Canvas & Snap Tool Resources

Ironwood Pacific manufactures a full line of tools to help you maintain and replace the snaps on your boat canvas. These informative articles will help you make the most of these tools, and keep you from paying for repairs from your local canvas shop.

Q. What does the Canvas Care Kit include?
The Canvas Care Kit comes with snap lube, 10 complete replacement snaps, and a punch & anvil snap setting tool -- all in a floating case.

Q. How do I replace snaps with the punch & anvil snap setting tool?
Refer to the article "Replacing Snaps with the Canvas Care Kit."

Q. How many snaps come in the snap pack?
There are 10 complete replacement snaps in the snap pack.

Q. What size are the replacement snaps?
The snaps are the standard size for boat canvas applications. The stud is 3/8" across and the center post is 1/4".

Q. Are the snaps stainless steel?
No. The replacement snaps are marine grade nickel plated brass.

Q. How do I use the snap lube?
Apply snap lube sparingly to the snap dome and stud to add lubrication and cut through any corrosion, making snapping and unsnapping your boats snaps easier.

Your Top-Snapper™ Canvas Care Kit contains:

  • Snap parts for 10 snaps, each consisting of a dome with a hollow post, a corresponding female snap fitting, The male snap fitting and a corresponding back plate with a hollow post

If you are replacing a broken snap:

  1. Remove the old snap if it is still in place - it may just pull apart or you may need to remove it depending on how it failed. If you need to remove it, you should see that there is a hollow post that runs from the dome through the female part of the snap; the hollow post has been deformed to rivet the two pieces together. Take a drill with a drill bit slightly larger than the center of the hollow post, place the snap on a firm surface and fix it in place. We use vice grips to hold the dome. If you don’t secure the dome, it will spin under the bit and may damage the canvas. Use all safety precautions for using a drill. Place the point of the bit in the hole of the post, and carefully drill, this should cut away the lip that holds the snap together.
  2. When the old snap is gone, you can place a new snap through the existing hole. Making sure that the dome is on the correct side, place the post through the existing hole then place the female snap fitting back in place over the tube on the back of the canvas.
  3. Keeping the snap together, place the snap dome in the concave side of the die, then place the tip of the punch into the opening of the hollow post.
  4. Strike the punch with a mallet or hammer. This will roll the edges of the post out and rivet the two pieces together. Make sure that it is deformed enough that the two pieces of the snap half are firmly fixed together sandwiching the canvas.<.li>
  5. You've replaced your snap dome!

If you need to change a male portion of a snap in the canvas, follow the same directions except:

  • Use a male half and a flat backing plate with post instead of the dome and female snap half.
  • Flip the die over and place the flat snap back into the round recessed area rather than the concave bowl side.

Installing a new snap:

  • If you are installing a new snap, you will want to locate the exact spot on the canvas where you want your snap positioned. Punch or cut a small hole in the canvas to allow the post to go through. Otherwise you will follow the same basic procedures outlined above for replacing a snap.

Both the Snap Setter and the Punch & Anvil in the Canvas Care Kit will do an excellent job at replacing snaps on your boat canvas. The table below outlines the pros and cons of both products to help you decide which one will work best for you.

Snap Setter Tool Canvas Care Kit Punch & Anvil
Pros: Pros:
  • Easy to use for many snaps
  • Useful for all snap pieces
  • Consistent results
  • More cost effective for replacing a few snaps
  • Convenient for dome snap piece -- the most frequently changed part of the snap
  • Replacement snaps included
  • Heavy duty, reliable, good price compared to similar tools
  • Cons: Cons:
  • Only works on the female piece of the snap
  • Results can be inconsistent, not all snaps may fit the same
  • Must be strong enough to squeeze the tool closed to set the snap properly
  • Requires precise and accurate hammering to obtain snug fit
  • Some people may find this difficult to use
  • If you have additional questions, would like additional information on the Surf Rod Rack, or need help selecting the best product for your boat, please contact us. We will be glad to help!