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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Yall,
Wondering if anyone has info on how to build a cataraft frame for 16' 24" tubes. Any links for what is recommended frame size, instructions, materials lists, ect.
Thanks and Cheers for now,
RC
 

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Never met Ron, but his frames are excellent. Good prices and great work. I like aluminum and he uses steel. I'm currently building a CHIP-inspired frame out of 6061 and Hollaender Speedrail (1'' IPS). I have used 1 1/4'' IPS (NRS) for other frames and projects, but the stuff is heavy on both the oars and the wallet.

Your cat sounds like a Jag perhaps? , and I think the stuff I'm using might work for your application. With such a long frame you would need different/more bracing but it would probably work. NRS size pipe with speedrail would definitely work well, and I have two different working prototypes for oar towers in the 1 1/4'' pipe frames I've experimented with. I only have one rudimentary-design oar tower for the 1 inch pipe frame, bit it should be effective enough.

People on here will tell you to buy a frame for many reasons. What I have found is that no matter what I buy, I probably could have spent half the money and made something that actually works better to fit my needs. Some people don't mind giving someone a lot of money and having them do the work, but you will learn a lot more about river gear and especially your own practical applications if you build it yourself.

Search Chip's DIY cat frame threads if you haven't already...
 

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Very nice soulcatr,
I am curious about the size and wall thickness of the square tube you used on the scout bars and seat. Did you lace the seat and how do you like it?
What made you choose square tubes versus round?
Again great work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
WoW!

I gotta say that some of the things that people create and build along with the quality of work people do always amazes me.
Cheers for now
RC
 

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RC,
I think for a first time frame builder, speedrail or lopros are the way to go because of being easy to change. I just finished a frame for a 16' self bailer, even with the ability to weld I chose bent and swedged end members and lopro cross members because I have never had a 16 footer and did not know what I wanted.
Now I can change the rails and have multiple set ups.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
RC,
I think for a first time frame builder, speedrail or lopros are the way to go because of being easy to change. I just finished a frame for a 16' self bailer, even with the ability to weld I chose bent and swedged end members and lopro cross members because I have never had a 16 footer and did not know what I wanted.
Now I can change the rails and have multiple set ups.
Well I went down to HD and got some galvanized fence post (elcheapo :). 2 side rails at 8ft and 5 ribs at 6ft. So the dims of my frame will be standard length but will cut to make standard width at 72". Also I think I am also going with the T-Clamps due to easy.

I was wondering with the Oar risers.....these are made out of aluminum so what about electrolysis with the galvanized??

Any other suggestions would be awesome?
Cheers for now,
RC
 

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I hope not the fence post t-clamps. Uggh!

(they're ugly and rough. Try to find Speedrail fittings that fit your fence posts, or weld select joints.)

Electrical EMT conduit and fence posts/rails are often 1/8" different in diameter, so you usually can find one that will snugly sleeve in/outside the other. You can find pre-bent conduit elbows.

Refer to Chip's frame thread for details.

Go to Harbor Freight and pick up the Storehouse box of PTO pins. Much cheaper than buying them individually....and even if you buy them individually, they're still made in China or India. 20 Piece PTO Pin Assortment

Unless your fence posts are exactly 1 5/8" OD, you can slip a piece of PVC or hypalon (raft repair fabric, or if you know a commercial roofer, ask them for a scrap of roofing material) between the frame rail and oar tower.

Have fun and post some pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No not the Fence post clamps....those might be a little rough on the tubes. Ha! I think Im going with the Frontplays QuickFit T clamp.

Do you have a link to Chips frame build thread?
Cheers fer now,
RC
 

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No not the Fence post clamps....those might be a little rough on the tubes. Ha! I think Im going with the Frontplays QuickFit T clamp.
:emb: Sorry, my mistake.
Those should work great!!


Galvanized is going to make black marks on your tubes.
I used POR-15 primer and POR HardNose paint. It wasn't cheap, but it is 100x more durable than hardware store enamel, and about half the price of powder coating.

Here's my cat frame. Black POR-15, Light Yellow HardNose, with a GlistenPC clearcoat with gold pearl flakes. :)
http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f44/raft-porn-needed-lets-see-them-rigs-40045-31.html#post330036




Do you have a link to Chips frame build thread?
http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f15/more-games-with-frames-21488.html?highlight=frame

The cornerstone (pun intended) of his frames are these Sid's Sports double corners:

I don't know if those are still available. I don't want to take work away from a reputable company still producing them, but if you can no longer get them from Sid's, I could weld some for you, if that's a direction you choose to take.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Galvanized rubs grey on the tubes eh? So the POR-15 primer and POR HardNose paint sticks to the Galvanized? And do you think it would chip with the set screws when tightened down?
Cheers fer now,
RC
 

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Sorry, I thought I put purchasing info in that post.

