New Canvas Pliers for Wood-Canvas Canoes
June 28, 2012
by Mike Elliott, Kettle River Canoes
My apprentice canoe restorer, Brittany, has the smallest hands in the world. Until now she has been unable to stretch canvas onto canoes because she cannot get her hands around my old cast-steel pliers.
Granted, even with my 10-inch hands, the old canvas pliers are hard on the hands and require a strong grip to hold the canvas while it is tacked into place.
Then, I came across the John Annesley canvas pliers. The handles are shaped to fit even the smallest hands. The grips are cushioned and the pliers have a system of cam-gears that reduce the force required to achieve and maintain a strong grip on the canvas. A conveniently placed locking wheel can eliminate the need to keep squeezing the pliers shut while you stretch the canvas. Brittany doesn’t bother locking the pliers shut. She finds it easier and faster to hold the pliers tight, hammer the tack and then move on to the next rib-top.
These pliers are a little pricey, but it seems to be a case of “you get what you pay for”. Certainly Brittany is thrilled. She now has the right tool for the job.