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Old 09-28-2012   #11
colorado_steve's Avatar
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 284
Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
Wouldnt Day 3 be worse? If welded properly it should be much stronger than a handrail fitting

Plus isnt that why you would bring some jbweld or other hand moldable epoxy?
x2 welded frames a much stronger then handrail frames. jb weld is a good fix on the side of the river

Oh! I don't take it lightly! I've always got to know
There's an old lion a roarin' n the river down below
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Old 09-28-2012   #12
Shingle Springs, California
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 100
I am building a hybrid (Welds with fittings) frame right now. The outer loop and the second tube rail is welded, AAA oar 90's are installed prior to welding the outer ring together and then I am using NRS fittings on the cross bars so they can be adjusted or added or removed. Fully adjustable as long as you get the overall lenght right. If you get geeky about the engineering it is strong where it should be but will flex rather than break from being to ridged.

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Old 09-28-2012   #13
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 204
I have a fully welded aluminum frame, I love it strong, light, super fast set-up fits me exactly; I've had mine since 94. Many in this area, SW Oregon, build their own welded frames and have really nice set-ups, and are inexpensive. I agree it is important to know what you want. They also do a great job building them adjustable for 2 different rowers nice when you switch off with your spouse or partner.
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Old 09-28-2012   #14
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
I "built" our raft frame due to the simplicity of speedrail fittings and nrs lopro's. yes, after two years i got a drybox and switched up the dimensions. I even once moved the bar at the front of the rear bay to add 1" for an umbrella mount. I have no welding skills and have no interest in a welded raft frame. My captains bay is still sized for rocket boxes which i haven't used in 3 years, and someday when i drop the cash for aluminum captains boxes i'll probably make that compartment another inch or two smaller again.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 09-29-2012   #15
Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 24
thanks for all the input.
you have been a huge help.
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Old 09-30-2012   #16
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Craigamerica, -
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 129
I've never seen a welded steel frame I liked as much as a well built DRE style frame. And once its welded you have no adjustment to fine tune your setup. As far as NRS stuff I think NRS oar lock towers are junk. and the sizing is very generic. A comprimise would a NRS frame with DRE oar towers and DRE flip seat.
I built a DRE style frame myself the outer loop is welded but the cross bars are adjustable. I realy didnt save much money building it myself but it was more just for the fun of it.
One pitfall I've seen alot is people building A DRE 1.9od frame and using 90* couplers on the corners instead of bending the tubing. The tube allways seems to pull out of the coupler if someone goes this route they need to use bolts instead of the set screws.
A few pics of the frame I built with different cooler/drybox setups.

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Old 09-30-2012   #17
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
I've cracked some of those fittings. How do you fix when welded? I guess re-weld the crack in the fitting

Anyone looking at putting together a new frame with nrs towers should consider the pro-loks. The stainless shaft is longer and allows for bushings to tailor the height

I bought a pair of them So far so good.
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 09-30-2012   #18
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Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
Great discussion but in 30+ years of boating have seen very few frames break. Oh, yeah, my buddy Art's welded frame did break in the Lava Maytag, and he lost a piece of tubing as it twisted like a pretzel. But, beyond that, my instincts are to go welded aluminum for strength and stabililty. Never did trust, especially, oar towers that tighten with allen-screws. Something about hard steel pressing into soft aluminum for torque just doesn't seem right at that location. What I have now is a combo - - welded exterior, with diamond plate sides (a must for me), then the cross bars are adjustable, though not by much. Frankly, I've never understood it because the fittings, which have those allen screws, can't be removed without undoing a weld, so if one of them fails, the problem is the same as having an all-welded frame.

I think my #1 choice is this: All welded, four bays, make each bay, except the footwell (which most people oversize) of equal dimensions so that your load is interchangeable, i.e., run drybox up front or sit on cooler, or run cooler up front and sit on drybox, or run a row of 20mm rocket boxes up front, or underneath a deck that you sit on, etc., etc. The same frame, then, can be used for lighter, shorter trips, and for heavier, longer trips, and/or for day trips. Anything will fit anywhere, depending on what you need that day.
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Old 09-30-2012   #19
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Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
PS: I may have missed stating the point, which is that ease of use and convenience are likely more important than what might "break". Just haven't seen frame breakage as a common problem on the river, except in extreme circumstances (the Lava maytag, and that was a 1" welded steel tube frame, which bent like a pretzel). Now oars . . . that's another story.
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Old 09-30-2012   #20
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 204
Raft setup welded

Here is my set-up first bay is my dry box it is screwed into the frame no straps. Flanges rests the box on the rail. Second bay is my cooler it sits suspended slightly above the floor; 2 welded slings hold it in place it also has a foot brace and umbrella holder attached to it. Third bay is the rowers compartment and I have a stretch frame in order to have a dry bag on either side. I have a single welded aluminum sling on either side so I have an easy attachment for the bags. I like 2 bags in the rowers compartment because it is soft if I am thrown around a bit, ie GC water. 4th bay is a shorter box with enough room for 2 water jugs on either side of the box. The seat is installed on the dry box with a track so it slides off so it clears the load when I open the box. I like a double rail system so I can install a tray for amo boxes or plating to walk on.
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