SPEED-RAIL USE AND MODIFICATION - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-06-2011   #1
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
SPEED-RAIL USE AND MODIFICATION

I've read about people using speedrail fittings for both aluminum and steel frames. I have only used nrs frame pieces which are very strong and pretty user friendly(but heavy and expensive). I would like to use speedrail fittings for a new frame I'm making, but am unsure about shear force pulling the tee off the cross bar and the set screws crushing the tube(especially if I decide to use galvanized fence tubing to save $). I am also lost as there are so many options I have no idea where to start, namely in terms of quality, dimensions, and compatibility. I would like to avoid interior dowels due to weight/nonsense and would really enjoy being able to pin the frame for breakdown purposes. I want to avoid vertical pins as they may dig into the rubber. I have seen some fittings on clavey with holes for horizontally pinning fitting to crossbar. This is great because the pin hardware won't cut into the boat! However, said fittings cost more than an nrs lo pro...yikes!

I do have some spare nrs side rails so I would prefer the inch and 5/8 fittings and would be interested to know where I could find some good aluminum ones that I could possibly pin to crossbars.

I would love to hear any and all of the following...
(1) Testimonials regarding success and/or failures of speedrail frame fittings
(2) People using snap pins/quick release pins on speedrail frame fittings
(3) People drilling and modifying a fitting so they could pin it

Thanks all!

And yes I'm completely disregarding the superbowl due to hardcore boaterness...

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Old 02-06-2011   #2
 
slamkal's Avatar
 
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
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you missed a great game.

not sure where you are at but in Portland you can get a 20' section of 1-1/4 6061 pipe for about $44. Alaskan Copper and Brass.


you can cut this with a carbide blade chop saw just be sure to clamp (double clamp in two axis) the pipe and be really slow with the saw. If not potential nasty kickback will send the stock out the back of the saw fence area damaging your saw and maybe even losing a finger. But all it really takes is securing the stock.

non - anodized material leaves black marks every time you (or your boat) touch corroded aluminum so you may be better off just ordering pre-cut from NRS @ 4/foot. otherwise expect to use mothers polish to keep it looking shiney.

6063 (bendable temper) will deform with the clamp of the hollander fitting. So without the dowels expect the pipe to deform. I've had best success with the 6061 tubing it just needs an occasional check to make sure the screw hasn't loosened. Hollander uses a special setscrew that is pretty good at locking into the material.

the quick release use of the clips will require careful drilling if you don't have a good mechanical setup I'd avoid it in place of just using stock NRS with replacing the bolts with the pins.
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Old 02-07-2011   #3
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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I built a frame from speed-rail fittings and pipe. No malfunctions so far. I pinned removable front and rear sections so the frame converts from day frame to multi-bay expedition frame fairly easily. The front and rear sections are bent into big "U" shapes and require just two snap pins (per section) to join the main frame. I only drilled one of the Hollander fittings, mainly as a test. No problems, but the set screws have held up in the other three corners, no pull outs.

The big issue with drilling for pinning is getting the hole into the center of the tube and aligned correctly. You need to build a jig to accomplish this, and a drill press will go a long way in helping you out, but the jig is essential. Other have posted how to do this, it takes some skill and time to do right.

I am adding side boards and a floor to my frame setup. I'll post pictures sometime in the next month.
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Old 02-07-2011   #4
 
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at my house, Montana
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The only person I've heard of doweling is Chip (you might want to PM him if you want to talk to him, I don't think he monitors the Buzz regularly, but does pop up once in a while), and I believe he does so because of his use of the lighter galvanzied pipe (fencing pipe?). If your using Aluminum, you don't need to worry about doweling. I have a combo of LowPro and Speedrail on my raft frame. At first I had all LowPros and then converted all of the fittings but the 4 exterior corners and the cross bar I push on, out of concern that I want the additional strength there. Maybe I'm just a chicken. I've never had any problems with the set screws, with the exception of the speedrail fittings used for oarlock towers. I've moved those around quite a few times getting the frame dialed, and they are fine as long as I'm diligent in reefing those down.
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Old 02-07-2011   #5
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
Thanks guys and gals! Raftus - is the jig mainly used for getting the holes in the right spots so they'll line up? Also, where are some good places to get the fittings. I would like to go local but I don't think anyone in Boise has them. Any highly recommended brands, websites, possibly where I won't get gouged on shipping? Frontierplay has the fittings for 10 bucks and I'm wondering if anyone has used those and/or drilled them.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-07-2011   #6
 
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SE, Wyoming
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G'day, Laura! Weird- every time somebody mentions my name on the BUZZ, I get this twinge in the . . . well, never mind.

Here are a few thoughts on the above, with links to previous threads. Most of the photos are still good, with some dead links in the Games with Frames thread.

