Introduction and homebuilt cat frame reform school - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-04-2012   #1
 
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5
Introduction and homebuilt cat frame reform school

Hi all. My name is Zack from around Gunnison, CO. I've been a lurker here for a while from my Tupperware days. Not that those days are gone, but my girlfriend would like to be included on river trips and she doesn't kayak so....

I started looking for boats this year. I've paddle guided 10'ers out east, rowed everyone's setup (in our group anyway) on the Grand two years ago including 13', 14', 16', and 18' rafts, an 18' NRS cat and a 15' Sotar cat. I want a cat. I missed out on two smoking deals near me then snagged this Jag in Moab:


It's been down the Grand 11 times and it's probably great for that, but we are not getting along and I don't have the budget to fully outfit it and keep it for the next big water trip. I'll be posting it for sale here soon.

Before I realized all that, I was looking for a trailer that would fit the Jag and found one locally that came with a 12' NRS cat. The deal was too good to pass up, so I bought both. This is the boat with the homebuilt frame it came with. Yes, it's on a lake. I didn't want to shuttle to try it out.


The tubes measure 12.5' x 22". The frame is all 1 1/4" EMT and its just kind of weird. I took it down the Gunni town run a couple times and the size of the boat was great, but the frame was not well organized at all. So, I though I would modify it a bit. This morning I ended with this:




With such shallow drop rails, I don't expect it to be a very firm boat, but it should allow me to tag along on trips like the Dolores, San Juan, Yampa, Rio Chama, etc.

What do the Buzzards think?

Cheers!
Zack

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Old 07-04-2012   #2
 
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portland, Oregon
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Hi Zack,

I think you will probably want some extra support from the oar tower down to the lower drop rails. What you have doesnt look very strong for a spot that will experience a lot of forces

Otherwise looks good

Tard
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Old 07-04-2012   #3
 
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Oar towers

Could be, but take a look at the towers in the before photo. The previous owner flipped in the Gunni whitewater park and tore her shoulder which is why she sold the boat to me. Those little toothpick towers didn't even bend.

Actually, this frame is kind-of a test bed for the 4 bay I have started. The new frame has proper 9" drop rails and a lot more bracing for stiffness. Haven't finished the oar towers yet because I want to see how the ones on the first frame do.

A brace from the oar tower pivot to the inside rail would stiffen everything up so I may do that after a couple of trips anyway.
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Old 07-04-2012   #4
 
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portland, Oregon
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But then again i'm the guy who builds everything so solid you could drive a tank over it
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Old 07-04-2012   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
But then again i'm the guy who builds everything so solid you could drive a tank over it

Looking at your picture, that is probably a good idea.
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Old 07-09-2012   #6
 
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2009
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1st day float

I took the new rig down the Gunnison including the features at the whitewater park. River was running about 475 cfs and my girlfriend and her two roommates joined me so maybe 650 lbs total weight. Two ladies on the front tubes, one on the sundeck in the back. I was not a fan of that much weight in the front. Fairly small pourovers stopped us cold, but when I ran psychadelic falls backwards, I was much happier. For these day trips, I think I'm going to figure a way to run the cooler in the back and the sundeck in the front.

Any other input?
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Old 07-09-2012   #7
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Can you turn up the heat on your welder a bit, or are you already at max volts?

If you stick with that frame, give it a wipe with muriatic (pool) acid, then paint with POR-15. Seems to stick better than enamel paint, and won't mark up your tubes like galvanized.
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Old 07-09-2012   #8
 
Gunnison, Colorado
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I have a couple more modifications to weld up, then I will be considering my coating options. I like what I have read on here about POR-15 so I will probably try it. Most people brush it on, do you know anyone who has used an auto body air sprayer for application?

Were you looking at the welds at the top of the oar tower or the bottom. The ones at the top were before I figured out I needed to switch polarity for flux core. I probably have room for a bit more voltage (was welding at 3.5 out of 10 per Miller thickness recommendations) but I was occasionally blowing holes in the tubing so I backed off. This frame is practice and a test bed for the other one I am working on, so I'm not as concerned about pretty welds (except for the practice makes perfect thing.) I'll try running a little hotter on the next mods.

Also a note on the enamel paint: I bought a couple of cans of Krylon gloss white for my rocket boxes. I sprayed one on a completely dry day, gave it two coats, and I have been surprised at the abuse it has taken. I sprayed two more on an equally hot dry day and they had at least an hour in the sun to cure before the rain moved in. They were completely dry to the touch so I left them out as an experiment. They are not holding up well at all. I'm going to make sure the next paint job can sit dry for at least 24 hrs. Another tip I learned that has worked well for me is to keep the can(s) in a pan of hot water until use. It seems to thin the paint and makes for a more even coat with less orange peel.
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Old 07-09-2012   #9
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowboy View Post
I have a couple more modifications to weld up, then I will be considering my coating options. I like what I have read on here about POR-15 so I will probably try it. Most people brush it on, do you know anyone who has used an auto body air sprayer for application?
I think it was 'salmonjammer' who did one of the big writeups on POR-15 and also tried spray application...but I don't recall if that was the coating used prior to POR-15 or not.

I'm just brushing mine on with a cheap chip brush from home depot and it seems to go on very well with minimal brushstrokes showing. I have had a lot of problems with my trailer sides rubbing black marks on my raft, so I just POR-15'ed it today, and I can't even see brush strokes on the fenders.

Quote:
Were you looking at the welds at the top of the oar tower or the bottom. The ones at the top were before I figured out I needed to switch polarity for flux core. I probably have room for a bit more voltage (was welding at 3.5 out of 10 per Miller thickness recommendations) but I was occasionally blowing holes in the tubing so I backed off.
The weld you're doing is essentially a T-weld. You have twice as much metal on the continuous part of the frame as you do on the oar tower base (both the metal behind the weld + the metal in front of the weld. Your electrode should spend roughly 2x as much time down on the main tube as it does on the bottom of the tower. If you're blowing through that, then turn down your heat--or speed up.

I just noticed that the weld on the bottom looked a bit ropey.
Conduit is a bitch to weld anyway. If you're getting good penetration and nice, flat, even welds, but then blowing through, try welding just long enough that the metal is starting to get red all over (right before a blowthrough), then pause for 5-10 seconds to let it cool and start over. If the base metal is still hot, you can barely tell where you re-started.

Quote:
This frame is practice and a test bed for the other one I am working on, so I'm not as concerned about pretty welds (except for the practice makes perfect thing.) I'll try running a little hotter on the next mods.
I don't think perfect welds are possible. Mine get better and better every year, and I still notice things I want to improve!!

Also a note on the enamel paint: I bought a couple of cans of Krylon gloss white for my rocket boxes. I sprayed one on a completely dry day, gave it two coats, and I have been surprised at the abuse it has taken. I sprayed two more on an equally hot dry day and they had at least an hour in the sun to cure before the rain moved in. They were completely dry to the touch so I left them out as an experiment. They are not holding up well at all. I'm going to make sure the next paint job can sit dry for at least 24 hrs. Another tip I learned that has worked well for me is to keep the can(s) in a pan of hot water until use. It seems to thin the paint and makes for a more even coat with less orange peel.[/QUOTE]

I did 2 brush-on coats of Kryon industrial enamel, dry 24+ hours, plus an overcoat of gloss enamel, plus a week in the sun to cure. I wasn't happy with the durability. POR-15 is $47 a quart here, and worth it!! I just wish it came in a better range of colors! I used black because that's all they had locally. I wish I'd have had more time to source some gloss gray.
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