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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some opinions on frame materials. My boat... well I'd rather not mention my boat because it's a joke by most standards, but it does get me comfortably down gentle rivers with the requisite amount of beer.

Anyway, I currently have a very simple single bay frame made from 1.25" nominal sized galvanized steel pipe. It's basically just an attachment system and a framework to attach my home-made seat/table. I'm looking at ways to reduce the weight of this frame and looking to source materials locally. I'm looking at 1" nominal pipe sizing (1.315 inch outside diameter), and while I can find aluminum stock in schedule 40 (1/8" thickness) it's not anodized, and the anodizing costs I've speced out are too expensive to justify.

A local "everything" store carries anodized aluminum tube in a 1.25" ACTUAL diameter (no nominal sizing here) with a 3/32" thickness. This seems close enough in size to still work with aluminum railing fittings that are designed for schedule 40 since they attach with an ajustable set screw.

My question is whether or not this will be strong enough?

Schedule 40 is thicker, but not much. I've flexed schedule 40 pipe in 1" and 1.25" nominal sizes and they felt similar, and had a noticable give in them... more give than the galvanized steel I currently use... and schedule 40 1.25" is what is used by NRS and called "unbendable". There is definately some flex to the tube I'm considering, but the longest span across the tubes is about 39" and it isn't supporting my seat or my weight (that is supported by the side rails resting on the tubes). The heaviest item attached to the fram is my cooler which is strapped to the side rails, and that weight might be an issue in the case of a flip (very unlikely on the rivers I use this on).

Holy crap... what a long question!

Any thoughts?
 

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Holy F dude! You sound like a psychiatrist who has answered your own questions. You have no money, but enough time to dwell on this issue. Call NRS, Clavey, Down River, Cascade, etc. and spend the $150 after you get a job.

E-
 

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1.25 inch OD tube won't even come close to fitting those (holeander?) fittings. 1.25 inch pipe is 1.625 OD...3/8' bigger! That's a HUGE difference.

NRS's "unbendable" pipe is grade T6061 and called unbendable because it collapses or crushes when you try to bend it. They use bendable T6063 to make all of thier bent parts, like footbars and cat frame yolks.

The good news; For your purposes 1" galv pipe will be fine, and proly cheaper than any other option.
If having aluminum rub grey color onto your tubes and stuff is your only concern with anodized you can just wrap it with pipe insulating foam on all the areas that will touch stuff.

BTW, look at my cat frame in the photo gallery. It's made from T6061 AND T6063. The -61 is 25% cheaper
 

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We extended our 16' cat frame for more realestate using galvanized fence posts. It's a bit flexy, but dang it was cheap. We ran straps from the aluminum crossbars to the floor rails for extra support. One float/drag on the Ark so far and it held up. We'll see how it does on a good head-dam.

We figured since we read about it on the internet, it must work- right?

How to build a river raft frame
 

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Alright, I might take the cake for being the biggest cheap ass on this site....not that I can't go out and drop the $$$ on a fancy frame, I just prefer to find "alternatives" that'll work just as well.

Here's what I did....went to Lowes, picked up some 1 3/8" OD top-rail fence pieces (bout $60 worth)....ordered fence fittings from here Rail Fittings, Slip-On Hand Railing Fasteners, Quick Speed Pipe Connecters, NJ, NY .....(bout $50 worth).....and I have a durable, light, 3 bay frame that works great for us. $120.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1.25 inch OD tube won't even come close to fitting those (holeander?) fittings. 1.25 inch pipe is 1.625 OD...3/8' bigger! That's a HUGE difference.

NRS's "unbendable" pipe is grade T6061 and called unbendable because it collapses or crushes when you try to bend it. They use bendable T6063 to make all of thier bent parts, like footbars and cat frame yolks.

The good news; For your purposes 1" galv pipe will be fine, and proly cheaper than any other option.
If having aluminum rub grey color onto your tubes and stuff is your only concern with anodized you can just wrap it with pipe insulating foam on all the areas that will touch stuff.

BTW, look at my cat frame in the photo gallery. It's made from T6061 AND T6063. The -61 is 25% cheaper
Sorry... I might not have conveyed this properly, but the 1.25" galvanized tube that I can get is called "tube" because it is not related to the standard "pipe" sizing you're refering to. Measured with a micrometer, the 1.25" tube is exactly 1.25" in diameter... so it's a difference of 0.06 inches compared to the 1" schedule 40 pipe. I think the 1.25" tube I can get my hands on is 6063.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My desire to try this is the same as you, GoodTimes... I COULD buy something, or I could have fun building something different. :)

I've read both the "games with frames threads"... lots of good info there for sure. I don't recall seeing anything about smaller and thinner diameter aluminum tubing there, but maybe I have to take another look. The weight savings between 1.25" standard aluminum pipe in schedule 40 and the 1.25" galvanized fence post I used currently is actualy quite minimal... maybe 1 pound per linear foot. But the weight savings between the 1.25" fence post and the 1.25" aluminum tubing is huge... over pounds per linear foot (less than half the weight).

