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Old 01-10-2013   #11
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 60
More kudo's for gary at rowframe

I am having Gary build me a second cat frame. My take is simple, you maybe get a 10% nicer frame from DRE or AAA, but it will cost you twice as much. I have owned frames from all three.

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Old 01-10-2013   #12
., ...
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by Wnt2b0at View Post
I am having Gary build me a second cat frame. My take is simple, you maybe get a 10% nicer frame from DRE or AAA, but it will cost you twice as much. I have owned frames from all three.
What differences did you notice between all three?

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Old 02-06-2013   #13
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 17
Go with Gary. His work is on point, he is more than affordable and you can use the cash money saved for more river tricks up that sleeve of yours...
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Old 02-06-2013   #14
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Granby, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 90
Gary at rowframe would be my vote. I asked to come by his shop and check out his frames some time. He informed me that he builds frames in his back yard. In the snow. Barefoot.

John at DRE is a super nice guy as well, if you want pipe bent instead of mechanical joints.
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Old 02-06-2013   #15
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In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Originally Posted by mustloverafting View Post
I too have researched this and the major difference I saw in making your own frame and having one made is, the bending of the pipe.

Most muffler shops would be happy to do the bending for you. I have built a number of frames. I build a new one almost ever year. This year I spent $70 on steel tubing and another $40 on bends at the steel shop. Now I am welding it up. When I am done, I will wrap the frame in heavy duty electrical tape. I basicly copied a catframe from canyon inflatables this year and made it fit my willy. I going with the modular set up this year and see how it goes for me.
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Old 02-06-2013   #16
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 141
Gary for sure!!! Really good guy, and yes he just wants to see folks out enjoying the river!!!!
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Old 02-06-2013   #17
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
One of the biggest differences between Gary and AAA/DRE is he does not use hard anodized tubes as does the other 2 frame builders.
When the tubes are not hard anodized they tend to leave black marks on your boat tubes. Gary will tell you to put clear spray paint on the frame tubes to protect the boat. He will tell you hard anodizing tubes weaken the tube.
I have both types of frames; I spray my non anodized frame once or twice a year. Takes care of the black issue.
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Old 03-12-2013   #18
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 62
Mark and Judy are cool; they've treated me quite well in the last few years and Mark is more than happy to show you his shop and the equipment he uses for fabbing.

Gary is my go-to for materials. He's super knowledgable, stoked about frame building and willing to answer fabrication questions and then suggest fabrication methods (ie: use a chop saw with a bimetal blade to cut tubing, etc). I've sent him cad files and he's provided me feedback before I began my first cut.

if you search the MB, he was the previous speedrail supplier for Denver.

So, I built my entire setup (double-rail, 4-bay) last year buying parts from him and then diamond plate materials from Alreco in Commerce City. It's a stout (although a bit heavy) setup and now I'm tinkerking with concepts for a rear deck and anchor system.

My only dissapointment with my DIY setup is that AAA or DRE can shape pipes to fit within each other if you need a take-down setup for packing in to the Gunny Gorge or somewhere similar...mine doesn't do that and I haven't figured out how to pull mine apart easily yet to fit on the back of a horse...I may just build a 2nd frame for those situations.

here's pics from my build-up last year. All pipes & fittings were from Gary. The towers came from Mark @ AAA.

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Old 03-12-2013   #19
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031

On your picture of just the frame.

Is that closest bay diamond plate fastened down just on one side so that it functions as a hinged lid?

If so, how is the front held in a flip?


I can see where your camera post would work as a kitchen fly pole on a place like the Owyhee.
I'm liking it.
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Old 03-12-2013   #20
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 166
Gary will build a boat for little more than material cost. Since i bend my own tubing, i tend to use him for t connectors which he casts. He is real reasonable on other frame parts as well. I still use dre for swages, seats, and towers.

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