10:09 PM
Wow, thanks for all the leads and ideas. Bung! I like the bung. Just about any decorative item could be used, like little cast bronze Viking helmets, and the Indian Head pennies would certainly give a nice touch. Thanks for the links. The bronze, diamond-head carriage bolts from William Clements are perfect. The Great Gravy River is not it's original Indian name. SWMBO said the river tasted like gravy when she went heels over head into it the first time she stepped in a kayak. Thanks again for all your help, now where can I get a set of floors for a Ness Yawl?

03-14-2002, 04:23 AM
Congrats Joe on your Wee Rob, I have the 15'7' model with cockpit. You'll find it a delight to sail, if a little tender so I have a large and a small rig for different weather. I sail on the great gravy bay, Westernport is very shallow and sort of chocolate after a blow.

03-14-2002, 04:48 AM
Hi "Skuthorp", check your messages. Marg says 'G'day' with a big grin :D and she thinks a boat that's pointy at both ends is cute and would look great sailing on Rivoli Bay. The reds await...