Recretec frame re-welding - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-13-2014   #1
 
Westminster, Colorado
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Recretec frame re-welding

I have a steel frame circa '02, possibly galvanized, I bought from Recretec. It has pull pins through an inner-outer overlap that allow the double side rails to pull off the cross pipes so it can be broken down. Like a big E as a side rail with straight cross pipe sections. It's always been a little jiggly for me at the connection points, and I've since had DRE build me a solid diamond plated frame and floor combo that I really like when weight isn't an issue and I can load up the dry box, cooler, rocket boxes, etc. But, I've convinced myself that THIS is the year I either draw or am invited on a Middle Fork trip, and with 50% snowpack I'm thinking of putting together a lightweight setup for those trips that aren't conducive to packing the cast iron, kitchen sink, etc. What I want to do is weld my frame into a solid piece. Right now it has 4 cross bars, making 2 cooler-size bays and one large cockpit bay. I would like to add a 5th cross bar and weld everything in to one solid piece. Then I'll add 3 drop bags and two tables to sit on and I'm all set for a drybag based rather than big metal box based trip.

My question is: who can do that welding? Is there anyone in the Denver area you would trust to drop off a bunch of steel frame parts and expect a finished retro-fitted product in return? It's not painted but not rusting, so would it be anything other than galvanized? And can that surface then be powder coated when it's all welded up?

Thanks for any insights you might have.

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Old 01-13-2014   #2
 
cataraftgirl's Avatar
 
Sandy, Utah
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Too bad you don't live in Pocatello. Partner Steel could fix you up. They modified a steel frame for me once and did a good job.
One thing to think about if you're are lusting after the Middle Fork. You might want to keep this a breakdown frame if your DRE isn't a breakdown. Some day you might get an invite on a late season fly-in trip and you'll need a breakdown frame. If your DRE will breakdown to fly in, then go for it with welding your other one. Check with AAA in Denver, or DRE might be able to help you???
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Old 01-13-2014   #3
 
Front Range, Colorado
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I could do it for you. PM me if you are interested. If you have someone else do it and they know what they are doing, they should be concerend about welding anything galvanized. From a health concern.
I'd guess your frame could be powder coated for under $200, depending on the color you want.
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Old 01-13-2014   #4
 
Westminster, Colorado
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I was actually sort of thinking that if I had my "light" rig dialed in, I could always pick up enough NRS parts to make a break down frame to surround it if I'm in a position to fly somewhere. The Firth is on that list too... Right now there are a lot of rivers you can still drive to, but shedding a few hundred pounds would be kind of nice.
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Old 01-13-2014   #5
 
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Sandy, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars View Post
I was actually sort of thinking that if I had my "light" rig dialed in, I could always pick up enough NRS parts to make a break down frame to surround it if I'm in a position to fly somewhere. The Firth is on that list too... Right now there are a lot of rivers you can still drive to, but shedding a few hundred pounds would be kind of nice.
You know what will happen if you get it welded.....you'll get a fly in trip permit or invite. I went the other direction. I had Partner Steel make my welded frame into a break down.
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Old 01-15-2014   #6
 
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NorCal, California
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I think I have the same frame but in aluminum and it's my understanding that the frame was made to flex slightly in order to not put too much stress on the frame. My Recretec 72 frame also flexes slightly. Recretec has been making that same style for many years. One thing I do is run several compression straps along the bottom of the frame for support. Are you sure you want to weld the frame taking away the breakdown capability?
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Old 01-16-2014   #7
 
Westminster, Colorado
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It's not the frame bowing, it's laxity at the joints. There is a definite angle at the connection points.
Maybe I'll just find someone to add in the extra cross member and leave it breakdown for now.
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Old 01-16-2014   #8
 
Southern, Oregon
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I use to have a similar frame. Anybody with welding experience can get it done. I took my frame to a guy and he just put a couple tac-welds on each joint. Some quick sanding on the welds and it was done. It took about 10 minutes. I also went the powder coat route. Galvanized does not hold paint which will require more work ($)for whoever you have powder coat it.
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Old 01-16-2014   #9
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Tacoma,Wa, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavester View Post
I think I have the same frame but in aluminum and it's my understanding that the frame was made to flex slightly in order to not put too much stress on the frame. My Recretec 72 frame also flexes slightly. Recretec has been making that same style for many years. One thing I do is run several compression straps along the bottom of the frame for support. Are you sure you want to weld the frame taking away the breakdown capability?
Sorry wavester but who told you that , Timmy ? lol
when aluminum flexes it gets weaker and breaks, I have seen 3 of his galvanized river tables break now. Recretec is not what it used to be when Eddy and Ron owned it. I enjoyed buying stuff from them and they had good products. I don't even know if any of the employees speak English there anymore.
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Old 01-16-2014   #10
 
Austin, Texas
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I have A rec-retec cargo frame I bought from them back in 99. At the time I was not into metal fab but my friend was. This was the start of my metal addiction! The frame as it was shipped to me was just terrible w/ the Aire tubes (and probably all others too). There was no way to draw the tubes into the frame unless you wanted to go all the way around the outside the tube with the strap. So, after my first trip on the Delores I started to notice every time I went thru a rapid some gear bags would work there way between the frame and tubes and this would compound after each rapid making the gap larger and larger. You could see the tubes move away from the frame ea time I went thru rapids. Eventually this would have prob pulled a D ring? I needed to add a piece of conduit very low on the frame but above the D ring and use short straps 1' and 2'ers. This solved everything! Sense then.... I have changed the frame so much to my exact needs I often have people commit on it (park rangers to commercial boatmen). If you pay somebody to do this, you may want to cut and prep the "add ons" if you can. This will cut down huge on shop time. Have things cut and labeled where they go. The brain storming takes time. If the person is not a boater, he or she migh not make a good call on something if you are not there. Lots of small details can be left out. Now a note on welding; all welding is dangerous if not properly vented. Gal. metal is a bit more toxic I do believe. It doesn't concern me because I vent! So vent when you weld! I had a connection on a powder coat guy that had huge contracts doing city St posts ect. He could do a project the bigger than an 18 wheeler and told me he would do all my frames (3) for 20-25 ea.! I'm glad I never did. With all the mods I have done to it, it would look like shit. And most importantly power coat is hard as hell to get off of steel and back to a good clean weldable material.
Good luck!
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