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Strongback pictures

Posted by oregon270wsm 
Strongback pictures
February 09, 2015 03:14AM
I have read the description of how to build the strongback but I am not sure if I am picturing it correctly. Can someone post pictures of what the strongback should look like?
Re: Strongback pictures
February 09, 2015 05:25AM
Also, what are some alternatives to 1x6 pine boards? The instructions say 1x6, or OSB or whatever. At face value I think whatever means just that, but I don't want to build a strongback that will fail. From what I can find 1x6 anything around here is pretty spendy. if I use OSB should I buy enough to cut the sections in solid pieces? And would smaller lumber be sufficient, like a 1x2 or 1x3?
Re: Strongback pictures
February 09, 2015 12:30PM
The word "strongback" often causes more confusion than its worth.

In some canoe building manuals you are supposed to build something called a strongback that takes almost as long to build as the canoe itself, where you place canoe cutout shapes on a beam, spaced every few feet apart.

The way I build there is no such thing. You make a few trapezoid shapes out of 1" x 6" or 1" x 4" boards, or cut them out of chip board or what ever scraps you have, and then lay them aside.

Then make some side panel stock. Then cut out the side panels. THEN LAYOUT THE SIDE PANELS. In other words put pencil marks on the side panels where the temporary trapezoid shapes go.

Then fasten the temporary rib-like trapezoid shapes to the side panels with dry wall screws or air-driven finish nails. If you use air nails drive them through small plywood scraps, which makes it easy to remove them later on.

Once the sides are attached to the temporary ribs it already looks a bit like a boat. Attach stem and transom and now it looks a lot like a boat. Now straighten the assembly up. Straightening is critical. Now trace out the edges of a rectangular bottom panel. Cut the bottom panel. Attach it.

Fiberglass the outside. Take out the temporary ribs. Fiberglass the inside. Attach the gunwales. Install the seats. Sandy and paint.

Re: Strongback pictures
February 09, 2015 02:30PM
Also, for what it's worth, other drift boat "plan sets" sometimes give you a scaled drawing and lofting dimensions that allow cutting out the bottom panel in advance, so you don't trace it out manually the way I do. If you build that way you sometimes don't need any temporary ribs. For slim boats with little side bend you can get by with a few gunwale to gunwale cross braces. That does make the early stages of construction a bit faster.

If I drew my plan diagrams that way, so they included a way to pre-cut the bottom panel you could build the Beavertail and/or the Buffalo Boat that way. But it would not work for the Honky Dory because that boat has a bend up front too sharp to build without some temporary interior shaping.

Another disadvantage to the pre-cut bottom panel building system is that it makes it impossible for the builder to custom adjust the bottom rocker profile using the "bent stick trick" outlined in my instruction set. If you float mostly on placid tailwater rivers like the Chatahoochie in Georgia, the San Juan in Colorado, Green River below Flaming Gorge, Big Horn, Missouri, etc, then you probably want to trim the rocker down a fair amount. Flatter bottomed boats float higher, they're easier to slow down and hold and they cross the river quickly and they work better with a motor. They are also slower to turn, so that's a disadvantage in boney white water.

If you like to crash the occasional wave you probably want to trim the rocker down only a tad.

If you run big water (ever) you probably don't want to change the (plan set) rocker profile at all.
Re: Strongback pictures
February 09, 2015 10:03PM
Does that look about right? I got the angles two within a degree or two of equal on each side.

Re: Strongback pictures
February 09, 2015 10:07PM
Re: Strongback pictures
February 10, 2015 03:18AM
"If you run big water (ever) you probably don't want to change the (plan set) rocker profile at all."

Well, I can say that is 100 percent on the mark. I have taken on some monster waves in the Grand Canyon in a stock HD at Hance, Horn Creek, Upset and Lava and I couldn't believe how it would climb waves. The water gets under the front floor, it starts to lift and it will climb anything. When in doubt square up and take on anything, just get on the oars and power into the waves. If an HD can take on the 5th wave of Hermit it can take on anything in North America.

Try it a Hyde or Claka,,,,,,,, good luck.

Re: Strongback pictures
February 10, 2015 03:42AM
I certainly don't plan on deviating from the plans. I have zero boat building and about as much drift boat experience in general. I don't think I will be trying to come up with my own methods quite yet.
Re: Strongback pictures
February 10, 2015 12:54PM
I went to AJ DeRosa's wooden boat show one year in Jackson. There were two guys there with a boat they'd built from my online plans. Beavertail? Honky Dory? I can't remember. Had to be ten years ago. They were buddies in the Denver area. Built it together and drove all the way up to Jackson to show it off.

Neither had any woodworking experience ever. At all. And they didn't have tools when they started. They bought a skill saw drill and jig saw and hand sander. And built the whole thing start to finish with those four tools. I have a picture of it somewhere. I'll add it on to this post if I can find it.
Re: Strongback pictures
March 25, 2015 01:12AM
Thanks Sandy and Oregon270,
I am at the same spot and had the same questions (from my lack of experience), now I can keep moving!!
Re: Strongback pictures
December 08, 2015 05:51AM
Ok this is an older post but I figured this was the place to put this question. I'm still having a little trouble visualizing how the strong back should look. I completely understand building the trapezoidal sections that will create the shape for the hull and Im pretty sure I understand that those shapes will be drilled to the sides panels at pre determined spots to eventually create the hull. What is really throwing me off is in the instructions for the instructions for the Honky Dory list of supplies there is "2 sheets 3/8" CDX plywood for strongback corner gussets". I assume that means (2) 4x8' sheets of plywood. So I build the trapezoidal sections and attach the sides of the boat to them at the predetermined spots but what exactly is a "gusset" and its purpose. I'm sure a quick picture would clear this up. I'm assuming it is used to provide rigidity to the strong back but I'm not confident as to how.
Re: Strongback pictures
December 08, 2015 03:34PM
See in the picture above where the square blocks are tacked to the 1x frame material? Those are functioning like the gussets. Gussets to me though would be larger and shaped like each of the 4 corners on each of the frames thus taking up a bit of material therefore needing two sheets of the cheapest material possible.
Re: Strongback pictures
December 08, 2015 03:41PM
I get back on Sunday; 'cant say much from phone.

But really.....there is no strongback. Attach temporary trapezoid formers to side panels at specified locations.
Attach stem ( or use no stem, just stitch together there ) and transom and voila. It looks like a boat. Put legs on any two trapezoids to hold it up. Now it's a strongback
Re: Strongback pictures
December 08, 2015 07:10PM
Got it.
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