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  • Alick Burt

Felix's Canoe, New thwart tags, a distressing experience!

Felix's Canoe, New thwart tags, a distressing experience!

Hi Folks

I have given her a few good doses of varnish and she has been drying out for a week or so maybe two but in the meantime I have been playing with new thwart tags and have taken delivery of an engraved plate that documents a little of her history and which I will put on the deck covering ugly holes where a plate (possibly a Thames conservancy one) was before, that is now long gone.

The tags that were on her were plain and unadorned (probably to avoid import duties)and one was completely rusted and didn't match the rest.

Having seen pictures of old Thomas Gordon Tags on the W.C.H.A. site I initially tried to track down letter stamping kits so I could stamp my own lettering.The cost of these turned out to be prohibitive and in order to copy the old style I would have had to buy a separate set for capitals and lower case!

I decided to contact my engraver who makes the engraved oval plates I put on the wood strippers that I make and he said he could do them for around £4 each but the lettering would be straight. If you look at the old ones they are out of line and what my eagle eye also spotted is that although they are out of line it looks to me like the lettering was all done with one stamp so you have a series of lines of writing all at the same slightly wrong angle.With that in mind I asked my engraver to make the tags just a mm wider!

Then when I got them I was able to put one of my old plain ones on top at an angle.Mark it out and then drill the holes and file the edges so my writing was sloping just like on the old ones!

I also decided to clip the corners, give them a battering( I think they need a bit more of this) and rub some wax into them to age them.

Here's one being filed out of square!

and here is one of them fitted.

As I say I think they need a bit more distressing but they aren't bad :-)

With the tags done I turned my attention to the plate I have had made for the deck.Initially I ordered it without holes and with the corners still on so I could check and see how it would look on top of the old holes in the deck. I wanted to cover them but only partially so the brown marks around the holes would still give a look of age and I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to clip the corners.

In order to help my decision I made a paper template and folded its corners and tested it in place.As it happened this was also useful for marking out the holes.

I drilled the holes clipped the corners and fitted it in place.I am still unsure as to whether to distress it or not??

but anyway here it is.

Now all I have to do is make some bottom boards and check again to see if she floats...


Alick :-)

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