1905 Old Town HW

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks to a timely heads-up from my buddy Mike I now have a 16' 1905 Old Town HW to restore, serial # 4376: AA grade, with mahogany seats, thwarts, and decks. Imagine: 112 years old. It also came with an Old Town 'Rowing seat & foot brace'. It has an Adirondack link as it was delivered to 'Paul Smith station' which I believe was just a RR station by the tracks at the time. It was bought 30 years ago in Burlington Vt by a fella who has since always kept it garaged.
    IMG_20170908_190006677.jpg IMG_20170908_190117162.jpg IMG_20170908_190122782.jpg IMG_20170908_190017856.jpg 4376 SN.jpg
    Some questions:

    Notice the two thwarts are differently shaped. They are both kinf crude and unshapely. But might they be original? Could perhaps the even less shapely one in the 3rd pic have been used as a seat? I suppose I'll know more once I remove the caps covering the ribs.

    Is perhaps the one-piece floor board original? Maybe it was included as part of the Old Town rowing seat & foot rest?, or maybe just a home-grown addition.

    Someone installed oar locking hardware smack dab in the center of each inwale. I'll certainly have to remove them and repair the inwale. The question is whether it would be a good idea to relocate the oar lock thingies in a chunk of wood and screw it to the outside of the canoe. Or maybe I'll just include them with the rowing & seat rest if I decide to sell them separately. The canoe is quite old - I suppose I ought to restore it to original condition.
     
  2. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Tis an 06.....
    Only one thwart is original..the second is a bit of a clunk...and not mahogany (to my calibrated eye)
    The flat plank is the base of the rowing mechanism..not original to ze craft
    Twer it I, the rowing stuff (which is pretty nice in and of itself (except the locks etc. which are crap) would be refinished as a separate project and never touch that canoe again...but that's me...
    And hey...P Smiths was a hopping place back in those days..a destination place.... I'm curious if the buyer (a Smith) is a member of Paul Smiths family in some way.

    WRT that clunk thwart...it appears to be one from another boat so it's worth hanging on to n case that other boat ever turns upo_O
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Mike. Thanks again for goading me to action on this canoe. And damn, you're right - it is an '06. There's a smudge or faded spot on the '6' by the 'built' date that fooled me.

    So as to the thwarts... Did the early OTs have chunky clunky thwarts? Did they evolve over time to more curvy ones? Mind you, I favor sexy curvy ones so if I need to make a new one I'll likely modify the existing original one to be more curvy. Originality might take a back seat for this...

    Here's a link that explains Paul Smith Station. https://localwiki.org/hsl/Paul_Smith's_Electric_Railroad Apparently Smith built the station himself to allow people to travel by rail to his hotel in Lower St Regis Lake. So seems likely the canoe was owned by him and in use at the hotel. Although the canoe is in such nice condition it doesn't seem like it was used much.
     
  4. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    There is nothing clunky about the proper 06 thwarts...the shaping is always first class....
    You can get a really good sense of the craftsmanship in these earlier hulls if you step back and take in the decks on the boat you just bought. Notice how nicely scalloped they are on the underside, and the nice wood they selected..there was a great deal of attention to the aesthetic in these builds.
    If you want to check out the parts on my 06 let me know...it's all original..I bought it from the folks (family of) that originally bought it 06. It's a DG but the various bits are the same as the one you just scored... you do have one original thwart...that should be your pattern.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I don't know, Mike... The 1st pic shows the thwart from this '06 HW, the 2nd from a '67 Otca; the 3rd from a '39 Yankee. I sure see a big difference; the '06 is wider in both the overall width as well as the necked-down width. Stronger, yes. But clunkier. Though the routing radius seems the same in ll. Hey - please reply with some pics of the thwarts from your '06 - I'll be curious to see how they compare.
    IMG_20170908_190117162.jpg 2016-08-23 17.07.00.jpg 2016-07-03 16.43.08.jpg
     
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  7. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Thank you Benson....that's a real valuable post..
    My OT is buried but I found this picture on my old phone.... Cell Phone 125.JPG Cell Phone 125.JPG
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Benson & Mike - great info. But honestly, I think your pics confirm what I've been thinking: I bet my 06' thwarts are clunkier than yours. Yours are sexy lookin'! - to me at least! Here are some actual dimensions (see pic). My '06 HW is a full 5/8" wider than my '39 Yankee's. I bet if you were to measure yours you'd see thwarts sized more like my Yankee's.
    As an aside - isn't it great to have an outlet to write about trivial things like this. Fun!
    IMG_20170910_133650326.jpg
     
  9. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

     
  10. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

  11. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    By the way, Mike... Those are interesting floor boards on the canoe in your pic. Are they original? And there's no spacer boards? Are they screwed to the ribs or tacked? Well, maybe not tacked as they would need to be very long to be pass through the planking to be 'clenchable'. So maybe nailed? I assume they are not removable...
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Benson - I was just looking over the pics you provided above. I notice two of them show oar locks. Here's a pic of my canoe again showing its oar lock thingie - it looks a little like what's shown in your pics. Could they be original do you think? IMG_20170908_190030572.jpg
     
  13. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I doubt that your oarlocks were added at the factory since these would usually have been mentioned on the build record during this period. My canoe's build record shown at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/5835-jpg.19788/ doesn't mention them either so these were probably added later. These are not in the right places for oarlocks on my canoe so my guess is that it once had a canopy with four posts. See http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/4651/ for more on this topic. Your floor board looks like a later addition as well. Good luck with the restoration,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  14. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    A canopy - interesting! Thanks.
     
  15. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Canopy....
    Sorry about the upside down image, but it shows a canopy on a 1925 20' Old Town with spon-toons (sic), powered by a little Evinrude inboard of the same vintage.
    If I turn the photo upside down before uploading, it still is posted wrong.... sorry.
    The supports are painted conduit. The top frame is made with 1 x 3 pine and the cover is something vinyl coated.
    Turned out pretty nice. Canopy.JPG FullSizeRender.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2017
  16. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Nice Dave.
     
  17. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    More awards! You're going to need a barn for them all...

    Congratulations!
     
  18. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Circling back...here you go Howie...a gift from my enlightened "friends" at work honoring our hobby...
    Dilbert canoe.GIF
     

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