I could only find black POR-15 primer and one or two colors of HardNose paint in the local auto body/paint supplier. I'm not in a huge town-30,000 people. Best option is to buy it all from POR15.com.

Salmonjammer first posted up in another thread about POR-15. He put gray POR15 on his frame and ammo cans early last season and said it's held up great. He does store his boat inside.

I put black POR15 on my frame last season, my boat lives outside for about a month in late summer, and by the end of that month, the black that had been glossy was all chalky and left dark marks. POR warns that it doesn't have good UV resistance. They're not lying. :lol: I was otherwise happy with the product--good gloss, and super hard finish. No rubbing on the frame, and no buffing of the paint when I pulled straps across it. Their HardNose paint is equally good, and has better UV resistance. :)

New galvanized doesn't have much for paint to stick to. I used some pool (muriatic) acid to etch the galvanized and wash off all the oil/grease that seems to accompany new galvanized. POR also offers a prep wash that I didn't try.

POR-15 has some kind of magic stick-um. If you get the galvanized reasonably etched or sanded, POR WILL stick to it. Both POR-15 and HardNose are moisture-cured urethanes. POR-15 cures only with exposure to air, so keep your can sealed! HardNose comes with a catalyst that you mix 1 part with 4 parts HardNose, but it's still moisture-cured. Wear gloves and old clothes...it isn't washing out!!

So...it dries to the touch in about an hour, but full curing is 3-4 days at average ambient humidity. They recommend you put the HardNose over the POR from 1 hour to 1 day later. Since you have to order online, buy everything you need in one order. If you run out, you'll be too late, and you'll have to scuff-sand the entire thing to get the next coat to stick. Ask me how I know. :laughing:

I figure that 1 pint covered 110lf. With that light yellow, I needed 2 coats. There's just one coat of the Glisten PC (clearcoat--basically the same stuff as the pigmented HardNose). I mixed in gold pearl flakes from Custom Paints | Candy Paint - Metal Flake - Temperature Change Paint - Chameleon Paint - Pearl Paint - Clear Coat




I do think the set screws would chip it, just where they touch. It's a pretty awesome system, but I don't think either it or powdercoating would hold up to set screws.
 

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Remember the old HyperColor shirts? PaintwithPearl.com has Thermochromic powder you can mix into a clearcoat.

Helmet Temperature Color Changing Paint at paintwithpearl - YouTube

They also have chameleon (different color varies with angle and light)
(they recommend it to go over black)


and glow in the dark paints.

Appears white in daylight.

Violet ghost pearl over turquoise:


Red pearl over blue:



Gold pearl over red.

Want a one-of-a-kind frame? You could get pretty wild with this stuff. Most pigments/pearls/candies are only $10-15 a baggie, which is probably 3-4x more than you need for a frame.

Make it look as good as your painting skills will allow. Mine looks awesome from about 2' away. I brushed the entire thing. I notice a few sags and runs, but most people never will. The fact that you're painting relatively small diameter surfaces means that you won't see many flaws. It's not like you're painting an entire hood or fender. The chameleon powder would probably be least tolerant of amateur painting skills.
 

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The galvanized posts can be made to work. What CHIP found is that setscrews and u bolts will crush steel, and even certain types of aluminum for that matter. CHIP Dowells with wood where a tower or screw might otherwise deform the pipe wall. I don't like to mess with any of that stuff so I just use aluminum. Not to mention messing with rust and heaviness, etc.

The first frame I built used the same Galvanized home cheapo fence posts. I used speedrail fittings for the joints. I ended up going with 6061 siderails so I could lock the crossbars in place without having them move and so I didn't crush the frame rails. I used NRS oar towers and their footbar as well. I had to drill the fittings and through-bolt the crossbars into the bottoms of the tees since I couldn't use the setscrews on the crossbars or it would crush the metal. This frame worked well for a while but it did start to rust after a few seasons and it was very heavy.

Make sure you drill and through-bolt your fittings, especially if you are building a frame for a cat. You can go cheap if you like. Lots of people including myself have done it. After carrying and rowing and tinkering I found myself wanting aluminum for tons of reasons. I would at least recommend using aluminum siderails and would also note that the steel frontierplay fittings, unless they've changed, are rough on the finish and are heavy.

Which oar towers are you planning on using?
 

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I rocked my first conduit frame for 8 years, and only got rid of it because I wanted to change every dimension. It's a great way to go on a budget. You can do far worse.

Modular (NRS) is better, custom is best,and cost goes up accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I still havent found the CHIP thread. Can someone provide a link to Chips frames.
Thanks and Cheers fer now,
RC
 
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