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Thread: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    San Diego
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    Default Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    I only have so much room and have realized that despite living in great weather, I 2ont be building boats outside and do I should limit things to the 8 to 13ft range.

    I am considering having a rolling steel frame made about 3 or 4 feet wide by 7 or 8 feet long. If I lay down "ladder rails" on top of it, made out of unit strut channel, I could easily bolt to that wood 2x2 "ladder rungs" at intervals required by the plans and then attach the frame cross beams to these rungs. By switching between lengths of rail, I could build various length skiffs.

    I was thinking that each corner could be set to lift independently so the frame could be leveled at any location I wheel it too. If it has a shelf on the bottom, sand bags or buckets could increase its mass to steady it if needed. A bolted on top of 3/4 ply would then be a low table to place a work piece on for working on it (like a flipped hull or cabinet.

    Anyone else make similar?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    Eh, boat trailer?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Indian Land, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    ( Disclaimer : my thoughts only ) - to expand on what Wiz said - take a look at trailers with a removable / folding tongue, that will minimize the space taken up when not actually being moved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Bainbridge Island WA
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    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?



    I built the low 2'x12' bench/table seen here about 10 years ago for my first build. It has since been the base for three more boats (from 6'8" to 15') a bunch of spars and oars for the boats. Very handy and small enough that I can just move it out of the way. I think Unistrut is great stuff, just a bit heavy and expensive for what you described.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  5. #5
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    Dec 2002
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    San Diego
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    143

    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    Steve,

    How do you level and secure it? I am working in a garage and the floor is neither flat nor level.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    5,949

    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    All of that steel seems needlessly expensive, heavy and awkward to store.

    I always build on a wooden ladder frame. For smaller hulls the stiles are leveled with shingle as shims and squared and screwed onto sawhorses which are screwed to the 3/4 plywood floor. For a larger hull the stiles are screwed to the floor itself. You could just shoot down some blocks on your concrete garage floor and fasten horses or stiles to them. Once the hull is flipped the ladder frames are disassembled and the lumber easily stored or used for something else.

    A large hull right on the floor, leveled with shims...

    Big Dory Build 2 007.jpg

    A small hull on horses...

    Pedal Dory 1.jpg

  7. #7
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomMcKinney View Post
    Steve,

    How do you level and secure it? I am working in a garage and the floor is neither flat nor level.


    Something a lot like this. Long threaded section and I added a nut so I could lock the foot in place once level. I have a few sandbags to weight the table down, they keep things in place really well, but I find I rarely apply much brute force while building. That path just leads to breakage.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    Unfortunately I am in a concrete floored garage and just dint have that room. Sonits smaller boats and no nailing to the floor. Wouldn't have to store it as it would simply always be in use.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    12,070

    Default Re: Ridgid, movable, adjustable, steel strongback frame, anybody?

    I've built all my boats on a wood ladder frame on locking casters. My floor is flat and level, but shims under the casters would take care of any problems. Just roll the boat to where you want it and relevel.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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