I used that "how to build a raft frame" link to build my frame last year before reading the "games with frames" threads for other ideas. I suppose I could use the smaller diameter top rail instead of the larger diameter post material that I did use, and that would probably save a bit of weight. I guess I was thinking that it's not worth trying (from a financial perspective) unless the weight savings are substantial... especially since getting oar locks on the smaller diameter pipe/tube is possible but not trivial. The frame is functional in it's current form... just looking for improvements. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
^^^ WAAAY to wide for my boat... and I doubt that is very light, which is the main goal I am trying to accomplish.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cupido76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt
Games with Frames

More Games with Frames

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cupido76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulex

How to build a river raft frame

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cupido76
BlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBl aBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaB laBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBla BlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBl aBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaB laBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBla BlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBl aBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaB laBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBla BlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBl aBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaB laBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBlaBla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnourse
Holy F dude! You sound like a psychiatrist who has answered your own questions.

Dooood, Just build a frikkin frame
 

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Discussion Starter #13
^^^ I always love replies like this. The forum is called "gear talk"... is it unreasonable to think people might have very detailed questions?

Do you have a reading comprehension problem??... I read all those threads and mentioned that in my last post. Or were you to busy typing "bla" to notice? Or did you get your panties in a bunch when I corrected you on the "tube" sizing.

If you don't have anything helpful to say... well, you know the rest.
 

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Typing "bla"? Heck no! Copy and paste. Just a few secs

No prob with the "correction" of your previous rambling discription of the materiels I've worked with for 25 years.

If you really have read all those threads linked you should be completely out of questions before starting this thread. What more do you need to know? You have materiel sizes, fitting deminsions, materiel weight per LF.
BTW,
If I were using 1 5/16 fittings with 1 1/4 tube I'd drill out the set screw all the way thru and use a thru bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I really did read those threads (why would I lie about that, exactly?), and I really did still have questions. Did you read all those threads? Did anyone ask about the 1.25" x 3/32" tube I was asking about? I'll give you a hint... they didn't. What else I need to know is if the material will be strong enough, not whether fittings will fit. Did you even read anything I typed? I spelled it out pretty clearly if you'd take some time to actually read it.

There are lots of great ways other people did things in that thread, and I am considering a different one. I'm sapposed to just do it like everyone else did just because?

If you've worked with the materials for 20 years, you are exactly the kind of person I was hoping would suggest whether or not the tube would be strong enough, because I haven't work with these materials. Instead you typed a bunch of "bla"'s... thanks for that. Your response was childish.
 

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The 1.25" OD tube is lighter than I would use, even for a pool toy in class I water. If it buckles it could damage your boat or at least make your trip uncomfortable. The 1" aluminum pipe has only 5% more diameter but 33% more thickness. There will be a huge difference in yeild strength, probly 40% (or close to it) more load to cause a failure.
Aluminum pipe weighs about 1/3 as much as steel pipe and has a little over half the strength, more or less. You're using 1.25 ID steel pipe so 1.25 aluminum would have 60% of the yeild strength. 1.25 OD X 3/32 AL tube would lose another 33% of that = about 40-45% of the strength you have now.

Childish? Maybe so, but not nearly enough so to allow me to recomend the aluminum tube you've mentioned. The 1" AL pipe you mentioned is what I used for my scouting bars on my cat frame.(6063) They only span 34 inches but I weigh 240 and can stand on them. I'm pretty sure your 1.25 OD tube would fail. Also, 6061 aluminum don't bend. It buckles

Also, OD matters much more than thickness, to a point. 1.25 inch schedule 10 galv pipe (1.625 OD) with a 1/16 wall thickness is stronger than 1" schedule 40 (1.32 OD) with 5/32 wall thickness
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That is very useful information... thank you. I would not ask you to recommend something you don't agree with.

I will steer clear of the 1.25" tube, and stick with my existing schedule 10 steel frame for now. I'll just have to pack more scotch and less beer to make up the weight savings.
 

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the guy that makes the frames for jacks plastic has tons of fittings that you can use with hardware store tubing. there is a link on the site.
 

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I've read both the "games with frames threads"... lots of good info there for sure. I don't recall seeing anything about smaller and thinner diameter aluminum tubing there, but maybe I have to take another look.
Toward the end of the More Games with Frames thread is a description of an ultralight cat frame built with Hollaender 3/4" nominal fittings, 1" OD galvanized steel rail, and schedule 80 aluminum pipe for the single side rails. There's quite a lot of gab about sizes and specs and tricks, such as putting dowels in tubing so the setscrews won't crush the ends.



I rowed it today: second season and no problems yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Chip.

The stuff I could get here locally is quite a lot thinner than schedule 80 (even though it's slightly larger diameter). I'm not too worried about dowelling the ends where the fittings are attached as much as I'm concerned about the frame bending under stress. Dowelling the complete length of the tubes seems like too much work, and will add weight.
 
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