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Great thread! I’m still interested in building my own oars. Have good, straight, clear Douglas Fir that I can use for the endeavor. What I’m not clear on is how to round out the shafts and particularly how to articulate the grips. Other suggestions I could use are how to treat/protect the blades (epoxy, fiberglass, plastidip, heat shrink, etc. I’m thinking pins and clips would be more straight forward than sleeves. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I have a 10' set of Doug Fir wood oars that has been running strong for 13 years, and a 9.5' set of oars going on year 9.

one has a cracked blade (fixable) and one now has a cracked shaft (maybe retired) where the grain ran off the wood....but considering 6 total oars and a few hundred river days, I'm not unhappy!

I'll add some pics.

#1: find good lumber. Find a lumberyard that will let you dig their piles. You want close-grained (old growth) wood. You don't care if it is 2x6, 2x8, 2x10...you don't really even care if it is flat grained or vertical grained. You will want to resaw and laminate it anyway.

Also, what tools you have available will dictate how you build them. Shoot me a PM with your email.
 

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A few contributions:

Folding LPG burner/blaster stove, fits in a small 50cal ammo can


Anodized my own aluminum Dutch Ovens:



One 4-bay frame from 1.25" EMT conduit, painted yellow, gold pearl flake, and clear-coated:




Grab handle saddle with drink holsters


1.5gal water kettle from a cast off espresso shop stainless steel water softener tank. I welded on the tabs, handle, and spout.


Table:
 

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Table legs/frame:


I once turned an old UHaul into a motorhome:




Stern frame:



I need to add some pics of the drybags, drop bag, drag bag, and oars I've built.
 

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Found some ratty old 5# and 10# propane tanks. Wire brushed them, painted them yellow, and sent them in for a recert and to have new OPD valves installed.
You didn't build the tanks from some a defunct pressure cooker? :p Very nice work on all that gear you built.
 
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I have made a 4 rafting pads with PVC from a truck tarp maker and valves off of Amazon. 26 inches wide, 3 inches thick, and about 6'8" long. Cost per pad was 70 dollars with most of that cost going to the foam (who knew nice foam cost 50 dollars). I went with white for heat control and am really happy with the color. During the process, I found out that having a nice heat gun and some jigs to hold things makes a huge difference (I had neither), so I ended up gluing them rather than welding. So far, they are holding up great.

Here's a link to the thread I made on it while figuring things out.

http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f44/diy-raft-pads-am-i-nuts-60069.html
I'm working on pads myself. Home Depot has 3" x 24" x 72" foam for only $25. I tested one out last weekend and I liked it!

Although...I'm 6'-6", and a longer pad sounds awesome.

Edit: just read that entire thread. I haven't been on the buzz much in the past couple years--looks like you inspired a LOT of other people to make pads!!
 

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MT4Runner - Are you some kind of DIY magician and where do I learn the magic?
The pads have been a fun project, and it's nice to help make them more accessible to those of us that can't always fork out. It seems I need to start getting into welding too. I made a transom out of heavy PVC pipe and wood for my little 3 HP, but a metal one would be a lot better if I want to push a flotilla.
 

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MT4Runner - Are you some kind of DIY magician and where do I learn the magic?
It's my thing.

Ever see that Dilbert cartoon video 'The Knack'? I have it. I don't watch much TV, I took a lot of shop classes in HS, made a ton of messes in my dad's shop growing up, and my mom's sewing room. Mom and Dad built my childhood home, so I grew up building. Mom was a Home Economics teacher so my brother and I earned to sew at age 5 or so, woodworking at age 8 or 10, learned to weld at 12. I'm also socially awkward. haha.

I'm actually not that great with original ideas, but I do like to copy ideas or combine multiple ideas or skillsets into projects. Seriously--I'm inspired by your PVC pad thread. I started one 3 years ago and it stalled on valves and glue.

Like missiongravity said, everything is a prototype. If it works, great. If not, improve it!!
 

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I just searched for the Whale foot pump used on the NRS/DRE setup, and found this one for $24 w/free shipping. Looks pretty similar for half the price. I just ordered one, and I'll let you guys know how it works when it shows up in a few days.
Can you link the source please?
 

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Pieter Porcupine
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At Tom Martins advice I recently peeled the aging plastic off my entry level oars and re-wrapped them with heat shrink. It worked very well but I recommend spending the money and buying a heat gun for this process. I used a torch and it scorched the plastic in areas. I intend on using a transparent heat shrink for my Cataracts as they are notorious for "splintering" their fiberglass.

https://www.heatshrink.com/default.asp
 

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Adjustable length outboard motor tiller extension made from a stream machine water cannon. I made this adjustable tiller extension after forgetting one on a recent trip and having to fabricate one on the river with materials on hand.
I liked it so much that when I got home I refined the design to incorporate a locking means with knobs. It's lighter than my other one made from a broken oar and I like the adjustable feature. It will go from 29 to 49 inches . The hose clamp slides down to the slit and is tightened to grip the tiller shaft. Fits my Tohatsu 5 hp motor.
 

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