The locust-crook jaws for my Whitehall required a couple of 4" rivets.all photographs by the author

The locust-crook jaws for my Whitehall required a couple of extra-long rivets.

I recently needed a handful of long rivets to secure the sides of a centerboard trunk to its ledges and to fasten jaws to a boom. Even if I could even buy just 8 rivets, I didn’t want to wait several days for an online order so I decided to make my own. I started with some copper water pipe I had on hand and some 6-gauge copper grounding wire (about 5/32″ in diameter) sold by the foot or in coils from the electrical department of the local home-improvement store.There are two things wrong with the wire as it comes off the spool: it’s round and it’s soft. Boat rivets are square to keep them from rotating as the wood around them moves; leaks would follow the slow wearing away of the wood. By hammering the wire I could make it square and at the same time work-harden the copper to make it rigid enough to drive into the slightly undersized holes I’d drill in the wood pieces I was assembling.

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