Custom aluminum oar frame on Rocky Mountain Raft 14 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-11-2017   #1
 
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2016
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Custom aluminum oar frame on Rocky Mountain Raft 14

I bought an RMR 14 on the mountainbuzz back in August. I am putting together my own DIY aluminum frame for multi-day trips next summer. I started with 60 feet of 1.5 inch aluminum round tubing my machinist picked up for me. Instead of doing a bent frame, I am going to do it all with speed fittings I bought off Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My friend and I got a pretty good start building the frame yesterday. I need to organize and shrink my pictures to post.

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Old 12-11-2017   #2
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Here is a picture of "body bag" and the aluminum. My friend couldn't take 20 foot sections of aluminum so I had his source cut them in 8' and 12' sections.
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Old 12-11-2017   #3
 
Aurora, Colorado
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With speed fittings, all you have to do is make a length and width measurement, cut your aluminum to size, slap that baby together, and tighten the set screws with an allan wrench. THIS MAY BE A REAL [email protected]#$ING SHORT BUILD POST.

Since rafting is essentially a brand new sport to me and I don't know my stern from a hole in the ground, I like the speed fittings for the ability to reconfigure. I can add or remove bays, and it would be pretty easy to change the dimensions or to go from 1 side rail to 2. I can use the excess aluminum for other projects or for casting. I bought the oar locks with fittings and pressed brass bushings from down river outfitters.
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Old 12-11-2017   #4
Definite maybe
 
Weld county, Colorado
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Your footbar is the toughest, other than that it's easy.
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Old 12-11-2017   #5
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Ummm...... Wait.

I think I remember Dan's raft had a kickbar which would be convenient if I want to row hard. I think Ryan's raft had a flip down seat that was mighty comfortable. So I will need to build or buy those. Also I guess I need oars and oar leashes.

Maybe I should also slap some sideboards on it? So maybe I have a few posts left on this thread?
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Old 12-11-2017   #6
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCo View Post
Your footbar is the toughest, other than that it's easy.
Yeah, for the footbar I have to decide if I want to bend, weld, or use fittings, or some combo. I am going to be putting some serious torque on that thing.
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Old 12-11-2017   #7
 
Shaver Lake, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellywelding View Post
I started with 60 feet of 1.5 inch aluminum round tubing my machinist picked up for me.

Just a clarification - Did you get 1.5" pipe or 1.5" tubing? Pipe is a nominal diameter whereas tubing is measured as an OD. 1.5" pipe is ~1.9" OD. 1.5" tubing is 1.5" OD.
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Old 12-11-2017   #8
 
salem, Arizona
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I did the same thing. Right down to the rmr raft. Although I used 1.25 inch aluminum pipe. Actual od is 1.5 I believe. But as another poster said, pipe size is nominal...

I made side boards out of half inch plywood. Cut it to fit, routered some rounded edges on it and coat it with polyurethane and a little sand for texture to make it nonslip. Then I drilled and countersink holes in it, and drilled and tapped corresponding holes into the pipe and the countersunk flush stainless bolts. Mount some little stainless tiedowns to that for some good bungie points for your gear.

The speed fittings are great for us newbies because it allows us to reconfigure. Run the raft for a bit and see what works best. I plan to change around the configuration of my dryboxes and cooler, and then if that is perfect I may get around to welding so I can make a good solid footbar. I've never really had one. I just use the crossmember in front of me if I really need to get after it. It may be higher than is ideal but it gets the job done.

I've always kind of wondered how well these speed fittings would do their job in serious water. Where your boat is really getting flexy and bendy. I've only done class 3. Might plan to weld it up when I work my way up to 4 and 5.

Keep the build pics coming. I might post some pics of mine if I can be home when its light out...
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Old 12-11-2017   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellywelding View Post
Maybe I should also slap some sideboards on it? So maybe I have a few posts left on this thread?
More than a few!
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Old 12-11-2017   #10
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Weld county, Colorado
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1.25 pipe is 1.66 od 1.5 pipe is 1.9 od. As for how strong a speed rail fitting is, well strong enough unless you plan on doing something completely stupid. I'm sure people have broke them before but I'm willing to bet they have a story to go with it.
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