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Hi -
I am going to build a new frame for my 14' wing. In the past I have always used 2" EMT tube and borrowed an industrial pipe bender.

I am new to this form, and have been reading allot of the frame build threads trying to fine ture and pick up new ideas. It looks like alAlot of people are using the 1-3/8 top rail EMT for their steel frame builds. This would be lighter and I have a 1-1/4 (I think it will work) pipe bender so it would be easy.

I am going to build a welded standard three bay with cooler in the front, and sitting on the dry box in the back. In the past I have ran pipe runners, on the bottom (Just above the floor) from the front to the back with welded drop pipe supports from the cooler and dry box support. This way I just set the cooler and the dry box on the bottom pipes and strap the top to the cross bars.

So may questions are:

1. Are there any worries about heavy loads with the 1-3/8" pipe?
2. Should I run a double rail down the tubes for added strength?
3. Should I not put the bottom support pipe and hang the cooler and drybox and if so do you have to worry about the coolers and dry boxes bending this pipe or use heavier pipe in these locations?
4. It seems like everyone is hanging the heavy items (Coolers and dryboxe) rather than using welded pipe rails to support them, what is the thought behind this, is it a pin thing?

Thanks for all the info I have already poached out of the threads.

Chris
 

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1" Frames

I have also started building from scratch frames the last couple of years. I started using .065 & .095 1" tubing and have not had any problems. I don't care to weld galvanized metal. Just built a new 4 bay raft frame and used POR15 to paint.Maiden voyage this week for just an hour and then a three day float over memorial weekend. Built three cat frames last year out of the same stuff, worked great. I like to hang my gear, as I float shallow rivers, and don’t want the extra ware on the bottom of the boat. A hanging ice chest will give and move up if necessary. An exposed pipe underneath gives a rock a great pinch point. We did use pipe underneath the ice chest in one of the cat frames though. I hope to get some photos of the setups this memorial day and will post. I don't think you have to worry too much about 1 3/8 pipe.
I used a cheap Harbor Freight bender, filled the pipe with sand, then heated it just a little. Great bends. Only thing I cheated on is a friend owns a fabrication shop and we used his sander to hollow grind (notch) the pipe. I made my oar towers clamp on so they can be adjusted to the rower.
RaftFrame.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, you confirmed what I was thinking.

You are right it suck welding the galv. Take a deep breath and weld....

Let me know how the paint works out, that stuff looks bomber.

Are you doing the Rogue over memorial day? If so, look for me I will be in a white Wing.


Thanks for the help,
Chris
 

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I built my first 3-bay frame 9 years ago and used the heck out of it for 8 seasons. I'd still be using it, but I just sold it with the raft I built it for.

I used 1 1/4" EMT electrical conduit. It's roughly 1 5/8" OD; just slightly bigger than top rail.

I made a nesting Ham radio mast (geek alert!) with 3/4" EMT, 1" EMT, 1.375" top rail, and 1.5" EMT conduit. The 1.375" top rail was by far the softest and most easily bent of the four materials.

I'd advocate dropping down a size to the 1" EMT and definitely adding a second side rail, or up a size to the 1.25" nominal, 1 5/8" actual OD EMT conduit and the side rails would be optional.

It did make black marks on the tubes, but no worse than un-anodized aluminum. Its replacement will get painted or clear-coated.

You are right it suck welding the galv. Take a deep breath and weld....
Do not weld this stuff indoors or in an enclosed area.
Weld it outdoors with a mild breeze. Orient yourself so there's a good crosswind in your work area--wind at your back will eddy the fumes up under your hood. Wind in your face will blow them directly at you.

A welding-specific respirator isn't a bad idea. They make ones that fit under a welding hood.

Drink milk after welding. The milk fat will bind any zinc that does get into your bloodstream so you can poop it out.

Let me know how the paint works out, that stuff looks bomber.
I'm curious if POR sticks well to the shiny galvanized, or if the galv will require either an acid etch or a self-etching primer to stick.

EMT is often shipped with a light layer of oil. Do plan to give it a minimum of an acetone or alcohol wipe before painting.

Waiting for my electrician buddy to give me some bender time, and then I'll do a build thread on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea, I normally set up a big fan outside. I like the milk idea.

The only reason I was going to use the 1-3/8 fence top rail is that it comes with the swedge ends and they work great for reinforcing the weld joints and also making splice joints inserts out of.

Do you know if they make inserts for the other size EMT?

Thanks
Chris
 

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So that's the one great thing about chainlink fence parts--they are usually a half size bigger or smaller than EMT conduit, so you can use that chainlink fence rail as an splice or weld insert that will fit snug (but not tight) inside EMT conduit.

Grab hitch pins in the "Storehouse" 20-pack at Harbor Freight for $9.99 instead of buying them at Home Depot for $3/each.

Maybe it "goes without saying", but a MIG welder is about the best tool for the job. If you only have a stick--or a flux-cored, non-gas shielded wire feed--beg/borrow/steal a MIG setup.

I plan to offset the splice joints in my double outside rails so all the joints aren't in line with each other--should reduce overall frame flex and chance of bending.
 

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Welding EMT

A couple of points.

It's not the zinc that's the big problem. That may make your kidneys hurt. There is apparently also lead in the coating. That will make you talk funny, and forget where you put your beer. Muriatic acid (I think) will remove the coating. After you cut your pieces, dip the ends in the acid before you weld. It will hiss and bubble, and the coating will come right off. You can also get a respirator at a welding supply store. I got one, and it seemed to absorb all the smoke and fumes.

Also, 1" emt is sufficient for the cross=pieces, and will work for the side rails on a douible-rail frame.
 

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A couple of points.

