Tools

Tools that can help make a better hand-crafted wood canoe.Clinching Iron   — These Maine-manufactured clinching irons are custom-made for the Northwoods Canoe Company. The shape of the iron has been copied from the irons used at the Old Town and the E.M. White Canoe Companies from over 100 years ago. The iron can conform to the many different shapes of the canoe’s interior without gouging or scratching the wood. The hollow center makes it easy to hold and use. The surface of the steel iron is fairly rough. It can be used as is, but I always encourage owners to smooth the surface with a file or by running a belt sander over the surface of the iron.

We now offer a clinching iron in bronze in addition to the cast iron. The bronze does not stain moist or wet wood as the cast iron can.  The staining is normally not a problem as it can be sanded off later. In those situations where it could be a problem the bronze iron is a good alternative. The bronze iron is sanded and polished. It makes an attractive gift even if it is never used to clinch tacks! Clinching tacks with the bronze iron does nick the bronze and ruins the polished look of the iron; however, the mass of the iron is such that the nicking only effects its appearance and not its function.  Weight – 3 lbs.    Cast Iron: $42,   Bronze: $110

Tack Puller — An invaluable tool in any canoe shop. This versatile puller, with two different heads, is well-designed for lifting stubborn canoe tacks with minimal damage to the planking and for a variety of other applications. I’ve used and modified many different tack pullers and this one is my personal favorite.   $18.50

Canoe Hammer — This hammer has a much larger head than most lightweight hammers, which makes striking canoe tacks much easier. Its light weight is appreciated when reaching around the canoe to clinch the tacks. 7-ounce head, 12 ounces overall.   $15

Canvassing Pliers — A wide-jawed set of vise grip pliers can grab the canvas for stretching at the gunnels or at the stem. The rounded edge of the pliers make for a great fulcrum as you rock it over the inwales to stretch the canvas. (A small wood button is recommended for padding under the pliers so the rails are not gouged during use.)     $28

Finger Plane — This lightweight 2 1/2″ long Stanley plane is just right for delicate trimming on soft cedar ribs and planking. It is easy to use and its small size makes it invaluable in the canoe shop. This is not a very expensive tool and it’s a bit fussy to adjust; still, I find it one of the most useful tools when trimming the edge of the planking or ribs.     $15.50

Planking Gauge — Every canoe has many planks that need to be tapered to fit the curve of the hull. This planking gauge is just the ticket to trace an accurate curve onto a new plank. This brass gauge is shaped right here in the canoe shop!     $10