Small homebrew raft frame - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-04-2011   #1
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
Small homebrew raft frame

Hello all. Long time reader, first time poster...

Got a Tributary 9.5 SB and I want to make a homemade frame, similar to the nrs skidguard frame. Planning on using nrs side rails, oar stands, and 2 4x1 ft 3/4 inch coated plywood planks to span the tubes as seats. I would like to attach using nrs u-bolts but not sure if they'll be long enough. Will this frame be strong enough? Class III and maybe up to Class IV, nothing too strenuous. Main goal is structural integrity and keeping the price way down.

All advice and opinions appreciated

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Old 02-04-2011   #2
 
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 296
Call Gary at Rowframe.com

For a great frame on a budget, call Gary. Below is my old Trib with a Rowframe.com frame. The frame that Gary built made it easy to readjust the frame for one or two people. (1st pic is one man, 2nd is two man)

Since these boats are small, you really need to move the seat if you are rowing solo. this design allows that. just slide off the crossbars (with fittings attached) and rearrange as necessary. I positioned the oar towers so they didn't need to be moved- just change where the seat goes. the nice thing about a frame on the trib 9.5 is that its a pretty wide boat to begin with (a 52" wide frame is perfect which allows for 8-8.5" oars without getting all fancy with the oar towers (for width) my new Mini Max is much narrower and needed some fancy thinking to get the oar towers wide enough so I wasn't using 7' oars.

the cost will be the same or cheaper than building one out of wood and NRS parts(especially after you factor in time and whatever varnish/skidguard/epoxy you use to treat the wood)
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Old 02-04-2011   #3
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Thanks but...

I wanted to keep the cost down. I already have the side rails and can get the oar stands for pretty cheap. I wanted to keep things simple i.e. inexpensive. My goal was to avoid the possible 100 bucks for seat, another possible 100 for seat bar, another possible 100 to 150 for cross bar(s) and all required fittings (even more money). I was going to buy the wood anyway for a different boat which would run about 20 bucks. Did "Gary" build you a frame for less than 100 dollars?

To further clarify my original post, I am curious if bolting plywood planks down onto alum. side rails will be strong enough for class III (for now). I am still open to all advice and appreciate good products, but I also enjoy building things myself, saving $, and am not extremely interested in you or your friend's ability to "sell" me something.

Thanks
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Old 02-04-2011   #4
 
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Denver, Colorado
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If you want to cheap out on your frame have at it.

The frame you see was about $200 all in. (including CAD drawings so the oars were setup right and the right length) I found the seat used for $20 here in the swap. Wood frames work, lots of people have used them back in the day. No one uses them much any more because they have issues. (weight, splinters, soak up water, not adjustable, not adaptable in the future for front seats, not to mention ghetto...)

If thats what you want to build, I'm not going to talk you out of it. And I'm definitely not trying to sell you anything, and I have no financial interest in Gary's operation. To me, the $100 over a shitty wood frame is worth it. If its not worth it to you, get out the tools and enjoy.
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Old 02-04-2011   #5
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
Now we're talkin! I enjoy both the honesty and help and am glad to see your first reply was not a plug. You bring up good points about woody ghettoness (since I was definitely going to try to use cheap ass plywood). I recently saw a newish frame from nrs called the "skidguard" and the frugality took over. Back to the drawing board, or should I say pole as you have probably swayed me back toward aluminum. If anyone else can attest please let me know. Thanks whoa...
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Old 02-04-2011   #6
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
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BTW

What kind of oar stands are those? Did they ever unintentionally rotate or is there a pin through the frame keeping them from rotating or anything? Thanks again for the pics of your frame on a trib 9.5. I have not seen many if any on that particular boat. Why did you get rid of the boat?
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Old 02-05-2011   #7
 
Boise, Idaho
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New design

Be it slightly more expensive due to adding two nrs cross bars, it will be much stronger not relying on wood alone for the cross beams. Still thinking of nrs oar towers and for seats, 1x4 ft planks of 3/4 in. plywood. The frame will be a very basic 4 ft square (possibly slightly larger) and I am wanting to have the planks near the stern and bow resting on the frame rails and cross bars (so at least three sides of the planks will be on metal for support). I will sand/coat/strap the wood to the frame for a rower and a passenger. Does anyone see any major flaws in this setup? I am all but dead set on cheap ole plywood as I will have extra from another project. Much stronger structure and probably still cheaper than buying seats and seat bar mounts...but I have not ruled out having someone build me a frame could they do it cheaper.

Fire away all ye who are interested
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Old 02-05-2011   #8
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafterman View Post
BTW

What kind of oar stands are those? Did they ever unintentionally rotate or is there a pin through the frame keeping them from rotating or anything? Thanks again for the pics of your frame on a trib 9.5. I have not seen many if any on that particular boat. Why did you get rid of the boat?
towers are Gary's and they don't budge. The Trib was too small for fishing w./ a passenger and rolling the PVC with bladders was a pain in the ass (had to open the zippers on several occasions to fix wrinkles in the bladder)
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Old 02-05-2011   #9
 
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafterman View Post
Hello all. Long time reader, first time poster...

Got a Tributary 9.5 SB and I want to make a homemade frame, similar to the nrs skidguard frame. Planning on using nrs side rails, oar stands, and 2 4x1 ft 3/4 inch coated plywood planks to span the tubes as seats. I would like to attach using nrs u-bolts but not sure if they'll be long enough. Will this frame be strong enough? Class III and maybe up to Class IV, nothing too strenuous. Main goal is structural integrity and keeping the price way down.

All advice and opinions appreciated
I have built 4 or 5 full wood frames from 2x6 and 2x4 aquired for free from construction sites. They discard a lot of wood. These wood frames have been down the GC, WW, Cat, Deso., NP., Dolores,MF, Green, Yampa and Tat. It might be difficult to find the oar pin set up that bolts to the frame , but I know they are out there. Just food for thought. If you build your frame from aluminum plan it out right like Whoapiglet did. Because mistakes and do-overs with aluminum gets very costly. A 200$ aluminum frame is really a good deal. Parts availability is a plus. I think you would be happer with the all aluminum frame.
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Old 02-05-2011   #10
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
Excellent! Thanks for the input. Here is my new current design. I would love for people to let me know what they think of this setup...

2 nrs frame rails and 2 nrs cross bars...all bolted together. The seats, 1x4 ft planks of 3/4 in. plywood. The frame will be a very basic 4 ft square (possibly slightly larger) and I am wanting to have the planks near the stern and bow resting on the frame rails and cross bars (so at least three sides of the planks will be on metal for support). I will sand/coat/strap the wood to the frame for a rower and a passenger. Does anyone see any major flaws in this setup? I am all but dead set on cheap ole plywood as I will have extra from another project. Much stronger than relying on wood for structural integrity and probably still cheaper than buying seats and seat bar mounts...but I have not ruled out having someone build me a frame could they do it cheaper.
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