It's not the zinc that's the big problem. That may make your kidneys hurt. There is apparently also lead in the coating. That will make you talk funny, and forget where you put your beer.
I didn't realize there is often lead in the zinc.
Sounds like unless it's purified, there's as much as 0.9% naturally occurring lead in the zinc.

This is a pretty informative paper:
http://www.nakedwhiz.com/weldinggalvanized.pdf
 

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steel

I am very happy with the .095 tubing and really think the .065 would work for most of the frame. I purchased the Marine Clean product and it really cleaned the manufactures coating off of the steel. Then applied the Metal Prep, let is set a few minutes, and rinsed. next day I applied the POR15. I purchased the 6 pack. 6- 4 oz cans. Remember 4 oz is 1/2 cup, but was able to get one coat on almost all of my frame, out of one can ( I have 6 seat brackets, and frames for rocket boxes, so more area than most for a single frame.) Used second can for second coat. Applied with a brush, and the finish leveled out nicely. Finish looks GREAT. Went with the Gray. I will try and get photos tonight. So far, this paint is MUCH better than the paint we tried on the last 3 frames, which was industrial finish enamal for trucks.
Nice part about the tubing is you can get 3/4" that just fits inside for extra support at joints (or as I did splices for a break down frame) and also 1-1/4 just fits over the outside, which is what i used for the saddle for the oar towers and seat brackets.
 

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salmonjammer, I'm eager to see pics of what you made. Very eager to see your seat bracket and oar tower designs.

0.065 should be plenty for steel; as with anything, larger diameter requires a thinner wall thickness for equal strength--stiffness goes up exponentially with diameter.

The 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" and 1 5/8" is all close to 1/16" or 0.065 wall. Down around 1" OD, you'd want that 0.095" (3/32") wall or a double outer rail if you only used 0.065" wall.

Oh, sparky, with a little experimentation, you can cope (notch) round pipe with an angle cut with a chop saw. By varying the angle you cut, you can make a more or less round "mouth" in the end of your tube.
Chop saw notching 101 (With pictures) - Pirate4x4.Com
Even salmonjammer with his access to his buddy's fab shop and sander could pre-notch the ends of his tubes and just use the sander for the final shaping.
 

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As one who welded galvanized pipe for years, PLEASE wear a respirator. Not the cheap paper ones. I just bought a real respirator for paint & vapors for less than $30. Use the proper cartridge at Home Depot. They are online @ Amazon, as well. Lead, Zinc, Cadium and all sorts of nasty metals that build up in your organs. Milk is an old wives tale, it may cure the naseua, but will not get lead out of your organs.
Used POR15 for years over welds on galvanized material, it's good stuff. Put up some pictures when you get a chance.
 

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Galv. Fence posts

I've used 1 5/8" galv. line posts (6 ft.), they are 1.66" and all standard frame acceseries fit, U-bolts, rowing seats, oar towers, etc. I used alum. tee's and 90* instead of welding. And ya Galv. blows when welding.
good luck
Steve
 

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still lots to be done

Here are some images of the current project. Trying to keep passenger off of the dry box to preserve seal. Third photo shows cages to hole rocket box-toilet. Still need to finish dry box under captain's chair and web to hold cooler. So far paint is holding up good. Doing an 2 hour float down to town Thursday. Try to get a shot of it in the boat, all together. I use stainless steel radiator clamps to hold oar towers, one on each side, 6 per tower. Used them on three cat frames that went down the middle fork and main fork of the salmon last year, worked great. Nice part is oar can be adjusted for distance from foot brace as well as seat adjusting. Also very nice when you start stacking frames on trailer.
 

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I am very impressed by the thought that went into that frame--the seat towers, the chain link strap loops on the sides, the bigger strap loops in the frame section corners, and the oarlock stands. Nicely done.

I'll be interested to know how the POR15 holds up inside the seat tower rings with repeated twisting/rubbing....not that regular enamel is great there.
 

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Por15

Got off the river sunday, tied it all to a trailer, then bounced it up Powwatka Ridge road into Wallowa. Got home late and really haven't looked at it close, hope to this weekend. I will take some pictures of the ware. Looks like it may have chipped in a couple of places, and wore off under seat brackets. BUT all in all, i am happy with the toughness of the paint.
 

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Jury still out

Well I looked closely at my frame. I really like the finish the POR15 has, but it does scratch. But not sure how it compares to powder coat. IMG_4608.jpg

IMG_4609.jpg

Here are a couple of photos of the scratches. The worst ones are where I had radiator clamps holding the seat brackets. Probably anything would have scratched.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's nothing when you think about the rub factor at those points. Pretty good stuff. Was there any transfer to the boat?
 

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plastic like finish

No. The paint has a very plastic feel to it when cured. Much like powder coat. You use a 'process' to apply, first washing with a water based solvent, that will remove the oils on the metal, and it really does. I thought my steal was fairly clean after wiping it all down and then welding on it and all, but when we put the solvent on, there was a lot of oil and dirt that washed off. You then apply a etching solution, that we may have not let set long enough before washing off, then you apply two coats of paint. I used a brush. Took very little paint about 4oz per coat.
 

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On my conduit frame, I did self-etching primer, then brush-on Rustoleum enamel, then rattlecan clearcoat enamel, and let it bake in the sun the past 2 weeks. It has a similar bad rub spot on my oarlock stand where I had a kayak tied on top for the 200 mile ride to the river, and it also peeled right under my feet. I think the peeled spot was not enough self-etching primer.

No paint on the boat (thanks to the clearcoat, I'm sure) and no paint peeling under the straps--which again makes me think the peeling at my feet was due to inadequate primer.

Next time, I'll try a scuff-sand, then a heavier self-etching primer coat.

I'm also thinking of a 2-part epoxy paint.
 
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