View Full Version : Hot to Clinch
06-08-2003, 08:07 AM
The plans call for clinching of lots of 3/4" and 7/8" copper tacks -- strake to strake. Drill a 1/16" hole, drive in gently...then...what? How to get the tack to go in the right direction and then back into the strake? Is there a tool (one to make, to buy?), needle nose pliers, tricks? One-person, two-person job?
06-08-2003, 08:20 AM
It's called a "cliching iron" and you can buy them from our host. The "tacks" are not just regular copper nails either. You need to get "clinch nails" which have a rectangular cross section, which makes bending them easier (or possible at all). You also need to orient the clinch nails so that they clinch across the grain, not with it.
06-08-2003, 08:51 AM
Proper clenching irons are nice, but expensive. I've used an auto-body dolly quite happily. These can be had for a couple of bucks at any automotive supplier. I've also used sledgehammer heads, the flat face of an iron bar clamp, and even, for one particularly tight spot, a heavy-duty screwdriver.
06-08-2003, 08:56 AM
What they said. And it's a knack. Use some scrap and do some practice before you tackle your boat.
I was having some planks replaced on my 1909 cutter once and the guy in the yard said it was too hard and that I would be better off using inconel screws. It has been years and the planks are still there just fine, but I do think it would have been better to use the original method if possible.
06-08-2003, 10:56 AM
There are several mentions of clench nailing in the On Line Index. I'm not sure which one has the best illustration of the technique, but I know that there is a really good one in the back issues, somewhere. Maybe someone will chime in. Everytime I start searching my library, I get side tracked by some long forgotten article.
As noted above, practice on the cheap pieces before you commit to actual work on your pride and joy.
The method involves turning the point of the nail as it emerges from the wood while being gently driven from the head end. At that stage you have some control over which way the point will turn. The orientation of the tack or nail, will also contribute. Experiment, you'll know it when you've got the technique.
What's the boat ? Got any pics ?
(edited to add the questions)
[ 06-08-2003, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: Paul Scheuer ]
06-08-2003, 04:44 PM
The boat is Harry Bryan's "Fiddlehead," a lapstrake decked canoe/kayak, the 12' version. We will make it out of local pine and ash, with Harry's blessings. He calls for sharp copper tacks for clinching. No pics, only planer shavings for now.
06-08-2003, 07:56 PM
DickB: Normal canoe tacks are cut to form the long taper. They will prefer to roll in the direction away from the cut. In your experiments, try using holes smaller holes. You really only need a pilot hole to keep from splitting the wood. A 1/16 hole is way too big.
The wooden canoe people at WCHA.org can lead you to the tacks and even the high-priced bucking tools.
06-10-2003, 11:03 AM
Clinching is a one-man job and is quick and easy once you get the knack.
When the tack first protrudes @ 1/8" you bend it over 90degrees against the dolly then kind of roll the dolly as you tap it home and the tack should bend back upon itself becoming "clinched."
Practice, practice, practice.
You'll be proud of yourself.
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