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Locating outer stem screw holes

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by mmmalmberg, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have a pretty fair feeling the answer to this question lies in the past but that's water over the bridge... I have one new outer stem and one original outer stem, and new canvas filled and dry. I can use the original stems to get an approximate location. Should I stick something sharp through and try to feel them out?
     
  2. shelldrake

    shelldrake LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I would drill new ones..........
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I may or may not ever do this again but in case I do, is there a better way:)?
     
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Fill the old holes and drill new ones.
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Yeah too late to fill anything, canvas is on, filled, dry:) I think maybe if I could get my hands on a small x-ray machine I could find them...:)
     
  6. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Ya,but. Even though the canvas is on, you can find the holes easily for the new band to go on. You need a roll of nylon fiber reinforced 1/2 or 3/4" packing tape. Now poke along the stem where you most likely expect the holes to be. I would use an awl well sharpened and the canvas will be softer where the hole exist underneath. Poke a stiff pin to the bottom of the hole and see the angle to correct for the hole center. Poke another hole to the bottom and see if you got the hole perpendicular to the stem face. Poke the awl through to open the hole and you have found the old hole set up.
    Now run the tape down the stem face with a mark at the stem tip to register its placement on the new stem band. and with a mark alot push to mark at the hole site. Transfer the tape to the inner face of the stem band and punch the middle of the mark and drill. The bend over the deck can be done when you temporarily fit the ban. This use for no - stretch tape works elsewhere , eg. screw hole location/transfer on new keels and rub strips on guide boats etc. Have fun, and the above does not take long to do, and it is only needed every 50 years or so.
    Dave
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    By outer stems are you referring to brass stem bands or wooden outer stems?
     
  8. crosscuts

    crosscuts LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Before canvassing fill all the old holes with wooden plugs and glue, then drill new holes to match the brass.
    R.C.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'm going to take a shot at something like this. I have outer stems (one new, one old) whose holes in the inner stem I need to find. Since I have both the original outer stems I have a good starting point even 'thought the bow geometry is very slightly different than it was originally. I figure I can putty in any extra holes I make. The difficulty I may have is canvas tacks covering the holes. But if I get most of them I can get the stem on with the known screw-holes and drill through any blocking tacks.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Wooden outer stems.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I think that would have been a very good idea. I'm also thinking, if I ever did it again, I could mark the holes on the canvas as I stretch it and put some brads or toothpicks through the canvas after tacking before it's filled to maintain the locations.
     
  12. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Definitely drill new holes, at least 1/2" or more from where you suspect the old ones are for stem bands. You might need a fair amount of torque to pull the stems to the boat, and conform to the curve. The likelihood of the screws turning and stripping will be high as its an old hole already enlarged by the original screws, so best to fill the old ones if you are forced with reusing the spacing on the outer stems. I would assume the old one would line up, the new one will allow you to drill for new holes, if i understand your description correctly. Good luck! and dont forget to bed them.
     
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  13. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Andre and RC are right you know?
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    So, when I first removed the outer stems, I noted that for the most part the screws felt very snug and good. In the meantime whenever I was doing something with penetrating epoxy, I hit the screw holes with it on a pipe cleaner, three applications total for most screw holes.

    I was able to use both original stems to locate the holes. First by finding a first one, near the keel, which at both ends took a few extra holes with a needle tool from my ceramics practice, which is a sturdy needle (about 3/64's) in a handle. I patched the extra holes in the canvas with some g-flex. Once I found that first hole, the rest were reasonably easy except where they landed on a tack. I was then able to transfer all those hole locations to my new front keel and matched the angles of the holes as best I could. Ultimately I needed to elongate some of the holes to one side or the other but most landed just fine. Almost all of the screws went in nice and solid and I had no problem pulling the new stem in pretty tight. A couple of holes didn't tighten up so well and I drilled new ones a half inch away from the original, filling the stripped ones with a g-flex/sawdust mix and packing it in with the end of a large finish nail.

    I don't think they're going anywhere - All's well that ends well;) Thanks for all the suggestions! Next time I will remember this all in advance.
     

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