The galvanized steel top-rail tubing costs half what the same size schedule 40 aluminum pipe does. The sizes (IPS or nominal size vs. actual inside and outside diameter) can be confusing, so check online size guides before you order.

Since the steel tubing has a thin wall, the setscrews in SpeedRail and similar fittings will crush it, so you need to insert a 2-3" dowel (set in epoxy is good) at the ends. For oarstands on the steel tube, you could try to poke a dowel way in, or use oarstands with a couple u-bolts rather than setscrews. Or drill the setscrew fittings for pins (which will convert them from an adjustable to a fixed mount).

Schedule 40 aluminum pipe has a thicker wall and shouldn't deform with normal force.

For an ultralight cat frame I used sched 80 aluminum for the two outside bars (for crush resistance) and galvanized steel tube for the rest.

If you want to pin SpeedRail fittings, always use a drill jig to get the holes in exactly the same spots. Drill the fittings first, then assemble the frame and drill the pipe, inserting a pin to keep it aligned before drilling the other end.

Lo-Pro fittings are strong, but cost about $18 each. The equivalent SpeedRail fittings run about $10 for an elbow and the same for an economy tee (2 setscrews). A tee with three screws, like DRE uses for oarstands, costs about $12. I checked out Diamond fittings, which are about 30-40% less, but didn't like the quality— they were thinner overall, the finish wasn't great, and some of the setscrew borings were crooked.

If you order SpeedRail fittings direct from the maker Aluminum Railing, ADA Railing, Handrail, Infill Panels & Pipe Fittings you can get them anodized (about 15% extra) with stainless steel setscrews (about [email protected]). The minimum order is $100.

Anyhow, here are some links (just tried and they don't work. I think you can find them by searching the title and maybe the #, since I was able to look at them via the search function). Let me know:

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/more-games-with-frames-21488.html

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/ultra-light-oarframes-20718.html

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/speedrail-order-22942.html

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/aluminum-vs-steel-22967.html

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/drop-seat-mount-20523.html

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...mes-13726.html

Right-o! Just bring up Search and type the title (without the dashes, # or .ht ml) and hit Search Threads. You'll need to scroll a bit, but they are there.
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Old 02-07-2011   #7
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Yeah, getting a hole to line up in a hand drilled pipe is nearly impossible without a jig. The other option is to attach the fitting exactly where you want it on the pipe and then drill through them together. Then you will have a matching, fully functional, if misaligned hole. The other challenge with using the drill press can be the physical dimensions of the stock and getting it clamped into a true position. On my frame getting the pins to go in sideways (to prevent chaffing on my boat) was a challenge.

I bet Boise has at least one or two vendors that sell speedrail, some raft stores may sell it as well. If you post to the idaho whitewater yahoo group you will get a quick answer. Check out the Hollaender website if you haven't already.

Also check out raftframe.com. Not the greateast website, but Gary who runs it has a line of frame fittings (the ones I use) that are solid and very reasonably priced.
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Old 02-07-2011   #8
 
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SE, Wyoming
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Gary's fittings are all the larger DRE size (1.5" ips, about 1.9" od). He doesn't do the NRS size stuff (I just checked with him on some other work).

One drilling trick is build a jig (scrap wood and hoseclamps work) that holds each fitting in the right alignment on the drill-press table, with a steel bar on top to align the drill (i.e. with a slightly oversize hole in it).
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Old 02-07-2011   #9
 
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little rock, Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafterman View Post
Thanks guys and gals! Raftus - is the jig mainly used for getting the holes in the right spots so they'll line up? Also, where are some good places to get the fittings. I would like to go local but I don't think anyone in Boise has them. Any highly recommended brands, websites, possibly where I won't get gouged on shipping? Frontierplay has the fittings for 10 bucks and I'm wondering if anyone has used those and/or drilled them.

Thanks again!
I just finished building a four bay frame with 1.25" EMT and Frontierplay T-Fittings. I'm very happy with the results, although I must disclose I haven't run it yet. I like the set screws. I plan to leave mine assembled most of the time, but now that I've put my hands on it I can't imagine it would take long at all to disassemble and reassemble, especially after having done it a few times. If I had it to do over again I'd probably use bigger pipe just because the fittings will accomodate it, but it's plenty stout with the 1.25". Total cost for the pipe was $45. Larger diameter would cost marginally more of course. Not sure if you need oar mounts, but he sells a frame kit that includes everything required (except pipe of course) to build a three bay frame including the U bolt style oar mounts for $150.
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Old 02-07-2011   #10
 
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at my house, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip View Post
He's alive! Good to observe you're still lurking.

I've gotten speed rail from DRE, and I use NRS pipe.

Also LowPro's weigh in at nearly a pound, while the short speedrail T's are 4 oz.
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