Splicing a frame. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-13-2019   #1
Pieter Porcupine
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 279
Splicing a frame.

I am looking at building a frame for a JPW Culebra without breaking the bank.

Currently, I have a majority of the parts for the frame but I don't have the long rails. What would be the best way to splice the rails of the frame so I don't have to buy two 108" pieces?

I used some (steel?) inserts for my frame that I bought from NRS, drilled, and bolted them though. I suppose this would work but having a splice in the middle of a frame kinda freaks me out.

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Old 04-13-2019   #2
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 887
Splicing the side rails shouldn't be that bad...the load is spread along the entirety of the raft. What's the ID of your tube? I work at a metal supplier in Denver, I bet we'd have something that would work well. Boaters get a discount!
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Old 04-13-2019   #3
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 493
The spliced rail will have more flex than a solid rail due to some slop in the splice. But other than that they are just about as strong. Lots of break down frames on the market so others have made it work.
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Old 04-14-2019   #4
Defiance, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 226
If I am understanding you correctly you have a metal slug that you inserted into your rail?
The method is sound, it is done to splice tubing building offroad vehicle chassis that see forces well beyond what a raft frame will ever see. You should be able to eliminate the flex by making your slug fit as tightly as possible into the main rail of your frame tubing, I would try to make the slug extend 12" into each side of the frame rail, permanently attach the slug to one side of the frame rail.
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Old 04-14-2019   #5
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 362
Hear are a couple photos of my setup with out gear. Even with leaving my tharts in, I can self support comfortably, for at least 5 days. I made myself a seat board, and have a drop back to go under it, I can fit 4 ammo cans down there. Seat board is 1/2” with re-enforcements, but a sheet of 3/4” would get the job done by itself. Note the beverage holder, cut a vitamin bottle in half, drilled drain holes, and screwed it in place, will just get another one out of recycling when it dry rots

I have 2-68”, 2-48” rails, and 2-66” drop rails, as well as 3 LPros that I could probably part with, if it helped ya out? The 66” are a little beat up, but still work, the others are pretty good shape. Same ones as in the picture.

Congrats on the Culebra! I love mine, only draw back is that the thwarts tend to leak because of the design, so I always bring my pump. I never pull my thwarts anymore, having a 1 bay frame keeps it nice and light. I wouldn’t worry about splicing your side rails, either, the amount of torch you can put on this boat, even with it loaded down for a multi day, is way less on what a big cat with a spliced side rail would see, on the exact same joint.

Hit me up if there is any info on setting up a Culebra, that I can help with, or if you need some of the extra frame parts I have, would give ya a discount on them, if they can help ya out!
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Old 04-14-2019   #6
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 362
Looks like I flipped.

By the way, I can fit a decent sized cooler in my front sling, and a full sized original York pack, in the back sling, with decent room for my dry bags and a water jug, on the the side of each.There is a ton of space for large side bags in the cockpit. If I can figure out how to get them up there, I will post some right side up pics, of it loaded down for a Salt trip or something.

When I first got this 11’ boat, so many times I would drop into Big features, thinking I was toast, and damn thing would just truck right on through, shocking the hell out of me! Will probably take it on a lower flow Cat trip one of these days, it’s really a solid little boat!
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Old 04-14-2019   #7
Definite maybe
Weld county, Colorado
Paddling Since: 0001
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Posts: 588
I'm assuming your using 1.25 pipe. I haven't bought that size in a year but a 20foot stick was $80 last year around this time. If you want to be cheap go get yourself some galvanized steel chain link fence line post. Its 1.66 od so the diameter will work.
"It is fun to have fun but you have to know how"---The Cat In The Hat
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Old 04-15-2019   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,768
some time ago I worked with clyde at NRS to design a max frame for my Aire 18 cat.

due to at the time shipping issues on length we had to put a splice in the side rails. So the rear had a decent length of spliced railing. I would back in to unload the bag of gear so that bottom rail became the step we used to get on the boat. Never had a problem. I sold the boat and it is still in use. At least 3 GC floats and many more multi days all over. Done right a splice should work just fine or at least the technique clyde used on my frame was bomber.
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Old 04-15-2019   #9
Never enough free time
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 299
Just make sure and use nylon lock nuts on your splices so you don't have a bolt back out when you aren't paying attention.
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